I’ve taken up a new evening exercise, setting my mind straight after the day’s activities and mental acrobats. Today is a good day to share it with you, as it’s National Handwriting Day!
Here’s a little holiday background for those of you who were in the dark about today’s special celebration:
“National Handwriting Day on January 23rd encourages us to put pen to paper and write out our thoughts. According to the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association, it is a chance for all to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting.NationalDayCalendar.com
“While technology speeds up the writing process and makes communication more efficient worldwide, there’s something to be said for writing something out longhand. Whether it’s a journal, notes, or even a letter to someone, the act of writing with pen and paper is a supremely tactile and patient practice. If it does anything, it forces the body and the mind to slow down and resynchronize.
Look around. In merely seconds, letters and words form when we text or email. Phones transmit our voices in realtime. Once sent or said, those words cannot be recalled.
Meanwhile, writing longhand feels like taking a deep breath.” (NationalDayCalendar.com)
Now that you’re caught up on that, back to my evening exercise!
- There are a multitude of resources online for monthly Scripture writing plans. I found a list I liked and saved a screenshot of it on my phone so I could find it easily each day. This particular plan was posted on Instagram by proverbs_31life.
2. If you know me, you know I like color! I bought a pretty lined journal along with new colored pens to use.
3. Each night I look up the Scripture in several different versions. On this day I wrote out Isaiah 26:3-4 as found in five different translations, using a new color for each version.
By the time I’ve finished writing out the Scripture four or five times, its meaning has begun to sink beyond my mind and into my heart and spirit. It has given me time to actually contemplate both what I’m writing and how it applies to my understanding of God and His work in my life.
Isaiah 26:3 brings back memories of days long gone by.
One summer break during my college years, I worked in the kitchen of a retirement community for Lutheran nuns. The nun in charge of the kitchen was a very kind woman, whose love for God was great enough to be lived out in her love for others.
A wall plaque containing Isaiah 26:3 hung in the break room. I know this is hard to believe, but in those days we didn’t carry the world around in our pockets everywhere we went. There wasn’t much else in that room to look at while I ate lunch each day, and that verse has stayed with me ever since!
Of course it was written in the King James Version:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.Isaiah 26:3 KJV
In the many years since then, God has used this verse over and over again to speak peace to my heart and soul.
When troubles and worries threaten my stability, He reminds me to look up and think on His faithfulness.
When disappointments cloud my mind, He reminds me that His plans will always prevail, in spite of what I see with my short-sighted vision.
When I feel like I’m in the boat with the disciples in the midst of a raging storm, He reminds me not to trust the boat, but to trust the sovereign Creator of the wind and waves, who can still them with a word.
Verse 4 encourages us, “Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD God is the eternal Rock” (NLT). There is no one and nothing else as trustworthy and faithful as our God!
How about you?
- How do you make sure to go beyond simply reading Scripture? How do you take time to contemplate God’s Word?
- What are tools you use to interact with the Bible? Do you use highlighters? Do you journal your thoughts and impressions after reading?
I’d love to hear what works for you!