by Deb DeArmond

“Today I will rejoice. My words will encourage. I will not complain and I will praise your blessed name! I am so grateful for your love, your grace, and your mercy, Lord. Thank you for your Son who saved my life, and for your Holy Spirit who works on me daily, teaching me, guiding me.” 6/29/11

“Tough day. Insurance problems = angry meltdown. Difficult conversation with family regarding financial issues. Flight late. And sadly, I did not choose to rejoice or restrain myself well. Ugly thoughts. I didn’t spew, but I was so stressed on the inside it hurt. Left me sad, heavy, ashamed. Thank you, Lord for letting me come to you for mercy and grace.” 7/11/11

Two journal entries just days apart. The first about living intentionally, purposefully, making choices that honor the life I have in Christ. The other, reflects the reality of letting my flesh set the tone for the day, and the grateful knowledge that He is at the ready with a steady measure of blood bought forgiveness to offer me.

I journal.  For most of the past 20 years, several times a week, I have taken time to record my thoughts, concerns, sorrows, joys, ideas, and general observations about my life, both physical and spiritual. For those who routinely join me in some form of this activity, you will understand when I say, it’s cleansing and soothing and clarifying to write it down. For those who have not journaled, it may sound like the Dear Diary moments of our teen years. “Dear Diary, Gary Parkins smiled at me today. I thought I’d die. He is the cutest ever.” While I do record some of what happened to me on any given day, In my journaling I tend to focus on how I reacted or responded to it, and what I hear from God about it.

It often surprises me, as I read back through the week, to see the patterns, the hits, the misses, and most of all perhaps, God’s constant pull toward growing me up in Him. He’s at work on me and in me.

God honors the concept of writing it down. It was God Himself who inscribed the commandments that were given to Moses atop the mountain. “The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was God’s writing, engraved on the tablets.” Exodus 32:16 The scriptures are full of examples of writing. Paul wrote from every possible location: jail, at sea, on the road, both his travels and his trials. Much of what we know about living life in Christ, we learn in his letters.

“Wait. Let me write that down.” Those words suggest that what was said has meaning, is important, and is worthy of safekeeping, so it will not be lost. I remember a school teacher who once said to me, “I’d hate to see that go into your permanent record.” It was meant to grab my attention and eliminate some undesirable behavior. And it worked. Something written in that context meant it had a life of its own. It was intended to remain alive, well beyond the moment.

Just like my journal. The moments of my life, sifted through the scripture, have become a path for me. A mini-movie of my life, if you will. As I look back over the pages, I become aware of when I am walking in the fullness of His will; when I am kind, loving, generous, aware of others. And when I am not. When I’m on track, and when I’ve cut my own path. Have you ever heard the phrase, you don’t know what you don’t know? Well in those moments, I know. Knowledge provides me a unique vantage point that can encourage at times and correct at others. When I sit down to reflect on the week, the Holy Spirit curls up with me, and we review it together. Sometimes I am startled by the level of emotion flowing from pen to page. Both good and bad. Joyful moments. Moments of disappointment. Moments of discovery and gratitude. It’s all there.

Occasionally I will review old journals – written years ago. And I am amazed by the thread God has woven through my life. His message is consistent and my growth is evident. It’s kind of like seeing a baby at 3 months and then not again until 6 months. The progress is visible and somewhat startling. His faithfulness travels from the page to my heart. And once again, I know, that despite my challenges day-to-day, I am loved by my heavenly Father, with a richness that is impossible to understand. I can also see that He’s helping to grow me up towards the image of His son. What a gift.

“Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2 In other words, keep it out in front of you, so that you don’t lose momentum, always moving forward.

Have you thought about writing it down?


Deb DeArmond: Deb is wife to her high school sweetheart, Ron,  who showed her the path to become a Christ follower 38 years ago. Mom to three incredible sons. Gigi to two perfect grandboys. But Jesus is her favorite, and the guys have learned to live with it. She is a transplanted Californian who has been a proud Texan for almost 8 years and she Ioves the Lone Star state!

She is optimistically mid-life and excited about the next stage of life and what God has for her now.  She longs to see experienced women find their passion and place in the body of Christ, show up and finish strong. One of Deb’s favorite quotes comes from author Agatha Christie, who said, “I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming… suddenly you find – at the age of 50, say – that a whole new life has opened before you.”



  1. 9-19-2011

    Deb, What a wonderful way to caputure our spiritual growth! What great encouragment to look back and see the Father’s presence in our life and how far He has brought us.

  2. 9-19-2011

    Thanks for the refreshing!! I am always encouraging others to journal and this is a great post to help others see the blessings in writing it down. Part of my time alone with God is journaling and writing prayers. Thank you for the encouraging Scriptures, especially Hab. 2:2

  3. 9-20-2011

    Deb, it is wonderful to look back to see what God has done in our lives when we write it down. We think we will remember the moment however it fades with time, when it’s on paper it is never forgotten and meant to be shared with others. I have enjoyed the times you have shared with me. Bless you

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