What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Celebration of Journaling- The Beginning of "The Secret Garden Chronicles" Revisited

I used to belong to a wonderful blogging group known as "Random Journal Day", hosted by a very enthusiastic friend, A.K.A. "Enthusiastically Dawn".  Click on this link to Dawn's present day journaling exercise...https://enthusiasticallydawn.com/2018/03/24/an-invitation-to-celebrate-journaling/  and you will realize that she has orchestrated a reunion of sorts for all of us former "Random Journal Day" members, as  well as any newcomers who would like to join in the celebration. 

The idea is to randomly share something from one of your own personal journals...from the past or present time.  We did this for a few years until we kind of all either ran out of material or started pursuing other interests...but it was such a fun time and we were such a lovely group that we knew we had to get back together somehow. 

In the meantime, some of our original group members have even published their own books...Susie Klein formerly known as "Recovering Church Lady", and now of "Walking Butterfly" fame. (click HERE for more details)   Cecelia Lester, A.K.A. "Following My King", and the author of "Times of Trouble Brings Rays of Joy".  And our fearless leader, Dawn Paoletta, of "Enthusiastically Dawn", and the author of "Journaling for Discovery and Delight".  I know there are others, but these are the three that I am most familiar with, and I have purchased each one of these books...and enthusiastically recommend them all!!

So now, for our reunion, I would like to share my most recent "journaling" adventure, which started last year with the creation of my own personal secret garden.  Click Here for more about that story  One thing led to the other as I sat there in my little sanctuary, and finally, God directed me to go get a new "journal" and start writing as I sat there.  The following post is that story. 

I would like to say that I kept up this practice faithfully ever since...well, I did pretty well the first six months or so, and then things got busy....it got hot in the garden...my son got married in the fall, and then it was Christmas, and then it was too cold in the garden...and so on and so on.  I am now trying to get back in the routine, and perhaps Dawn's enthusiastic reminder to celebrate journaling will help me get back on track.  I would like this to become the foundation for my future book someday, so that one day I can be added to that "Hall of Fame" of published authors...but all in God's good timing.

Meanwhile, why don't you join me in a visit to "The Secret Garden":

Original Journal Post: January 24, 2017  
"The Secret Garden Chronicles"

This morning I entered The Secret Garden, to sit and ponder what messages the Lord would send to me through His Word and His lovely creation.

The first thoughts that came to me were:

"How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes even faints for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out 
for the Living God."
Psalm 84:1-2
As I looked above me I could see new growth of leaves on the Wild Black Cherry Tree that will help shade the Secret Garden throughout the summer months and also provide natural food for the birds.  This brought a smile to my face and joy in my heart for the many ways the Lord provides for His children and creation.

And then I began to sing the chorus (written by Matt Redman) that actually comes directly from Psalm 84:

How lovely is Your dwelling place
O Lord Almighty for my soul longs
And even faints for you

For here my heart is satisfied
Within Your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of Your wings

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

One thing I ask and I would seek
To see Your beauty
To find you in the place Your glory dwells

My heart and flesh cry out
For you, the living God
Your spirit's water to my soul
I've tasted and I've seen

Come once again to me
I will draw near to you
I will draw near to you
Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere

As I was reading these verses and singing this song, my eyes were lifted to the treetops surrounding me, and it truly felt like I was sitting in a lovely tabernacle, with the perfectly blue sky as the ceiling, and the treetops were pointing up like a church spire, lifting their hands in praise toward God Almighty.

And then I know I heard God say to me to start writing these thoughts down as I sit here in the garden...this is what He spoke to my heart:

"Don't wait and try to remember the words I speak to you 
when you get back inside the house to your computer...
but GO, get a new journal and begin to write
the messages as I tell them to you.
I want you to write a journal from
The Secret Garden...
My Own Messages to you from My Heart."

A little later my hubby and I took a ride to the nearest store where I could find a new journal book and begin writing...so here it is...

