Tuesday, March 03, 2009


I read many blogs, but there is one in particular that never fails to inspire me: it speaks to me as a mother, as a child of God, as a writer ... and it also stirs up a desire for greater creativity and beauty in my life.

I've not met Joanna, but her sister and I attended freshman year of college together and later became friends through our participation in a young marrieds' Sunday School class. Somewhere along the way I was introduced to Joanna's blog and was captivated not only by her photography, but also by her depth of insight. We have since interacted via e-mail a couple of times, particularly last year when I was asked to share on the topic of journaling with one of our ladies' classes at the seminary. Thanks to that conversation and to reading Joanna's blog, I now have half a dozen journals of my own on different topics - devotional journals; journals for writing letters to my children; for recording "God-sightings" in my life; even to record ways in which my husband is a blessing to me.

I need to do better at writing in these more regularly, but I think the essential reason I have them is that I want to experience life and its moments in a deeper way. It is so easy to rush through each day and accomplish only superficial things. I want to connect with my family on a deeper level. I love reading Joanna's insights about who her children are, and I am in awe of the ways in which she works to develop creativity and creative thinking with them - her post today about their shadow box treasures being a case in point!

While on pre-field ministry, we spent a lot of time in the car. In many ways, that was a sweet season with our children. They were young enough to be fairly flexible with our travels, and we tried to make memories along the way by looking up special things to do in the places we visited - from children's museums to butterfly gardens to walks along the shores of one of the Great Lakes. Now that we are in the schooling stage of life and in the midst of a new ministry here in Iquique , everything seems busier and crazier and it takes more effort to slow down and spend quality time with one another.

Mainly, though, I think it takes being intentional (to quote Dr. Randy Carlson - another memory from our many hours in the car was listening to his parenting show on the radio) and that is something Joanna's blog reminds me of on a regular basis. I want to be intentional not only in my parenting, but also in my relationship with my husband and most importantly in my walk with the Lord. It is a goal that I do not always achieve, but one to which I don't want to stop aspiring!

And for that, I appreciate the inspiration of others who encourage me along the way. :)


Anonymous said...

Steph, thanks for posting Joann's blog. I found it very creative and inspiring. I may even begin to journal again, even started this morning before I read your blog. I like your idea of keeping separate journals for different ideas and themes. Oh my, so much that one could do if rightly motivated! Love you!

Anonymous said...

I came over to tell you that we our about to fill out the app. for adopting in Ethiopia, you were the first one I thought of to tell, of the friends I have met through the blog, and wanted to share with you before I talked about it on my site.
I was so blessed to find the surprise waiting for me on your site, you have no idea how it encouraged me, thank you!

Love, JO (meanderings)