Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I was an avid journal keeper until just after I had children. I enjoyed the process of searching for the perfect blank journal, and then sitting in a coffeehouse every morning with my cup, bagel, and pen in order to hand write my thoughts during restful moments of quiet before heading off to work. I believe I spurred on many Trinity gals to the joys of keeping a journal. I pray that these women have continued the discipline.

I suppose my blog is now my journal. It just feels different - almost too easy. There is something so very immediate about the process of writing electronically as opposed to using a bound blank book and a pen for means of documenting personal reflection and contemplation: The ability to get one's thoughts out so quickly, to reread and edit, the ease of sharing so openly, and having an "audience", to name a few. I can get over the fact that I now have difficulty hand writing my thoughts, as I am genuinely thankful for this new outlet. I also know that if I waited for the moment when the timing would lend itself to returning to keeping a handwritten journal, I would pen absolutely nothing.

That, and, with no Cuppa Jo all of you would be bored.

My opinion on blogging is very different than my opinion about scrap booking. For I am actually planning on having my blog digitally reproduced and bound into hard copy volumes for my children. The handwritten journals they will have to fight over. This is definitely a long range goal, as I have almost 8 years of blogging to cut, paste, and transfer to a site that can reproduce it for me. I call this process, "Beaver To Do List: Number 1 - bind the blogs".

One of my coolest entries during my journal keeping years was when God gifted me with the ability to see his good works "blink by blink". It became my buzz phrase with the college girls I was disciplining at the time. I know we all talk a good talk about seeing God's good works and blessings in our lives, and yet, I was finding that some women, myself included, were overlooking the seemingly tiny good works and blessings that God was doling out, resulting in heavy feelings of discouragement and abandonment. The ability to recognize, and feel, and taste His presence was trumped by the need to see something "big". Thus, His morsels of grace were easily missed, as the tendency to search for and notice only the large visual chunks overshadowed His awesome presence.

However, through writing, I had learned for myself, that I would benefit from a walk with Jesus that gave value to the "blink by blink" moments which even though small, were incredibly powerful and sustaining. And thus, I went on a campaign to promote such thinking in the lives of the students with whom I worked, always challenging them to take a second and third and fourth look at their situations, knowing that by doing so, they too, would find a glimmer of hope and God's hand during blinks.

Recognizing God in "blink by blink" moments:
  • Reminds me of God's immediacy in my life down to the millisecond
  • Reminds me of His constant communication with me
  • Reminds me of His love for me by gifting me with several moments of His embrace throughout my day
And this is why, even today when I am completely weary from having slept maybe one hour last night due to being in the grips of worry, that I still know and can state with confidence, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength that my God has a road map for me and my family. He's mapped it. I know this. I am thankful that He is using my very own writings from years ago, to remind me of the truths He has built into my life. For while I am looking for the big blessing of the house being sold, I would benefit from noticing, pointing out, and sharing the "blink by blink" moments that he has gathered and showered upon me. Daily.

Recently, during the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center (right here in Skokie), Elie Wiesel (whose charity lost $15.2 million and his entire life savings to Bernard Madoff) made a quote encouraging us to enjoy the moments of life, rather than the days of life, as life is made up of moments. When I find the actual quote, I'll add it here - as I'm not doing it justice.

So true is this. Both our walks with God, and the dailiness of life are made up of moments (blinks). Perhaps I've gone a bit micro-manager when it comes to walk/running this desert marathon, but if I only keep my eyes on the finish (how much further, its location, what it looks like, when I'll get there, what kind of free food there will be), I will miss the important moments along the way. The cups of water being handed to me for re hydration, the running buddy who can distract me from the physical pain by chatting with me, and the cheers from encouragers and supporters along the path.

Will you join me in seeing God during the "blink by blink" moments of your day?

Blink. Even the tiniest of blessings are huge.


Christi said...

Well said! I agree completely! :)

Anonymous said...

I am so blessed to be married to you. God is good. In all situations, God is good. You teach me and the kids so many things about looking for God in each moment. You are a blessing.


Lauren said...

"We do not remember days... we remember moments." -Cesare Pavese

Joseph said...

Love your marathon analogy at the end.

and Anonymous -- if you are married to Joline, you are not so "anonymous", are you?! ;-)


TropicGirl said...

I love love love that you're going to make your blog into a book for the kids. I'm curious how you plan to do that. I journal, and have said that my journals are to be burned when I die.
However, the blog is just an extension of the journals. In fact, often my blog IS my journal, just typed up with pictures added. If you know how to turn your blog to a book, I have to know!!

And aw, the message from your sweet G!

Cuppa Jo said...

TropicGirl, check out Lulu.com for getting your blog bound. I'm sure there are other options out there, but this is the only one I've investigated (and I use the word investigate very loosely).