Divine Organization – Prayer and Theology Journal

On a earlier post I talked about getting back on the saddle and renewing my work/life vows. Another step that I am taking is starting a prayer/theology journal to organize my thoughts and study different sacred works, starting with the Bible and following with other sacred texts and authors . Of course this will become a lifetime activity, as I have felt the need to learn more about different faiths on this planet. I am not pursuing a degree in theology but instead want to learn as much on my own. After all, our time on this planet is so short, I think not enough to learn and enjoy everything that we want to experience.

This journal is divided into three sections – Journal – Theology/study – Prayers. Of course being creative, it cannot just be a regular journal, so I took my time to find the perfect one for me and did some decoration to its pages as well. This particular one I found at Staples, the same day I went looking for the huge binder for my Home/work/life Management System (see earlier post). The cover art couldn’t have been more fitting for this type of journal. I find that taking a bit of time in the morning to meditate and learn helps me become more productive during the day, as well as setting the mood.

Here is what it looks like.

Prayer/Theology Journal

Prayer/Theology Journal

Decorated pages

Decorated pages

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Of course, as I continue this part of the journey, I will end up needing more journals, but I am happy to combine my regular journal-writing practice with the study of the sacred texts, and into a devotional time. It works for me. In searching for a better way to do the study part, I will keep some points in mind.

  • Start the study with my faith (Christianity/Bible) before moving on to other faiths
  • Pay attention to the title, time, and writer or writers, as well as language (original) and how translations have affected the book. In addition, how different groups have adopted variations on interpretation (for example – Christians and Jews interpret the book of Jeremiah differently).
  • Note any main topics/ideas of a particular book, chapter, or passage and cross-reference.
  • Note my interpretation and application to my life

One thing that I am not doing is following a particular study program/system because I don’t want to rely on a sole interpretation, but will use any material that will enrich my understanding or offer cross-reference points and enhance the learning experience.

 

 

Home – Work – Life Management System

One thing that I needed to do was to consolidate my home, work, and personal logs into one mega system that would make tracking things in the future easier. I’ve tried the electronic method (s) and it doesn’t fill all my needs, so I thought about it and came up with a solution.

This idea came to me after trying various ways of organizing myself throughout the day and beyond and using various tools, which led to scattered efforts and duplicates faltering my purposes and hindering progress. Because I work mostly from home, it works for me, but it wouldn’t work if I had to carry it around. In that case, a small agenda will do. It can always be transferred to the main log. What I had to eliminate is mostly duplicate calendars that made things confusing at times.

Now, I keep everything in one big binder under different tabs. I bought the biggest binder I could find at Staples. I separated it into three main areas – home, work, personal, and kept the months from January through December as a separate section. Later on, I added a miscellaneous section, and one for notes. The way I organized these sections works better for me, and my working style.

In the Home section I track everything related to home keeping, including projects, to do’s, chores … I added two subcategories – budget and expenses. The work category is divided into four sections – writing, book marketing, future projects, and The Owl, Book & Candle. The personal section has to do with personal goals, health, dreams … . The calendar section is where everything is scheduled monthly, weekly, and daily. In addition, each month has a to do list, as well as a monthly goal section, and project section. Each month has a pocket sleeve for important information, or things that will come up that month. The other sections have a pocket as well. I added a dashboard to the personal section, to highlight things that I want to prioritize and to include any uplifting thoughts or inspirational quotes at the time. The miscellaneous and notes section serve to keep anything going on that has not yet been scheduled or assigned a category, or may not fit yet into any section. Notes will track any new ideas that need follow-up in the future but do not fit in the calendar yet. In addition, there are certain things that I do daily and some things that are always done quarterly and yearly that required a check list, so I don’t have to write those over and over. I didn’t want to use a standard checklist, so I came up with a check list that uses icons that I can cross out, and visually tells me quickly what I did and what is left to do on that day. I added a small to do section to it as well. It all fits in one sheet of paper and it is divided by sections – work, Me (personal and chores), weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. These are things that have to be done always. I added a fun and other tab for things that may come up in planning that day. So far it is working great.

The result is a mega life management system that takes a lot of space, is very heavy, but most important, works for me.  I wanted to show you some pictures to give you an idea but for some reason the WordPress picture feature is not working today, even that I still have tons of space available. If I am able to figure out what is wrong with it I will post the pictures.

I hope this idea inspires you.

Home Management System

Home Management System

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Here’s the Icon sheet

 

 Note: I was unable to upload the pictures while in Explorer; however, by changing to Firefox, I was able to do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s New

To me, reviews are just opinions and the reason I never leave negative reviews. What I don’t like someone might enjoy. When I enjoy a book I leave a positive review, and if I think the book will be of great help to writers I will mention it here. I just finished reading Never Too Late – Your Roadmap to Reinvention by Claire Cook. I enjoyed this book. It is her first non-fiction and shares her experiences as a best-selling author and her views on reinvention. It is written in a conversational and warm tone, as she talks to the reader and shares her wisdom through many years of hard work and dedication to the craft. She shares many personal and significant experiences that many writers will appreciate. The book is great for aspiring writers who are looking for an honest and real view of what navigating these waters feels like. In addition, it will benefit people who are on a journey of reinvention and betterment of their lives. As most of you know, Claire Cook is the author of many novels and she has a unique style. One of her first novels was made into a movie – Must Love Dogs.

I added her book to my website under the recommended reads on writing. In addition, I added a FAQ on writing and indie publishing. I am planning on sharing a few posts on what I am doing to get back on the saddle and sort of renew my vows to myself and my work/life. I see it as a way of reinvention or starting a new page. There is no such thing as jumping out of your skin into another but you can certainly shed off what doesn’t serve you anymore. It is one journey with many roads, detours, and wherever you need to turn, backtrack or rest along the way, there is a place to reflect, breathe, and figure out your next step. After all, it is your journey and you make it whatever it may be.

