Gather: To Bring Together; Collect

May the LORD grant all your requests. (Psalm 20:5b NIV)


Thoughts and ideas and inspiration crackle through her soul, like a roaring bonfire.

Quotes and words and sentences stack up, like a cord of wood stored next to the house to stave off winter’s inevitable cold.

She wants to express herself. But first she must gather some kindling. Some books, her journal, a specific one that at the moment is hidden right where she left it. She can’t find her favorite pen. How can a pen get lost so easily? She has numerous pens, but this is the one she wants, right now. She sighs and picks up a different pen.

She carries the pen and her journal, not the one she was looking for, but the one that will suffice. She brews her second cup of coffee, to savor this day at home. A rare chance in an otherwise, surprisingly full life. She prints off the four days of the journal prompts, which she hadn’t completed yet, from FIRE: A 30 Day Journal Project.

Having collected pen, journal, coffee and prompts, she gathers herself into the quiet space of the morning, where her heart has longed to rest for so many days, these past few weeks. She hasn’t really been facing any big crisis, but she resonates with the first quote she reads:

If you’re going through hell, keep going. (Winston Churchill)

The prompt, she was to complete was this one:

In as few words as possible, the particular hell that I am in . . .

She responds, and startles herself by writing, “between adventures.” Her inner critic starts to say, “that’s a silly hell to be in.” But she writes through the taunts of the inner voice:

Between is both frustrating and necessary…what helps me keep going is that between gets me to the next adventure, between is a rest stop, a place to recharge. Fighting between is futile.

Writing through helps her to come to this conclusion:

I have learned how to survive and press on through hellish times. I’m grateful for tough times. I grew in confidence, I learned to ask for help …I’ve learned it’s OK to retreat when it’s really tough, when you are between…

She remembered yesterday, when she and her friend kept bumping up against annoying obstacles. She missed the turn to the trail head, where they planned to run. At the trail head, the section to get to the flat terrain was closed, so they had to run on the rolling hills, and despite aches and pains, they persevered.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame  within us. (Albert Schweitzer)

Whether it’s running towards a goal together, or supporting each other through a crisis, our lives are sweeter and stronger, when we spark each other to keep going.

A desire to spark creativity in others gathers in her soul, so she writes words, or quotes a quote or shares a link from those who have inspired her recently.

Here are a couple sparks to rekindle your creative fire today:

Diana Trout wrote a book about art journaling called Journal Spilling. Here are some videos about her realistic approach to “organizing” her supplies.

Wrangle Your Collage Fodder by Diana Trout

My Journal Kit by Diana Trout

This video by PackerDi inspires me to keep going with my collage passion and to stoke the fires of my vision.

A Vision Booklet by PackerDi

How are you going to keep going today?



Are YOU Ready?

 . . . my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (Psalm 45:1)



Ready or not, here comes September!

All summer, our garage has been filled with remnants of a cardboard kingdom, and sawdust remains from the cool shelf-bench, our youngest son and his roommate built. The cooler temperature prompted me to get out there to sweep, to vacuum, and to cut up the cardboard for the recycling bin. I was ready to use my garage for the car again.

I read two blog posts today that mention “prompt” in their topic:

Inertia by the Slvyr Pen

How to begin keeping a journal or sketchbook by Lisa Sonora

Prompt for today: What’s holding you back? What do you want or need to get ready for? How could writing about inertia help jump-start your forward momentum?




Prompt: Being Ready


So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

(Psalm 90:12 KJV)

Prompt, not only means to move to action, but also describes the actor. I used to think prompt, primarily meant someone who was always on time. But a little dictionary search brought out this nuance, to be prompt means “being ready . . . to act as occasion demands.”( What does it look to be ready?

What are we getting ready for? The tasks at hand. A vacation. A future.

Keeping a journal helps me to be prompt. Some people keep a separate planner or calendar, but I view each page in my journal, as both a daily marker and a record of my “readiness” for life. I write about things like the weather, my exercise, even sometimes what I eat. I reflect on my thoughts and feelings, and sometimes I respond to books I’m reading or just noticing things around me or going on inside me.

Another way that I observe life is by snapping photos of patterns, textures, colors, moments and people who inspire me. 

In my last art class, we were discussing the idea of seeing perfection in the imperfections. Or another way to say it might be, looking for the goodness in the brokenness of this world.

Last week, I posted photos of fresh sunflowers and some basil. I placed the basil in a cup of water. Today, I noticed these surprising white flowers.

One week ago


The sunflowers are fading, but even in their decline, their beauty haunts.


Prompt: Collect your favorite art supplies and try to capture some of the texture or color from the sunflowers. Or choose one of the photos, print it out and write about the image, and how it makes you feel. When you’re done, reflect on anything you notice or anything that surprises you.

If you like, I invite you to share your response in the comments!

If you’re looking for a jump start for your journaling journey, may I recommend Lisa Sonora’s FREE 30 Day Journal Project. Click here to join to receive daily email prompts.

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