When I purchased my journaling Bible, Amazon.com informed me that people who select my Bible also buy the book Writing in the Margins by Lisa Nichols Hickman. I thought, “Mmm…I never seem to be able to start anything without also reading a book about it.”
I am grateful to Amazon for the suggestion! It is a beautifully written book with lots of encouragement for anyone setting out to read the Bible in a new way. The author describes the book as:
“an invitation to look at the blank spaces of your biblical text and see in the margin around its border an opportunity for a life-giving, chaos breaking, transforming, creative conversation between you and the eternal God.”
At the end of each chapter are some prompts. Since I don’t really have a plan for reading through the Bible, I will allow myself to be guided at first by the author’s suggestions as I get started. Her first suggestion was taking a look at Psalm 1. Here’s what found itself into the margins around that verse in my Bible…
I was struck by the word “Delight”. The blessed man is the one who delights in the law of the Lord, the one who meditates on it day and night. I just can’t tell you what a delight it is to me to find a new way to enjoy scripture. The result of some simple doodles is that I find myself reflecting on the words as I go about my life, day and night.
I also perked up at the words, “In all that he does, he prospers.” (Bear with me, the following story does have a point.) At the end of 2013, a friend asked all of us that are part of a Facebook group to pick a theme word for the upcoming year. The very first word that popped in my head was prosperity; something I had just read triggered the thought. At first, I was a little resistant to really using “prosperity” as my theme word for 2014, but my thinking on the word changed when my friend sent me a long list of synonyms for prosper, prosperity, and prosperous. Some of the synonyms for these words are pretty funny, but what struck me was that so many of the synonyms related to being at a peak. Then on New Year’s Eve, my boss was in a reflective mood and gave me a few words of wisdom: “These are probably the best years of your life Sally. You have your health and your parents. Your children are young and have a bright future ahead of them. You are in your prime.” I began to think of the word that I chose for the upcoming year (prosperity) as permission to slow down and enjoy my life right now. My hope is that by planting myself more deeply in scripture and by engaging God’s word on the pages of my Bible, I will live fully aware of the abundance of God’s blessings!