Back on the Saddle and the Need for a Blank Slate

Sometimes, when you come to a halt, being that a physical, material, emotional, psychological, or spiritual pause, the need to start fresh arises. After change, a rock on your boat, or any kind of disturbance, there is that silent pause, a very personal and intimate moment that only I recognize, and the prelude to what comes next in action. It is not so much the defining moment but the silent moment that makes the next one possible – whatever I may or may not decide – choose – act. It may be a source for strength or not, because it depends on how I embrace change, view it, and the emotions/feelings that I associate or attach to it. From that silent moment on, I either get back on the saddle (even in the midst of change) or not.

It is at that moment of truth that the need for a blank slate presents itself, summoned by vision and attitude, faith and determination. Back on the saddle again, I resolve to start on a blank slate, or a new page. One thing I know for sure is to change the ink, to not write in old ink on the pages of the new journal of life. A blank slate is a wonderful start, even if it may not look it right away. Vision becomes clearer as the writing starts once more.

We are writers of our lives. Sometimes we write to slow, too fast, or scribble; other times, we run out of ink in the middle of a page – an important page many times – and we pause, refill, and continue writing the great novel of our lives, which is eternal.

 

Adopting a Life Quote or Inspirational Motto

Thank you to all who visited the blog while I have been absent recuperating from a broken arm. I am back to writing and happy to be back blogging. I had plenty of time to ponder, and of course, the mind starts asking questions and probing the spirit. I asked myself – “At this stage of your life, what would be your inspirational motto; what words would you live by now?” Immediately, I searched for an answer and I found it in one of my character’s lines – Dinorah Sandbeck (The Dinorah Chronicles – The Book of Sharon). I decided to make it my own and designed a simple logo that I could place in my journal, planner, and anywhere else as a constant reminder. You will see it in this blog as well. I used Microsoft Office Publisher to create it. Here it is.

The Dinorah Chronicles - Ramblings of the Spirit

The Dinorah Chronicles – The Book of Sharon

It is important to me that I live with meaning and purpose, and I welcome any idea that will inspire me to do so. Life is full of seasons, and each season brings its own inspiration – different for everyone. I am starting a new season and with it an array of motives, ideas, feelings and emotions, spiritual and material experiences, and the unexpected, which I welcome with open arms (pun intended).

What about you? Have you thought about what season are you in at this time? If you were to adopt a life quote or inspirational motto, what would it be? I hope that you give it some thought and design your life logo to inspire you during your season (or seasons to come). For me, it will be interesting to see when the creation of another logo is inspired by another season as it arrives. For now, I will enjoy this one. Feel free to comment and share your life motto with us.

Eternal Fibers of the Soul

I am an observer of life by nature. Even as a child, I spent hours in solitude observing and thinking (according to my mom). While going to my physical therapy sessions, I have been able to meet and observe many of the people working very hard to heal their body. This experience inspired this poem.

 

 

Eternal Fibers of the Soul

 

Broken promises, broken dreams

Broken bones, broken links.

Stretched fibers of the soul,

Ligaments of faith, wisdom, and hope.

 

Pieces coming together,

Bits of healing, bits of pain,

Bursts of living, crying, hustling

Not in vain.

 

Crooked steps,

Blind hope turns to faith,

Reviewed, renewed, redone,

Outstretched but not undone.

 

Eternal soul

Fibers of humanity

Flesh and bones

All in one, one in all.

Ouch and Developing Hind’s Feet

Life is full of serendipity and synchronicity, and although time (timing) plays a role, it truly does not matter how long it has been, how many years have gone by, because when life, God, the Universe … fill the blank — wants to convey a message to you, everything comes to a halt so you may listen and pay attention. It has been my experience.

As a quick update, and following my earlier post, I broke my right arm near the shoulder, so it has been painful and I am undergoing physical therapy. I have not been able to tend to my writing as it was painful to write, but I am feeling better now. During this time, I have done a lot of reading. Right now I am reading a book that I read about 20 + years ago – Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard – an allegory dramatizing the journey each of us must take before we can live in “high places.”

The book was given to me by a priest. I read the book when I was younger (much younger) and I loved it. It inspired me then, but little did I know the difference that the span of 20+ years makes when you read it again. I had forgotten about the book. I had lent it to a friend, years had gone by, and out of sight out of mind. Recently, I got a package in the mail from my dear friend, and in it I found the book with a lovely note that expressed how she was organizing her home and found the book and was returning it to me “since books are like children and should not be separated from their parents for too long” (her own words).  When I saw it, I became excited since I had forgotten about that book entirely. Then I thought, “there is a reason why I should be reading this book now, and I believe that there is a message in it for me.” Little did I know that the book contained the wisdom I needed at this moment, but moreover, the words were new to me; a different kind of understanding developed this time, as I read it. Is it the wisdom of years and experiences gone by or the need for those words at this moment? Maybe a combination of both, but I am grateful to my dear friend and I believe that she was inspired to send me the book that my soul needed now while many of my systems are being tested. How beautiful and amazing life is despite the many tests and situations it presents us with, when we least expect them. It all ties in and we are all connected in this beautiful reality and beyond.

We live in a material and dimensional reality which many times we measure by L (long) x W (wide) x H (high) but when we halt, listen, and yearn for more we can start living by another reality L (life) x W (wonder) x H (heights/new heights) and experiencing existence at another level, more meaningful, more magical, more divine. Here I leave you with another inspirational picture – a flower from my garden that may seem simple at first glance but which contains a whole universe when we look at it closely.

Photo by M.A.D.

Photo by M.A.D.

 

 

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