Important Suggestion to my fellow Journalers

If these posts are too long for you to complete, I suggest that you print off the prompt that is of current interest to you and then tape it into your journal for future reference. The prompts are such that you can do it in one sitting or you can break each idea down and use them as separate prompts. There is no set rule on how to use these prompts. They can be used as lessons for your auxiliaries too. Hope you enjoy them and may they glorify the Lord in all the ways you use them. God bless your writing experiences.

Important Note:

Most of these prompts will come from my own thoughts, but there may some that I have found from other people and want to share with you. Some of the prompts may be repeats to some of you who are members of the same online groups I am in, but I will include them for the new journalers out there reading this blog. And sometimes prompts are so good they are worth repeating. You may use a prompt over and over again and reply to it differently each time. I will give credit to prompts I find when I know the person who submitted the prompt or gave it to me by other means. If I find a journaling site that has prompts I will include them too. Thank you for your understanding.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Imprisonment, Incarceration, Bondage, Forgiveness

I was not able to sleep from about 2 am to 4 am or so.  During my moments of insomnia I often am given the many prompts you have been able to read here in this blog.  So, during my time being awake during the wee hours of this Easter morning, I began to think of the week before Jesus was crucified and resurrected.  And the prompt I am about to share with you came from those thoughts.

Jesus was arrested and thrown in jail.  He became a what we call today a convict.  He was imprisoned, incarcerated and for the first time in his life was held in bondage.  Write in a journal about the week leading up to what we now call Easter.  Read scripture and rewrite the events in your own words. 

Now, place yourself in those events.  Become a bystander.  Write of the scenes you witness before Jesus is arrested, during his arrest, while he is being crucified, and after his resurrection.  May this be a prompt of enlightenment.  Thank the Lord for the sacrifice of his son and for saving your life. 

Now there is more to this prompting.  What I thought for some more prompts is for your prayer journal.  I suggest you write in your prayer journal prayers or thoughts for the following people or ideas:

prisoners or convicts that you may know personally, such as relatives or friends, or even someone you are in a relationship.

the jailers who "take care", "watch over", and control those behind the jail bars.

the judges and other officials who decide people's fate: their sentencing

the lawyers who either are for or against the person in trouble

all of the people who deal with the people who are in jail throughout the day, such as cooks, doctors, clergy, etc.

There are many reasons people end up in jail.  No matter the crime we must remember they are still people.  We should pray that justice be done.  And that the person in question will find the Lord and ask for forgiveness of their crime.  They still deserve punishment and must suffer the consequences of their crime.  Write about someone's crime and the punishment they were given.  Does it fit the crime?  Do you think it is undeserved?  Should they suffer what they were given?  Write your personal feelings about the whole situation.  And then ask the Lord to help you see why this happened to the person.

We need to pray for the victims of the crimes.  The victims may have been involved in a random crime.  It may have been a crime of passion.  It may have been premeditated.  The crime may have been violent or nonviolent.  The crime may affected you or someone in your family or it may just have affected you emotionally hearing about it.  So, please include your prayers the victim.

We should also include the families of the victims.  They are affected by the crime due to the ties to the victim.  Also remember the families of the convict.  They are definitely affected by the actions of their family member who did the crime.

There are different degrees of crimes.  There are misdemeanors and felonies.  But, to the Lord there are no big sins and little sins.  Sin is sin in the eyes of the Lord.  We tend to look at the convicts with our own degrees of judgment.  Are you guilty of judging someone more harshly than they deserved?  Write how the Lord showed someone mercy when you may not have.  Write of how you would have shown more grace than the Lord allowed to be given to the convict.

Inside of jail there are different "pods" housing the many different types of personalities.  So many people in one small area causes much frustration and misunderstandings.  Many people are hurt because of the different attitudes on the inside.  Some people have to go to the hospital from being beat up.  Pray that these inside crimes will not happen to the person you know personally, unless it is of the will of the Lord. 

Many people go to "general population".  Pray for all of those and the officials to have a safe day.  There are some who go to solitary confinement.  It may be for their own safety and they are under protective custody.  It may because they were harmed or threatened.  Pray they will remain safe during their incarceration.  But some are put in solitary because of the crime they committed and their lives are in jeopardy, such as child molestors.  They are in fear of their lives while they are in jail.  Pray that their lives will not be taken by another convict, because then their are other families that will have to suffer yet more heartache due to the extreme results of the original crime.