This may be the beginning of some very special communications between God and me...and I look forward to  sharing what He wants to teach me here in this place that has been set apart for prayer, worship and meditation on God's Word.  

Thus begins 
"The Secret Garden Chronicles"

Then I was directed to Psalm 86:10-12

"For You are great,
and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.

Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your Name.

I will praise You,
O Lord my God,
with all my heart.
And I will glorify Your Name forevermore."

Yes, Lord, This is my prayer as I begin this new adventure in The Secret Garden with You!
Make Your Presence known to me Lord...here in the "Secret Place of (Your) Tabernacle."
(Psalm 27:5)

"One thing I have desired of the Lord,
that will I seek;
That I may dwell in the 
house of the Lord
all the days of my life
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in His temple.

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavillion;
In the SECRET PLACE of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be 
lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer 
sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes I will sing 
praises to the Lord."
Psalm 27:4-6

Thank You, Lord, for speaking to Me today.  I am ready to do Your will!  Amen.

Back to the present:
I hope you enjoyed this visit to The Secret Garden today.  I hope to see you again soon!!
Be blessed, my friends...and be sure to write it all down when it happens...or even when it doesn't happen...write it down! It's all good!


  1. Replies
    1. Oh, thank you Aritha, and welcome back to The Secret Garden Chronicles!

  2. This makes me incredibly happy! I really can't wait for you to share whatever you feel God is leading you to share. Funny thing, I actually still remember starting my blog because God was telling me to share the insights He allowed me to have...and I put it off so long that on one particular outing I felt like I could not continue NOT sharing or it would be in direct disobedience to God's prompting in my life...it led to that first blog post, despite barely knowing what a bog was! lol...and to some of my dearest long term friendships....and encouragers of my faith and writing! Praise HIm! THis post is just so typical of your beautiful heart...THank you for jumping in once again!

    1. Thank you, Dawn, for your awesome, encouraging, enthusiastic support...always! You are a born leader and coach...and I've missed you! Maybe this will be the start of something even better and brighter. Bless you for opening your heart and journaling experience to prod us slow learners along!! :)

  3. You do indeed have a special ministry, Pam, and it comes from such a beautiful secret garden through blessings from above! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Terri! I appreciate those kind words and encouraging thoughts. I pray that I will make a more dedicated effort to continuing this "journal" ministry. I seem to have gotten off the track and need to get back on. One step at a time...

  4. Love this post so much dear Pamela! So much beauty in your yard and in your heart. Thank you for sharing it all with us so perfectly.

    1. Thank you, Susie! It is so good to be reconnected with you and Dawn like in "days of yore"...I know you are a busy lady now with teaching and family commitments, and Dawn is also busy with her life...and well, so am I, but maybe we can all try to get back into some kind of routine again. I've missed our deep sharing from the heart journals...but perhaps God has a new plan. It's all good. Thank you for stopping by for a visit. It's always a pleasure and joy to chat with you.

  5. This was a blessing to read, Pamela! I read it last night and then came back this morning to read it again. I like the thought of looking up at the trees of your outdoor cathedral. :)

    And I remember Enthusiastically Dawn! I used to read her blog all the time. Recovering Church Lady too.

    1. thank you, Sandi. You and I would both enjoy the Secret Garden...looking up at the outdoor cathedral is something I do a lot of. It's nice to know I'm not "crazy"...or, maybe you are just crazy like me! Love it. Thank you for appreciating what this is...

  6. This is such a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing the words God spoke to your heart out in the garden. I always seem to feel closest to Him in nature and find myself singing "In the Garden" during our times alone together. He does indeed walk with us and talk with us there.

    I'm so glad Dawn has organized this reunion. While I've grown in my journaling, I think, I've drifted in my blogging. It is a sweet treat to revisit all of you and see where the years have taken you.

    1. Oh, Stacy, I do sing "In the Garden" so often, especially when I walk out in the early morning, 'while the dew is still on the roses", And yes, Jesus does walk with me and talk with me...such a precious time. Thank you for visiting the Secret Garden with me. Do come back.

