discover your created self

Holiday Re-Treat Journal {and RJD Link-up}

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:8 ESV)

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My journal is the place, where I most often pour out my heart to God. And I love that a group of journal sojourners meet once a month to share our treasured thoughts and insights over at Dawn’s place with the Random Journal Day link-up.

A journal can be a quest, of sorts. A place to house questions, to record dialogues with God, to save memorabilia, and to play with art.

I have many journals, for various purposes. So when I read Kathryn Ross’ guest post at RJD, I felt right at home. She, too, loves variety and multiple journals for specific purposes.

To demonstrate one of my “themed” journals, I pulled out last year’s “Holiday Re-TREAT Journal.” I like the word holiday, even though it sometimes gets a bad rap. It breaks down into holy day. And it encompasses more than just Christmas. So this holiday journal is kept for the purpose of housing my holiday hopes and dreams and musings. I call it “re-treat” because I add cozy scenes from magazines where I can “retreat” to write and reflect on the Savior. I also like to treat myself to this journal over and over as visual reminder of God’s goodness to me and my loved ones during this special time of year.

I usually prepare pages beforehand in November, and then enjoy them, and add to them as the holiday season unfolds. I start using it on the First Sunday of Advent or December 1st and go through the beginning of January.

Today’s random page fell open to my discovery of my “one word” for 2014!

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In the past, I used more magazine images to create my pages, but last year I started painting pages in light of my new found love for art journaling.

I leave you with some other examples of how I use my re-treat journal duing the holiday season.

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Recipes I wanted to try…

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A collage of special adopting our new dog (Kokomo)


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A re-treat moment recorded with collage while following along with Lisa Sonora’s Root: 30 Day Journal Project in January 2014

What are some ways will you treat yourself

to solitude this holiday season?


17 responses to “Holiday Re-Treat Journal {and RJD Link-up}”

  1. blessingcounterdeb Avatar

    Beautiful journals Kel! I love to write my thoughts, but I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. My mom received all of the artistic talent in our family. What a wonderful idea to journal holiday tips and recipes, or photos. I can do that! Thanks for the ideas, and for linking at CMB. Blessings!!

    1. Deb…Thanks for stopping by…writing is my primary way of expressing my thoughts to God…my artistic journey started a couple years ago…starting with magazine clippings and collage…little did I know I had a latent artist in me 🙂 God loves to surprise us! Thanks for your blessings! And may you continue to sense His blessing as you write and blog for Him!

  2. Oh, I love this idea- of an art journal prepared pages for Advent or December 1 and then adding to them…I so love mag clippings and collage and kind of go through phases of adding more of that into my journals or not…I did Lisa Sonora’s Root, too and enjoyed that…have you also done Daisy Yellow ? You may have even told me about it…not sure, can’t recall – but I have not felt I combine all in one journal nor am I sure I want to combine all in one…all being the different mediums. I love my main journal as a place to be messy and freely create, explore, scribble and work out my thoughts…but I tend to look for specific avenues to walk down for expressing my way creatively …if that makes sense. I hope to jump into one of your creative journey’s at some point…HUgs! You always inspire, Kel!

    1. Dawn- I totally like how you have journals and various places to pursue your creativity… I keep a separate journal for writing my prayers and to process thinking and decisions…I like to make art journals for the creative outlet and collage is becoming quite a passion these days…I am making a special Advent journal for December this year but I will still have a writing journal to do more in depth writing. I guess the art journal has become a sort of “scrapbook” for me. 🙂

      I love Daisy Yellow! and her ICAD challenge in the summer…I look forward to revisiting your 21 days of journaling in January! Go Dawn!

  3. Kel, your journals are wonderfully creative and so inspiring. When we yield our hands to Him He truly creates works of beauty and I pray He will continue to bless the works of your hands.

    1. Jeannie- Thanks for your kind words of encouragement! I have found so much joy in adding color and art to my journals…He does bless the works of our hands…

  4. kel, I’m so frustrated with this old computer! A couple of weeks ago, it just stopped displaying photos, and when you are talking about pretty colored journals, than that is definitely a hindrance. I can, however, I’m sure see this on the new computer, which is in Sheridan’s room. I can’t access it right now, so Im not sure what you are depicting. Are you saying you prep all the pages randomly, just with anything Christmas-y you may find in magazines or greeting cards, and then you go back and add other images and write about whatever the themes are suggesting, day by day, during Advent. I wasn’t quite understanding yoru process, and it’s hard to visualize since I can’t see anything. Is your journal compltely prepped now? When do you start that process? Love your ideas (even if I can’t see t hem! 🙂 )

    1. Lynni- So sorry you can’t see the images…it does help to see what I am talking about…You’ve got the gist of it though…yes, I pull images, recipes, gift ideas and cozy scenes from magazines for a place to retreat with God in my Advent journaling…this is a special treat that I do for Advent and Christmas only…I started with just magazine images the first couple years, but now I add paint and color…you could use the neocolor II crayons for sure to add to the pages when you journal in it. I do try to finish the prepped pages before December 1st. I will post more about the one I’m doing this year which has been fun…trying to do a two page spread per day…ha! Most times I catch up on the weekend.

  5. I absolutely LOVE your holiday retreat journal! What a great idea! Oh Kel….you got my right brain all excited now! 😀 Hugs!

    1. Dawn- Thanks! I am so glad that this inspires you! And I know you will springboard into some great right brain creativity as you take this idea and make it your own! Have fun!

  6. Hi Kel. New subscriber here, finally. Lynn recommended you ages ago and then I just completely forgot about subscribing.
    I LOVE your creativity in journalling! The only time I’ve ever attempted this was during yet another weight-loss journey I was on. Never thought of using magazine words and pictures in a prayer journal. I too have about 4 journals on the go at any given time, so for me this is a new & exciting concept. Painting in them though? Not sure about that. It doesn’t fit in my creative ‘bent’. I’m a ‘stick-figure’ kind a’gal. Maybe I should step out and try it though. You’ve inspired me.

    1. Jillie- I’m so glad you have subscribed! It’s fun to “meet” again. And congrats again on winning the giveaway…I hope your package arrives soon! I love inspiring creativity…and these holiday re-treat journals are a gift to ourselves…I love meeting with God in various places outside and indoors…I love creating the cozy vignettes in my journals, because I don’t have a fireplace or a mountain cabin or a beach house, but I can imagine my self meeting God in those places with pictures from magazines.
      With my new found love of collage…I am including more and more ARTsy elements…I admire you for sketching in your journals…any creative way to enhance our times with God are pure joy! I look forward to hearing about your journaling journeys, as we get to dialogue here at Nourishment for the Soul. (So glad Lynn introduced us.)

      1. Me too, Kel. Me too!

  7. Jillie, so very glad thatyou and Kel have reconnected! And Kel I am finally seeing the gorgeous images on the new computer….but I can’t always get to Sheridan’s room if she is studying. We need to get this to my study! Love this. Still not sure I am totally comprehending abuot the prep work. How does this differ from just doing an art page? Need your advice here. Love you!

    1. Lynni- So glad you can see the images again…I sent you a link to this site that has great examples of how to incorporate images into a re-treat journal…except I use Christmasey and winter scenes for Advent…you could use old Christmas cards, Christmas catalogs and December magazines…

  8. […] It’s not that mystical. It’s not really magical. It’s practical. But once you start, your imagination joins in and it tells you things like: This is the magic wand  you’ve always wanted. This is your secret garden or private retreat. […]

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About Me

Hi! My name is Kel Rohlf. I am an intuitive mixed-media artist, creative writer and performer. Life is a performance. I often attend.


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