discover your created self

Holiday RE-Treat Journals and RJD

I run for dear life to God, I’ll never live to regret it. Do what you do so well: get me out of this mess and up on my feet. Put your ear to the ground and listen, give me space for salvation. Be a guest room where I can retreat; you said your door was always open! You’re my salvation—my vast, granite fortress. (Psalm 71:1-3 The Message)

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Once a month a few brave souls open to a random page from their journal to share. Here’s my offering for Random Journal Link-Up #57!

For this occasion, I chose a journal from my ADVENTure journals. I set aside a special journal to write in over the holiday season. Today’s choice is my version of a Holiday RE-Treat Journal from 2011.

I flipped to a prayer/plea that I wrote in the midst of finishing my English degree as an adult, self-publishing my book of devotions and welcoming my sister and her kids to St. Louis. Whew! What a year!

Here’s the entry dated 12.17.2011:

Father- I am here in your presence feeling a bit weak and weary with all the worries and wounds of life. Thank you for the gift of REST.

Direct my heart to your purposes and plans today. I confess that I am overwheled and wish that I had bigger blocks of time, rather than pockets of time. I wish I was sleeping better. I wish . . . I could accept my limitations, expel my frustrations, reduce my expectations and instead trust your revelations.

The entry goes on to record a confession of fear of not getting everything ready for Christmas. And then an affirmation to trust God with the impossible.

Looking back at this entry, I notice that I still need help with my limitations, frustrations and expectations.

I am so thankful for a journal where I can readily pour out my confessions and reassess where my help comes from.

I call this my “Holiday RE-Treat Journal” because it is a container where I can keep my sacred sanity. A place to retreat when life gets overwhelming. And it’s a treat that I can visit again and again, to see progress and to recall God’s faithfulness.

I hope you all carve out time, whether big chunks or small pockets, to treat yourself to some holiday respite in your journal this season.

You may find it interesting that the word, “treat” can mean “to deal with in writing” or “to represent artistically.” I find that this journal is a place where I can artistically create little “getaway” scenes with magazine images, which I later use to prompt my musings with my pen. I leave you with some images from my 2015 Holiday RE-Treat Journal. Enjoy!

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Below are future “retreat” pages, and a cookie recipe I want to try.

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16 responses to “Holiday RE-Treat Journals and RJD”

  1. Oh, Kel. Seriously! I love the “Re” words and I so love your sharing after your busy weekend. THank you for coming by and giving a peek into your journal and your weekend. I have stacks of mags ready for New Year creative goal and intention setting time. I need to keep my scraps more organized…I tear things out and save and tear…and love when I finally get to journal or create with the fragments and tatters I ‘ve collected along the way. HUgs to you!

    1. Dawn- It is always a delight to share in the community of random journalers…I saw a theme of TRUST in several of the posts I read. Yes, organizing the bits and pieces is an ongoing task, I think life will always be about SORTING it out, until we get to heaven 🙂 Hugs back! Looking forward to the Jingle Journaling prompts!

  2. Love this kel!! And loved the class. I am slowly using mine. I’m a processor, and I love that we are all possessors of the Kingdom. It’s a wonderful time to RE flect on that!

    1. Lynni- I am glad that you enjoyed the class and are using yours at your perfect pace…each person processes differently…to me the main thing is that we all ENJOY the process as we possess the Kingdom…I will be REjoicing in that truth over the holidays and RE hearsing the promise. Thanks for sharing that thought…it has me thinking and pondering what it looks like to possess the Kingdom…do you have a Scripture passage in mind that goes along with this idea?

  3. expectantlylistening Avatar

    I love these pages! And learning about the word “treat”. Where do you look up and research the roots of words? I think it’s something I’d like to start doing myself next year.

    It’s interesting to see your pages prepared ahead of time…waiting for the right one to speak to you at the right time!

    1. Victoria- Thanks for your kind words. I do love how an image can start a dialogue in our journals with our souls and God’s heart toward us…as to researching roots of words I am very thankful for the online dictionary…if you scroll down past the definitions and examples most words have an origin entry and some even tell you when the word was first used. The best non-electronic resource would be the Oxford English Dictionary, which most US libraries have in their reference section… there may even be an online version but I am not sure if it’s free…our library used to have it online for free…I’ll have to check it out…the OED, esp unabridged is very thorough but the merriam-webster online is just as helpful…I prefer it over

      1. expectantlylistening Avatar

        Thanks Kel, I’ve added it to my bookmarks!

  4. Hi, Noticed you on Glory Writers site. nice to learn more about you. I love the 12 days of Christmas prompts idea. I write and write and write in my journal and some of it ends up on my blog or in my developing (slowly) memoir writing. I’ll be participating in the December prompts.

    1. Thanks for stopping by…actually my friend Dawn Paoletta will be hosting the 12 days of Christmas…at …I hope to participate as well…Blessings on your memoir writing…we each have a story to tell!

  5. Kel, I find so much in this post to identify with or get insight from, I don’t know how to say it all in a little comment box. I love the wisdom you give us about words, which I’m in love with like you are. I’m enjoying and reflecting on that definition for “treat,” of this season as an Advent-ure, and of RE-treats as time to treat myself again..
    Also want to comment that I so prefer “blocks” of time to “pockets.” Yet it seems I need to revert to little pockets for each endeavor or my time use gets all out of balance. Even then, unless I “police” my time, my “pockets” often grow into such large “blocks” that I’m shocked when I look at the clock–and wonder how I’m going to catch up on all the other stuff I’d been “gonna” do… But I still think (don’t you?) that creativity needs blocks rather than pockets, at least sometimes, to grow and thrive? (Sigh, such is limitation of this lifetime.)
    Thanks for this lovely, loaded post.

    1. Sylvia- Thanks for stopping by! I agree I prefer blocks of times to pockets but thankful that I learned that I can be creative in spurts and bits as well 🙂

  6. I haven’t heard of this link-up, but I love it! And I love what you shared from your journal: “weak and weary with all the worries and wounds of life. Thank you for the gift of REST.” We all feel that at times, and sometimes extra weak and weary during December. But yes, His rest! It’s a gift. I want to open it today and enjoy it. Thanks, Kel!

    1. Lisa- Here’s to resting in His gifts this season. Yes, I love Dawn’s Random Journal monthly link-up…it happens on the first weekend of the month. She’s hosting a holiday journal prompt starting tomorrow…

  7. Magazine pics as journal prompts? ‘Think I’ll jumpstart 2016 with that great idea! Thank you, Kel, and thank you for your open-heart sharing about limitations, frustrations, and (unrealistic) expectations. Sounds very familiar! I’m working at embracing “Good enough is good enough,” and it’s helping!

    1. Nancy- So glad the magazine idea sparked your desire to journaling pursuits! Yes it’s so easy for me to put unrealistic expectations on myself and even others…oh my!

  8. […] short entry, but packed with hopes, desires and memories of how I used to make winter re-treat journals. My journals continue to be a place where I pour out my heart, imagine new things, and practice […]

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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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