I’ve always had a thing for words.
As a scrawny, white-headed third grader I published my very own book. Sure, “Jennifer’s Magic Mystery” was certainly mysterious (for lack of a better word) and only made possible because of a make-your-own-stuff-and-send-it-off company.
But it was mine, and I was proud of it.
I remember the typewriter in my Nunnie and Grandpa’s sunroom at the back of their house, where my elementary fingers spent hours dancing over the keys. The best part of that dusty ol’ thing was its innovative delete button, which stamped a painfully sheer coating of milky-white smudge over a mistake—something “outdated” typewriters couldn’t do.
It was around the awkward middle school years when I became a professional note-writer. The ancient form of texting. There were notes upon notes upon notes—about friends, about boys, about anything and nothing at all. Actually, can we just take a moment of silence to give honor to the fact that social media wasn’t yet in existence? ALL THE PRAISE HANDS IN EVERY COLOR. Amen.
My 9th grade Sunday school teacher, Jaime, gave me a flowery citrus-colored journal and encouraged me to start scribbling down prayers, verses, and random thoughts about God. So I did. I wrote about what He was showing me and would regurgitate it to unsuspecting peers at a hole-in-the-wall cafe around sunrise every Wednesday.
I still have it—that journal—sitting on a shelf at the back of my closet. That doesn’t make me a hoarder, does it?
I edited yearbooks in high school, studied journalism in college, and continue to be involved with way too many books at one time. Besides the Bible, my favorite is Little Women. Partly because it’s timeless and partly because of the joy I feel when Jo finally breaks through her own wall of silly compositions and mystic fantasies, and instead writes about real life. Her life.
I used to blog off and on, but then life happened. I got busy having babies and nursing babies and chasing babies and launching a few new campuses through our church with my pastor hubby. Somewhere along the way it rightfully lost its spot on the Top Priority List, falling victim to the abandoned blogosphere on the sketchy outer webs.
But here I am again—feeling the pull to make subtle whispers evident through these ordinary buttons.
There’s something about scratching out messy words onto the blank canvas of an empty notebook, a barren screen, or even an unwarranted Starbucks napkin. And I know I’m not alone. Hashing out thoughts on something tangible helps a bunch of us to think, focus, process, and grow. Even worship. When I can’t get the words to leave my mouth, my fingertips might still be persuaded.
Clearly, God started this thing for written communication. He gave us His Word that has been preserved and protected and passed down for thousands of years and buckets of generations.
Philippians 1:10 says, “For I want you to understand WHAT REALLY MATTERS, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.”
That’s it; that’s my goal.
Not only do I want to understand what really matters, but I also want to remember it. 18th century writer Dr. Samuel Johnson said, “Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.” And I couldn’t agree more. (Those dead theologians really knew what they were talking about.)
We forget, don’t we? We forget to remember.
And we could all use some backup every now and then. Reminders that point us back to our Creator, back to the foot of the cross, and back to what matters most.
So remind us, Lord, of you. From here, from there, and everywhere in between.