Pray for those who get "early release" are truly rehabilitated and that they will not go on to commit more crimes.  Pray that no one else will become a victim of this early released convict.

Pray that when someone you know gets out of jail or prison that he/she will have learned his/her lesson and will never commit that crime or another crime again.  Pray that he/she will find the Lord or if he/she has known the Lord will return to the Lord.

If the person you know is a drug addict pray that he/she will overcome the addiction.  And continue to pray for the person for the rest of his/her life because they will always have the temptation.  Pray that the Lord will help them overcome any temptation.

Now, there are other types of imprisonments beside just being put in jail or prison for a crime committed.
There are people who are imprisoned due to abusive relationships.  They cannot get out of this relationship and suffer from domestic abuse daily.  This is a prison that is not seen by the outside world.  The person may lead a normal life on their job and at church and with their family and friends, but once they enter their home it becomes a prison.  Pray for these people that they will be able to remain safe and somehow get out of the situation.  Pray that they have a safe house to go to whenever harm may be in the future.  Pray they have a good support system in family and friends.  Pray the abuse will cease and that each person involved will get the help they need to overcome the abuse and the consequences of those abusive actions.  Pray the circle will be broken and the younger generation is not affected negatively by it.  Pray the people involved will find the shelter of the Lord.

Another type of imprisonment is those who are prisoned in their own bodies.  There are many who are overweight and cannot do things like they used to.  They either are too heavy to get around normally or they cannot even get out of their house at all.  Pray they will find ways to live a healthy life and make healthy choices.  Pray they will be able to do whatever is necessary to lose their life of imprisonment.

Some people are imprisoned in their homes due to a disability that does not allow them to get out of their house,  They may be confined to a hospital bed, a wheelchair, or just not able to get out of their house unless they have a person take them out for shopping or to church etc.  Pray for these people that they can have good mental health days and be able to accept their disability and have good attitudes about it.  Many become depressed due to the disability making them not be able to live a normal life.  Pray the person will overcome depression. 

Speaking of depression, this mental disability causes many to become in bondage of an invisible kind.  Many are depressed and no one is aware of it.  Pray the person will be able to overcome this mental illness and be able to live a successful and good mental health lifestyle.  Pray they will be able to ask the Lord for help each time they feel a bout of depression may be taking over.  This is a prison that causes a person to live in a black hole and may not be able to ask for their friends and family to help and pray.  Pray you become more aware of this person and see the signs of depression coming and pray that they will be able to overcome it.  Pray the Lord will be there to see them through. 

Being in bondage is another type of prison sentence.  Do you know someone or are you someone who is in bondage?  There are many types of bondage.  Bondage in an abusive relationship.  Bondage to an addiction.  Bondage to financial woes.  Bondage to a ritual.  And so on.  Write in your journal bondages you may be experiencing.  Write about someone you know who may be in bondage.  Write prayers to help the person or yourself overcome the bondage.

Sometimes when a crime has happened to us we feel the need of revenge.  As the Word of God says, vengeance is the Lord's.  Pray you will not act upon your feelings.  Pray that you will let the proper officials take charge and the person that committed the crime will get the sentence he/she deserves.  Pray that you will not commit your own crime in retaliation.  Also pray that you will be able to overcome this need to get revenge.  Even if you do not act upon taking the law in your own hands, you may think of it so much it takes over your entire life.  You need to overcome any feelings of hate etc.  And you need to ask the Lord to help you forgive the person.  Let the judicial system do the judging and sentencing and you do the forgiving.

By forgiving a convict it releases you from the bondage of hate and revengefulness.  If you forgive someone it does not mean the person is released from the consequences of the crime.  Criminals must suffer the consequence of their actions.  God commands us to forgive others as he forgave us.  This is a hard commandment to follow and when you find yourself not being able to forgive it will cause you to have a gap between you and the Lord.  Pray for you to close that gap and accept that the Lord is in control.  Forgive yourself as well that you are feeling these emotions.  Remember that the Lord is a Lord of forgiveness.  And it is shown in the three crosses...

