Thursday, April 3, 2014

The real geography

Today, because it's Random Journal Link-up Day, over at Dawn's blog, little old me is the featured journal-keeper, diarist, whatever you might call us. I wrote up a little something about my journal-keeping, for those of you who might not have heard me talk about this once or a couple million times before. Besides me, there are other talents shared of many kinds. So check it out. I'm honored to be the 'guest of honor', so to speak, but we're all honored guests at this journal party, so come join the fun!

I shouldn't have been surprised but I was. I'm far more surprised by God than I should be. He so often does things that dovetail with other things that are happening in life, doesn't He? But I'm surprised anyway. I expect too little of Him, I know. Anyway, today when I grabbed a blue notebook (labeled Fall 2001), it opened to a page with no more heading than "Tuesday", but the words fit perfectly with what I wrote about journal-keeping to post on Dawn's blog. And I'm surprised to read them. Almost shaken to the core by what they reveal. One of the things I've always loved about journals is that I never lose an earlier self. I know the Carolyn who was 16, 26, 36, 46 as well as the one who writes this post, because I have these books. So the words from this particular Tuesday draw me back to the keen desires and worries of the me who lived 13 years ago.

But no more editorializing, just the words:

It's sometimes intimidating, the huge stack of blue composition books on top of the bookcase downstairs. Something to live up to. Will there be something valuable enough to keep? Many days, the answer is no. These pages are an assortment of profundities and trivialities, of deep concerns and whiny complaints. Sometimes I want to put down my pens once and for all, but rarely. More often, as my fingers itch to hold a pen, I hunger to a true thing to say--just ONE--to start me going. It's the kindling thought, the stoke of the fire I'm looking for, the spark that will ignite a blaze from my pen that I watch rush across the page. It's magic and mystery how those thoughts grow from a deep cavern of which I was unaware.
     Sometimes it's just me, recording thoughts I know, thoughts so full of me that I'm swamped with them. Not profound, not even interesting, I'm afraid. Just full of very me. But I think, I hope, I trust, that to get to the caverns of fire, I have to wade through the real geography of my life, the ordinary, sometimes ugly, terrain of the yet-to-be-fully-redeemed self. The already-not-yet quality of my salvation is never more apparent than here, where I unfold my private self. Saved but still sinning. Crying out from who I am to Him who is more. Asking Him to make me like Him rather than leave me to my own real (and yes, often, but not always, ugly!) geography.


Dawn Paoletta said...

But I think, I, the whole last paragraph pack a thunder punch! Powerful...i am so thankful for you, and your transparency with us. Thanks, Carolyn!

Susie - Recovering Church Lady said...

Carolyn, I know just what you mean abut these collections of or scribbles. But there IS treasure mixed in with the day-to-day. Might be only for our eyes but it still gives us a great/or not so great picture of ourselves.
And I am happy to find out your name. I always try to search around for it rather than call you Jeskmom.

jeskmom said...

Yes, Susie,
I've done a very good job of hiding my name...don't know why really. I also do feel like Jeskmom, of course, because I am their mom. Have you ever figured that out? It's my kids' initials. But mostly I am Carolyn.

Kel Rohlf said...

Carolyn (Jeskmom)- I really loved your journal really gets at the core of why we keep a journal. Would you mind if I read this to my art journaling class resonates with me so much and the words kindle in me a desire to go back and explore the geography of my life and His mapmaking abilities. Thanks be to God for prompting you to post this particular post today! Kel

jeskmom said...

Kel--Yes, feel free to use this journal entry. After all, what's it all about if we aren't here to help each other along? I appreciate that the words ring as true to you as they did to me yesterday when I read them again (as if they'd come from the pen of a different woman, which, in a sense they did--a woman 13 years my junior ;)).

quietspirit said...

Carolyn (Jeskmom) Thank you for reminding me why I tryto keep a journal. Sometimes my days are arduous and I just want to get through them. I,too, love that last paragraph.

Dawn Maurice said...

Journaling is such a gift, and prayer journaling even greater as it keeps us connected to God. I'm so impressed you have 76 journals filled up to look back through--wow!