discover your created self

What’s in my bag

I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too—your reassuring presence, coming and going.This is too much, too wonderful—I can’t take it all in!

(Psalm 139:5-6 The Message)


Gathering my Bible, my favorite bag and my stack of devotions and heading to a secret place to meet with Jesus, lover of my soul brings great delight and calm into my day.

I long for this time like my first cup of coffee in the morning.

Yesterday got away from me and I missed connecting and lingering with the triune God, who bids me to come away as often and as much as I want.

Oh how I need Thee . . . every moment.

This day, I unpack my bag to share what delights me, as I yield to the welcoming presence of Abba God.

A list of potentials ways to hear His love filled voice:

The Literary Study Bible (Crossway)
Prayers for a Woman’s Heart (Julie K. Gillies)
The Listening Heart (Judy Gordon Morrow)
The Language of Letting Go (Melody Beattie)
Proverbs: The Ways of Wisdom (Kathleen Buswell Nielson)
Art supplies
Magazines for collage
A library book: The Sketchbook Challenge (Sue Bleiweiss)

I won’t necessarily use everything that I have gathered, but having these items in my bag or nearby invite me to settle my heart and cultivate the discipline and joy of listening.

What’s in your “bag” that settles your heart into God’s presence?




5 responses to “What’s in my bag”

  1. lynndmorrissey Avatar

    Lovely, Kel. I do prepare a bag when I tryst with God in a sidewalk café, B & N, the park, a hotel lobby….but mostly, I meet with the Lord over two cups of strong Irish tea (or British) at the kitchen table (and in my study or solar, in front of a fire, in the winter). Bibles and books are strewn everywhere. And of course, pens, china markers for highlighting, my journal, and collage supplies with gluestick and those fabulous oil crayons you recommended. Today I read from The Message Bible (though usually NIV), Valley of Vision (marvelous, convicting, soul-stirring Puritan prayers), and lately I have the habit (which is not always good 🙂 ) because it *can* become distracting, of reading through several books simultaneously (Buechner’s Alphabet of Grace, Christin & Tom Sine’s Living on Purpose, Philip Yancey’s Vanishing Grace (I’m so upset by all the civil and racial unrest in our country), Patricia & Alana Raybon’s Undivided, Tim Keller’s Prayer, Os Guinness’s Renaissance. There are actually more, including three on the Reformed faith from my pastor (yes, I borrow hid books, too). I need to read THROUGH each one, one at a time, probably. Oh, and for the journaling course you and I will be facilitating, I’m reading lots of books on “play,” and have reread Laura Boggess’s marvelous and lyrical Playdates with God. I LOVE that you are reading my dear friend and editor Judy Gordon Morrow’s The Listening Heart. It was Judy who caught the vision for my book about prayer-journaling, Love Letters to God, and we had souls and hearts knit together whenever we talked about our journals. Now we are friends. I was fascinated to hear about the ways in which God spoke to her in her journals. In fact, she and I were just emailing yesterday about her wonderful book (my word for it!), and so I’m glad that you and your friends are reading it. I will direct her here. She is one of the loveliest Christians Ive ever met, and she writes and lives straight from a heart shaped by the Lover of her soul–Jesus–like you do, Kel! I love you too. Oh, and your bag? Reminds me of my dear friend, author and speaker, Emilie Barnes’s prayer baskets. I have two of the big ones, and they are a lovely way to tote “quiet time” things about the house. She adds a box of tissues (for tears of joy and sorrow shed as she pours out her heart to God), and also pens and note cards. God always lays someone on her heart to contact during her quite time, and I daresay, I’ve been so fortunate to receive many handwritten notes from Emilie. She is a true encourager–also like you!

    1. Lynni- Thanks for a peek into your “bag” and recommended reading list (even though you didn’t day that, of course I like to peruse any books that you mention…my reading style is very similar to yours. Cheers! And enjoy the Lord Jesus at your daily tea time together! Love and hugs!

  2. I have the Gillies and Beattie books. The Gillies is one of my all time faves. It is a fantastic book, don’t you think?

  3. Oh, lookie! I did not even notice, Lynn’s comment…I love when you are both together, This is more soul happiness than I can handle in one moment! lol! Hugs to you ladies, well…if Lynn says an author caught the vision for her book, then I must read that author…So you both have convinced me I should look into the Listening Heart…I think that is exactly what I have been communictaing on my Journaling your Journey [with Jesus] series. I have to be honest, I have been really only reading the Bible lately… but my book stacks do overflow. I have been simplifying to the point of emptying my basket to Bible, Journal, pen…I let the planner wait until later as not to disrupt my inclining ear from His still, small Voice!

    HUGS! I love you both very much and am grateful for our connecting. My heart is very happy at this moment!

  4. expectantlylistening Avatar

    What a lovely peak in your bag, and inspiration for an individual retreat time. I’m off to look up some of those books too!

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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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