My daughter helped her boyfriend escape from jail.  They were caught.  My daughter was arrested by gunpoint.  She was thrown in jail with other violent criminals.  She was only 18 and had never been in any kind of trouble.  She got mixed up with the wrong kind of person.  And she made a very bad decision.  I was in shock.  How could my daughter allow someone to make her do such a crime?  Well, I started to hate the boy.  I wanted him to suffer for getting my daughter involved.  I wanted to see him suffer literally.  I found the hate overwhelming.  I went to his court hearing wanting him to see how much I hated him for hurting my daughter.  I sat in the front row and stared at him with hate.  But something happened.  My heart began to melt.  I saw him as a troubled child.  He was only a teenager.  He was scared.  It was then that the Lord worked on my heart.  Right there in the courtroom I forgave him. I truly forgave him.  I found myself loving that boy.  He ended up spending over ten years in prison.  My daughter only got a year of weekends in jail and a 5 year probation sentence.  She met a new guy and got married and now have two children.  That life is behind her and she has never gotten in trouble ever again.  When that boy got out of prison I gave him the biggest hug and just found myself loving him as only a Christian person  could.  Sadly though he is back in prison and will never get out again probably.  He almost died and it was heartbreaking.  I pray he will be able to find the Lord and live his life in prison without getting hurt.  I forgave him many years ago (they are in their 30s now).  I do not accept his lifestyle and do not understand why he went back into a life of crime, but I know that loving and forgiving him is so much better than hating him.  He will always have a special place in my heart.  And that is an example of how the Lord is still in miracle making business.  Left up to myself and my own resources I would still be hating him.  But the Lord does not want me to live in that bondage and I am glad that the Lord was able to soften my heart.  Now I can honestly celebrate each Easter as the Lord wants - with a forgiving heart.

Go back to your journal and record in it when the answers have come to your prayer requests.  Write how the Lord has answered them.  See how the Lord had a hand in every situation.  And may you always live a life that is good and acceptable to the Lord so that you may never be involved in a crime that lands you in jail and may you never become a victim of a crime.  By the grace of God we are free.  Salvation and a life eternal is yours.  Ask the Lord to save you and become your Lord of Lord and King of Kings.

A Bundle of Emotions

 This prompt comes from my new study book.  It is from the first chapter of Managing Your Moods.  It is a book from the Women of Faith Study Guide Series.  I think it is so good and makes a perfect prompt.  I just had to share it with you...

Luke 6:45

When we start talking about moods and emotions, we must begin with the heart.  I guess you could say it's the heart of the matter!  We call it the seat of our emotions, and we try to explain our feelings by referring to it.  People can be described as hardhearted, softhearted, openhearted, warmhearted, coldhearted, fainthearted, or even heartless.  Some people wear their heart on their sleeve.  We know what it's like to lose heart, take heart, have our heart set on something, have a change of heart, and have our hearts skip a beat.  We know what it's like to do something to our heart's content.  We can be heavyhearted, halfhearted, or lighthearted.  A story can be heartwarming, heart wrenching, or heartening.  We can share from our hearts, set our hearts on a thing, learn something by heart, have our hearts in the right place, and win the hearts of others.  We have known heartache.  We have been heartsick.  Some days, we don't have the heart to face our work.  Other days, we tackle the job heartily, going at it heart and soul.  Those we love are always close to our heats.  We have people who are dear to our hearts set our hearts at rest.  We know the kinds of things that do a heart good.  We have read God's Word and taken it to heart.  We have given heartfelt thanks for the blessings we receive.  We know, in our heart of hearts, the right thing to do.  And I hope, from the bottom of my heart, you will follow after God with all of your heart.  Whew! How about a hearty Amen to that!

Okay, journalers.  Do you see how many prompts are in that one paragraph?  I challenge you to take each work with any form of the word "heart" in it and use it as one word prompt.  Write if it relates to you personally or if you know someone who the word could represent. 

Marshel's entry:  I do not tackle making entries to this blog halfheartily.

The sentences that describe something with the word "heart" in it use it as a prompt too.

Marshel's entry:  Some days I do not have the heart to face the children in my new classroom.  There are more children who act inappropriately than there are that don't.  I must pray before entering the door that Jesus will enter with me and help me love His children and help them have a successful day.

