by Kristin Huffman, Mission Advocate
When I was young, my dad taught me the practice of “dumping out your mind,” and it became one of the most-utilized spiritual exercises in my life. When spending time with God, I sit down and begin by writing any and all of my thoughts into a journal. Some of the things I write are things on my to-do list, names of people, deep fears or worries I might be having and a whole host of other things that come to mind. After I seem to run out of thoughts, I look over the list and offer it to God—praying for the different people, activities or feelings that have been poured out onto the pages. I confess sins, ask for help and lay everything at the feet of Jesus. I laugh and sometimes even with God. Then, with my mind clear and my heart focused, I’m usually ready to read Scripture, pray and listen to what God may be saying to me.
At an Ignatian retreat center in Canada, my spiritual director introduced me to Julia Cameron, an author, and her book Walking in the World. She describes basic practices of her creative process, one of which she calls Morning Pages, “three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing done before the day ‘begins’…Anything and everything is fuel for Morning Pages…” It was so encouraging to me to see that others have found this type of exercise helpful to clear out their minds, making space for God and for creativity.
As we begin another week of Lent, consider using this practice of “Morning Pages” as a way to engage with Jesus and invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you. What emotions, thoughts or questions come to mind? Write those things down in your journal as an offering to God. If you’d like to take this practice further with a focus on the frontier, peruse Frontier Fellowship’s partners and regions. Is there a partner or region that the Holy Spirit highlights in your mind or heart? What feelings, questions or prayers are evoked as you consider the places of the world that still do not yet have access to the Gospel?
If God uses this practice to stir your heart towards a particular partner or region, please let us know! We’d love to connect you with a member of our team who can help you discern what the Holy Spirit may be speaking to you through this (or other) spiritual exercises.
To read more from our 2023 Lenten series, click here.