discover your created self

A Book, A Movie & Random Journal Day

And the Lord answered me:

   Write the vision;
    make it plain on tablets,
    so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2 ESV)


Write words. That is my mission statement. It’s simple, but full of potential. Writing gives me a way to process my thoughts. So, I keep a journal.

And since it’s Random Journal Day/Weekend, I thought I’d share some insights I have been recording in my journal, as a I read the book The Journal Keeper: A Memoir by Phyllis Theroux. To be honest, I cannot remember what prompted me to request this book from the library, but it has been a timely companion.

This book has been a comfort to me in so many ways. She writes about aging, how she relates to her grown children, her relationship with her mother, her small town experiences, and her writing journey. I find myself writing down quotes and noting books she mentions.

Today, as I wrote down one of her quotes about journals, I thought of our RJD community, and how keeping a journal searches our souls and gives us direction and hope.

Phyllis Theroux describes her relationship with her journal:

Rarely do I consult my soul without a prop like this pen and journal, which simultaneously obscures and preserves what emanates from within.

As I kept recording more of her words, like collecting shells at the beach, I thought maybe I needed to add her book to my collection.

As I pondered this desire to own her book, I entered these words into my journal:

I’m reading from a borrowed library book, which ” forces” me to respond to the book in my journal, rather than in the margins or with underlining and marks on the page. Of course, this makes me think I should buy my own copy, but would I ever read it again? Or is this an experience for now? A book chosen for me by the divine Librarian, for such a time as THIS.

As I read [her book] I want to write down all her references to other books, poems and authors. She makes me smile. I want to quote her, learn from her. To live in a smaller world–yet expand my imagination and travel more either in real life or through reading.

After I finished writing this entry, I flipped to the back of the book, I found that she added a Reading List, so I didn’t need to record the list in my journal after all.

This evening, I put her book down for awhile, so I could savor it more later. Instead, I decided to watch a movie that my sister recommended: The Book Thief. It’s strange how a book, a movie or a blog post can transport and connect us at the same time.

I knew that the movie would make me cry, but I was surprised by this one scene that moved me so deeply.

A German family hides a young man during World War II. The daughter and he discover their shared love of books and words.

For Christmas he gives her a gift. A re-purposed book, which he paints over the pages, so she can use it as a journal. She opens it to the first page, and a Hebrew word greets her. She asks him what does the word say. He replies, “Write.”

Tears caught in my throat, as I knew that this invitation to the young girl, was also a reminder from God, who has called me to write.

Words keep us alive. Words written, published, shared and read resonate with my soul and make me feel like I know the author, that I can relate to her struggles and her joys. Her insights become mine. Her reflections flesh out my inner musings over this season of life. Her words release my inner thoughts into words penned onto the page.

A book, a movie and RJD converge giving me a chance to fulfill my mission of writing words.

How has reading and writing impacted your life?

12 responses to “A Book, A Movie & Random Journal Day”

  1. Oh my gosh–you got that book. Isn’t it wonderful? I also posted something from my journal today.

    Love that Habakkuk verse 🙂

    1. Jody- I love how God connects us through a common book, a common desire to write and our common faith in Jesus and His Word! I like this version because it almost seems like the written word is what motivates the person to run…to proclaim the vision and the message!

  2. I really loved this post. So much of your true self came out in it. And through that, you’re able to draw so much of your reader out as well. Thanks for sharing. And for writing.

    1. Tracy- I felt true to my self in this post…sharing how my life has these serendipitous intersections that only the divine Connector can make! Glad that is resonated with you! Thanks for cheering me on in my writing pursuits!

  3. Cecelia Lester Avatar
    Cecelia Lester

    Kel: I love these thoughts you have. Before I went to work in a library, I had a lot of books with underlined passages and marginal notes, I had to break myself from that habit. Now, when I receive book for review, I refrain from marking in it because either I give it to another person or donate it to the church library. SUGGESTION: Could you make a copy of that page of suggested books for reading rather than long hand that list?

    1. Cecelia- I love your suggestion, yes I will copy the Reading List instead of hand writing it! I love that you review books and worked in the library…it’s fun to learn new things about each other…and you are so generous!

  4. expectantlylistening Avatar

    Oh, I just finished reading The Book Thief! And now I would really like to see the film too, the book was so lovely. It is written in a really interesting style. So sad, and so beautiful all at the same time. It was also inspiring for us journalers and writers!

    1. Victoria- So nice to see you here today! Yes, I imagine the book itself is very rich…the film was well done and I learned quite a bit from it…as a journal keeping, word loving, and writer it was very inspiring and even the matter of death was handled in a very compelling way, too. Am so thankful that God offers us eternal life!

  5. Oh, Kel! I am sorry I am so late…for some reason I thought I commented on your RJD link…Summer has me crazy. Either way, I love your writing, my soul sister and kindred friend. I need to check out the book…and see the Book Thief…actually, Or read it! Kel, you’ve given me much to think about and DO! LOVE the title of that book: The JOurnal Keeper! Oh my goodness…perfection.

    1. Dawn- You will love the movie (I haven’t read the book yet) …have the tissues handy! And the Journal Keeper is a keeper …I may have to buy a copy after all! But for the time being I have quite a few quotes in my journal…Summer is good in a crazy kind of way…Enjoy! I look forward to the journaling journey…you always make me smile!

  6. I recently had read ‘The Book Thief’– I bought my copy in my local Goodwill store. It’s truly amazing what can be found in those stores!

  7. lynndmorrissey Avatar

    Kel, I love this. Thank you. I have read P’s book from the library, and also have considered buying it. I have really weeded out a ton of books, but still have tons left! I cannot not write in them. The author and I dialogue in the margins. The words take on a life of their own in my life as I interact with them. And I did see The Book Thief, but it’s been awhile. I didn’t realized it was based on a book–duh! I’ll have to ck that out too (after Go Set a Watchman). Ihadn’t expected to read your words today, but they really resonate as I ask God whether I am to write officially again. It’s a sobering prospect for a number of reasons, and yet, He has made me to craft words and share messages. And your words here are one reminder of the power our words can have on others, as they apply them to their lives. Don’t stop! Continue writing and speaking and living your words.

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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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