Use the paragraph to have several prompts you can use. 

One of the words I did not read in the paragraph was "heartbroken".  Have you ever experienced a broken heart?  Write about it and how you have overcame it or how you may be experiencing it at this moment.

Marshel's entry:  I was so heartbroken the day I watched the jailer put handcuffs on my son in the court room.  I never felt so heavy hearted as I did that moment.  When my son asked the judge if he could give his mom a hug before they took him to jail I thought my heart was going to stop.  After he gave me a hug the judge said to my son, "I don't want to see you in my courtroom again and your mama don't want to either."  Right then I felt somewhat warm hearted for the judge because he knew how heartbroken I was.  I told my son that I loved him with all of my heart.  For the next nine months I was so heart sick without being able to touch my son.  My son made trustee and was able to get outdoors while working and one time I went to pay my bill and there was my son working for the mayor.  The jailer let me hug my son and that made my heart happy.  When my son finally was released from jail I thought my heart was going to burst from happiness and relief.  He was not hurt while being incarcerated.  I pray with all of my heart that he will learn his lesson and never end up there again. 

Write about something using many forms of the word "heart" in it like I did with my entry above. 

Hope this was a prompt you can take to heart and use many ways.  May you have a heart full of love and blessings.  Love with all my heart and soul, Marshel

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Drip, Drip, Drop

It is spring now.  In many regions there are gardens already planted and some even being harvested.  In others they are waiting for the last freeze before planting the precious seeds that will produce such wonderful fruits and vegetables.  But, what this prompt is springing up to be will be about the other part of the season that characterizes that is it truly spring.  Rain.  Rain.  And more rain.  For days it can rain.  You hear the constant drip of water coming off of the buildings.  The drops of rain being swished about on your windshields.  And the need for rainboots and raincoats and umbrellas.  How can rain become a prompt?

Well, in some regions a little rain is all they get.  Those places suffer from drought.  The ground dries up and cracks open.  Use this as an analogy for your life.  Write about the times in your life that you suffered from a drought.  A drought of happy, positive feelings.  A drought of successful relationships.  A drought of finances.  A drought of good health.  The list can go on and on.  In your writing about the droughts write about how these things were drying up and then write how you were able to come out of the desert and into the nourishing green you are in today (if you are in that today that is).  If you are still suffering from the cracks in your life write how you can begin to overcome that drought.  And then do it.  Always remember the Lord is the Living Water and all you have to do is come to Him and He will provide the nourishment you need to heal the dry, cracked life you have found yourself in.  Look up verses about Jesus, the Living Water.  Find verses how life was like a desert but water provided it to be a living oasis.  Write these verses in your journal and use for encouragement. 

Some regions get just enough rain to provide the ground with life giving water.  Those regions flourish in flora and gardens are sure to grow into healthy, wholesome food sources.  Are you at a time in your life when you are doing just fine?  Are you happy and not suffering from lack of water?  The water one needs to survive a non depressing life?  Isn't it depressing to see a garden that is unattended?  Isn't it depressing to see a flower garden where the flowers are wilting and dying?  Is your life like the flower garden that is full of color and flowers standing tall?  Is your life like the fruit and vegetable garden that has received the right amount of rain and watering to make it thrive?  Sometimes people tend to write in their journals when things are going wrong and they pray to the Lord to help through those undernourished times.  But when things are going good and right and there is a constant flow of life-giving water, they forget to praise the Lord about it and so why not do that in your post?  Make an entry of praises and thanksgiving.

Sometimes the weather in spring provides more than enough rain.  It will rain for days.  If it is just a sprinkle of rain each day, that is not so bad.  If it is drizzling all day long it makes for a drizzle day.  If it doesn't quit raining people are stuck indoors.  Is your life like a sprinkle or drizzle?  Are you stuck indoors?  Is your life stuck in a rut?  Can you not go outside without being rained on?  Are you being rained upon with too much stress?  Too many problems?  Too many burdens?  Write about these things that are making life drizzle misery on you.  Find books that will take those moments away for the length of your reading.  Write about the books on how they helped you.  And find the many in the Bible who overcame the constant drip, drip, drip of life and found the love of Jesus.  Let the Word of God be your constant drip of love, help, sanity, and salvation.

