Maybe you still have a day or two of holiday time left. If so, I hope these journal prompts (designed for you to “prink” over–that’s pray and think) can help breathe some fresh air into your soul in 2018. Maybe you won’t know all the answers to these, and they need to rattle around in your head awhile.
The other night, one of my kids was at his finest. It was as if a switch had been flipped. He went from easy-going to stonewalling us, arms crossed, resolutely stubborn. And man, was I getting the stinkeye.
Though his attitude was not without consequences, God was kind to me. I think He reminded me that disproportionate reactions are a lot of times symptoms that something deeper’s being triggered. Thankfully, this tipped my husband and I off to dig and uncover the problem more than just slam down the symptom.
Because when you’re going through a hard time, life can feel a little…naked. So our emotional safety is directly tied to the degree of acceptance we sense from someone.
The stories happened more often than I’d like to admit, and echoed a truth a friend had told me within my first few months of moving to Africa. “The longer I’m here, the more I realize just how hard it is to help without hurting.”
I’ve heard heartrending stories of boxes of early reading books collecting dust. Sewing machines gone into disrepair, sitting idle for years. Business owners possessing the equipment they need, but selling their goods for less than the goods cost, for lack of basic business training. Adoption funding such widespread corruption that an entire nation must close nearly entirely its adoption doors.
One of the unexpected delights of our final couple of months in Africa was the arrival of a college friend who’s known my husband and I since the beginning. She watched us meet, cautiously date, giddily become engaged. She played the piano when the two of us spring chickens said “I do” forever. Later, I stood with her as she spoke her own vows beneath a spreading tree. And when she visited us in Africa and we stayed up entirely too late, she gave us this gift: I told my husband, “I love that she reminds us how good we are together. That you and I together are a really good thing.”
This year, I’ve kicked off 2107 with questions to help us pursue our relationship with the most potential for fulfillment and gut-level happiness, no matter what’s around the corner. (Check out the previous two sets here and here!)
What names of God most resonate with me right now?
Lord, where do you want to send me?
Consider the questions of God toward people in Scripture—and pray through the answers.
This year, I’ve kicked off 2107 with questions to help us pursue our relationship with the most potential for fulfillment and gut-level happiness, no matter what’s around the corner. (Check out the previous set here!)
1. At times when I feel most worshipful, what am I doing?
2. Spend time thanking God for ten people who are gifts to you in this present time, and ten people from your past. Continue reading
If you like it, please share it! (And consider subscribing up there in the right hand corner.)
This year, I’m gonna party like it’s 2107 with a few questions to help us pursue our relationship with the most potential for fulfillment and gut-level happiness, no matter what’s around the corner. I’m raising my glass: to the One who fills every soul-hole this year. Cheers, friends!
In the Christmas story from the Bible, what character would it be the coolest to be?
What’s one of your favorite activities to do around Christmas time?
What’s one of your best Christmas memories? What did you love about that time?
What is your all-time favorite Christmastime snack?
What do you think the world would be like if God never sent Jesus?
What do you think God would want for Christmas this year? Parents, this is a cool time to talk with kids about God wanting our hearts. My kids also repeatedly ask to use What God Wants for Christmas, a book with surprise gift boxes to open that tell the nativity story. You could use Micah 6:8 to guide you: He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: To do justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Rather than just pushing “good behavior”, this is a chance to show that Jesus is the One who creates this in us!
If you could have one Christmas wish, what would it be?
What one gift would be the most meaningful to you this year?
What’s one of the top gifts you’ve ever received for Christmas?
Remember that moment when Bruce Banner suddenly morphs into the Incredible Hulk? His pupils start glowing; pretty soon his shoes are splitting off his expanding green feet.
Perhaps if my favorite blouse was ripping at the shoulder seams, my own stress identification would be a bit more astute. As it is, sometimes my husband sees my inner Hulk-ette beefing up a lot sooner than I do. (Irritating.) Can you hear me growl, “I’M…..NOT…..STRESSED!”
When I’m under stress, as much as I hate to admit it—people get a completely different me.
Talk about a realization (or more than one) that changed your perspective and understanding of a past event. (i.e. I found out the parents of that bully in school were getting a divorce. I discovered I’d totally misunderstood my sister’s perspective, and she hadn’t been malicious at all.)
When you get to heaven, what are some questions you hope to ask God?
When is one time in life when you felt most alone?
What’s one regret you have of your past? (Have you sought forgiveness from God and the people you affected?)
What are some of your greatest strengths as a spouse?
What is one of your greatest weaknesses as a spouse?
What are some of your greatest strengths as a parent?
What is one of your greatest weaknesses as a parent?
What are your dreams for your kids?
For what do you pray most often?
Like these? Consider subscribing to A Generous Grace and receive a FREE E-BOOK ofDiscussion Questions to Better Understand Your Family’s Subculture. They’re great to process with a friend, spouse, or small group.
Really glad you're here. Welcome to a lingering conversation--about a head-turning, undeserved kindness that's turned my life on its head. This site's about Jesus in a pair of well-worn Levi's: faith walking around in our sneakers, scuffing up against real life and real people.
I hope you'll find some questions worth asking, conversations worth engaging, compassion that's compelling, and practical ideas to knead genuine love into relationships. (...With a side of slightly irreverent humor.)
After five and a half years in Uganda, my family and I have recently returned to the U.S., where we continue to work on behalf of the poor. I write and love on my family from Colorado.