I have big news today. BIG. After months of anticipation, the Undone Is Beautiful Journal is NOW AVAILABLE! Hardback, full color pages, quotes from the book and inspirational verses on every page. I. LOVE. IT. Even better? I’ve put together a special Christmas gift package just for YOU!

Here’s the scoop: You can get Undone {the memoir} AND Undone Is Beautiful {the journal} for ONLY $20 TOTAL. Yup, that’s right. Only $20. But you can only get this Christmas special for a short time here. Stock is limited, so grab gifts for your favorite friend, mom, neighbor, sibling, teacher, Bible study leader (maybe even Santa himself) SOON … plus one for you too, of course. I want to make sure you have this before 2016 begins!

Here’s why.

Part of the reason this release is extra special to me is because journaling has long been a practice of mine. However, over the past twelve months, journaling has transformed from a “nicety” to a “necessity.” In all seriousness, it was key to helping me get through unbelievable circumstances.

For those who’ve never tried journaling—or panic at the thought—it doesn’t have to be a chore, I promise. I have zero time or energy for that. Instead, journaling can be a lifeline. Here are a few ideas to help you begin a journaling practice that will breathe fresh air into your undone life:

  1. Determine a Purpose: Over the years, I’ve had various journaling practices. Early on, my journal was a record of daily activity, like walking through the details of each day. Then it became more a collection of prayers. This year, my daily journal practice was all about searching for evidence of the Divine. The reason? I knew suffering would make it ridiculously easy to assume God either didn’t exist or didn’t care. Before the pain hit its peak, I determined to find one evidence of God’s presence every day. Some days it was a verse that came to mind at just the right time. Other days it was an unexpected text, gift or visit from a friend. I remember one instance when a smoothie showed up on my front step at the exact moment I needed it. HELLO. All of those seemingly random coincidences? They went in the journal, marked with the date. On the days when God seemed distant, they served as hard proof otherwise.
  2. Make a Promise: Although I knew I’d have far more days when I didn’t feel up to the practice, I made a promise to myself to do it anyway. At times, this amounted to only two or three minutes, the most my sick self could handle. But it wasn’t about the time invested; it was about making God’s presence more visible than my circumstances.
  3. Allow Creative Freedom: Historically, my journaling practice involved writing long amounts of text in pen. Not this time. Due to the fact my life was absent so much hope, this time I used different colored markers. I filled page after page with colorful glimpses of joy in difficult circumstances. In short, this rule involved throwing away the rules. I let the heart govern the practice. In a way, it helped bring my heart back to life.
  4. Involve Friends & Family: Perhaps the most unusual part of my journaling practice this time was the fact that I involved my community. Due to the fact that I couldn’t eat meals with my family for months at a time, I often sat at the dinner table with my journal and markers while my family ate. At times, I asked them to write in the pages, including their observations of God’s presence. Occasionally, a friend joined us and I asked her to write a note or two. The result? I now have a journal sprinkled with their handwriting and stories as well as my own.

My point is simple: A journal serves you, not you the journal. Regardless of how you choose to use it, the end goal is the same. As little control as we have over the details of our lives, we have absolute control over how we respond to it. A journal helps us process the losses and struggles while nurturing a perspective that lifts us above the circumstances themselves.

The best part of all? I now have twelve months and 130 pages detailing the evidence of God’s presence through the most difficult season of my life. An unparalleled gift to me and my family.

The new year is only 31 days away, my friend. We have no idea what 2016 holds, but you and I can choose to make peace with it before it comes. And the Undone Is Beautiful Journal is a great way to start off the year strong.

How have you benefited from a journaling practice?

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