  7. Oh my Goodness!!! Pamela I have tears in my eyes after reading this wonderful post!!! I write...I TRY to write!! I TRY to follow God's lead and what He is asking of me; and it's HARD!! My day to day life is crazy as ever, with my husband who has dementia and is getting worse!! I try every day to walk with God, and I believe I can, with YOUR help reading YOUR blog!!! Thank you so much for sharing; and thank you Dawn P. for this awesome reunion...I think this is what I have needed to begin to share (AND read) again!!!

    1. Dear Barbara, Thank you so much for your kind words. You have made me cry a little too, as I think of you wanting so much to be able to sit down and write, but your hands are full right now. Your ministry is your husband, "who has dementia and is getting worse." I have had to care for first my parents and then my mother in law with dementia and other ailments, and I KNOW how tiring and exasperating that can be. I pray that you will be able to get some respite time for yourself during the week...time that you can get alone with God, whether it be in a corner of your house, outside on a porch or in a chair in the yard...wherever you can be alone for a few minutes and have time to pray, rest, and listen to God has He ministers to you. Praying that you will have some help...and that when help comes you can take advantage of that time to take care of YOU. Keep a little journal nearby, and write down the thoughts that the Lord gives you throughout the day as you can. They don't have to be cohesive as you write them. Later you will go back and see how God was ministering to you in little bits and pieces. Praying for you now, dear friend. May God give you peace and rest.

  8. Pamela- So good to read of how God continues to draw you to Himself through journaling. The Scriptures you shared today resonate with me, as I hear God calling me to "tabernacle" with Him in nature and through studying His word. Blessings-Kel

    1. So wonderful to hear from you again, Kel! It's been a long time! I trust you are doing well...and I pray that you are able to find that "tabernacle" with God in His beautiful places of nature and in His Word. He is there waiting for us...we just need to take the time to listen...

  9. Pam, thank you for sharing this post on journaling. As I read your writing, I can tell you're writing from your heart. Journaling is a meaningful and therapeutic activity. And to hear from God and then have the freedom to share some (or all!) of it is amazing.

    Thank you for being such a wonderful friend and encourager on this grand journey of faith!

    1. Thank you, Kim, for your faithful witness and friendship. You are correct in that journaling is "a meaningful and therapeutic activity". I need to make myself sit down and do it more often, because it does cause me to think deeper and listen harder to what the Lord is trying to tell me. I do much better at "listening" when I am writing it down. (It's the old secretary in me I guess...) Have a blessed Easter weekend.

  10. Pamela, I am so glad to meet you! I have been *restlessly* jumping all over in your blog site, starting with your linked post about your son's Christmas gift to you. Ah, that bench! What a beauty! And in a dumpster. Good on your son! And your hubs, too, for somehow catching your "vibes." Just a few years ago I myself started "building" a "girl garden" for just the same purpose as yours (and well, yeah, growing some things, too...) The last two or three years I have been aiming to make that garden easy enough to work in that I might be able to continue it into my really old age. But getting there has been *hard work*. So I "get" your restless energy aimed toward resting in Him in that special place. Seeing the bench really made me sit up with interest, because one of the nicest things that happened in my early "garden-building" phases was also the gift of a bench! And what a difference it made for me and my time in that garden. In warm spring and summer, it is my go-to spot for meeting with God.
    So I really enjoyed this journal share, and feel I've found a kindred spirit! Happy garden time, 2018--finding rest in it, and Him!

    1. Thank you, Sylvia! So wonderful to make a new friend here in "the secret garden"! I love that you also have a special place, "a girl garden"...a place for you and the Lord to meet and "rest", in between gardening, of course! I don't get to sit in my garden as much as I'd like these days, but I enjoy just walking through and watering the plants and listening to the birds sing, and rejoicing in God's beauty all around. I must go check out your site and get to know you better as well! Blessings to you today...


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