There are many days in spring that you know when you wake up it will be raining.  When you get ready for bed it will be raining still.  Days of rain makes some very blue and depressed.  Are you a person who loves the outdoors and gets sad when it rains so much you cannot go out and do the things you love?  Write about the things you love to do outdoors.  Write what you do when you can't go outside.  Write what you can do to overcome the blues until the sky dries up and you can once again visit the beautiful outdoors.  Write about how blue skies and fluffy white clouds make you feel. 

On those days when it rains and rains and rains, use the time to read books you have not finished.  Start a book you have been wanting to read but never had the time.  Watch a tv program you enjoy.  Rent a movie you would not have expected to watch if it hadn't been raining.  Now, write about the books you got to read and the shows and movies you got to watch.  And just think it would not have happened if you were not stuck indoors.

Now let's talk about those days when regions get too much rain.  You see it on the news.  Flooding.  Areas get flooded and lives get devastated.  Houses get ruined or completely destroyed.  Towns get completely flooded.  Roads become impassable.  Families are detached from one another.  Lives are separated from what was once the norm.  And then almost as quick as the floods came up, the water recedes and all that is left is the cleaning and rebuilding.  Is your life like the rising floods?  Do you feel as if you are treading water and cannot touch the ground without going under?  Are you fearing you may drown in the water that is overflowing the sand bags you have placed around the boundaries you have built? Are you trying to bale out the water that is entering faster than you expected?  Write about these things and how you are feeling.

Has your life been effected by an actual flood?  Do you know people who have been in a flood?  Write how these actual floods made an impact in your life today.  Write how you were able to clean up, rebuild and move on.  Read about the famous flood written about in the Bible.  We have seen the effects of the tsunamis in Japan and other places.  Noah was involved in the ultimate tsunami flood.  Rewrite the story in the Bible using you and your family as the lucky ones to be on the Ark.  God has provided you with an ark of your own.  It is called salvation and can be read about all through the Bible.

Now, are you involved in a relationship that is like a tsunami?  Do you wake up each day and feel as if you are in a flood caused by a hurricane named LIFE?  Have you found yourself on a road that has a flash flood and your life is being swept away with no help in sight?  Are the waters rapidly rising in your life that are causing you to float out of reach from family and friends?  Are you drowning in the flood waters with no lifesaving device available?  Are you on the roof of your house waiting for rescuers to come and you are afraid time is running out?  Find time to describe these moments in your journal and how you expect to overcome them. 

The Lord used a flood to destroy sin and begin anew.  When the rain stopped and the water scattered and receded, Noah and his family and the animals were able to walk on dry land.  Are you feeling condemnation over some sin in your life?  Allow the floods to wash away that sin and you will be able to come out clean and alive and new.  New due to forgiveness.  Use the flood of this proportion to prompt you to write about it and its effects.  Write how the Lord has provided you with a ray of hope and forgiveness.  Also a part of the story besides the flood was the rainbow.  It is the symbol of God's promise.  What has brought a rainbow of promises and hope to your life?  Write about them in your journal.

Spring also brings more than rain and floods to many regions.  It brings the threat of tornadoes.  A tornado cannot be stopped.  It can be predicted to happen.  There are tornado warnings and watches.  They can predict when it can arrive in a certain town within minutes.  But what the meteorologists can't do is stop it from happening.  Everyday in the states involved in tornado alley prepare for the chance of a tornado.  Have you ever experienced a tornado in your hometown?  Have you been in one yourself?  Write how these moments were spent and how you felt.  Write what you did to survive.  Tornadoes are not prejudice.  They will form over the rich as well as the poor side of town.  They will destroy one house and skip three only to destroy the next six.  They will destroy an entire mobile home park.  They will destroy the mighty oak and leave a toilet stool intact.  Tornadoes will take a child out of a mother's arms.  Tornadoes will shred a house to look like toothpicks.  I have seen shreds of insulation embedded in a tree trunk.  The devastation a tornado leaves behind is indescribable.  But what happens after a tornado leaves its destructive path behind is amazing.  People bind together.  When there seems to be nothing left behind to salvage relationship and friendships get stronger.  Families hug more.  And intangible "things" are no longer as important.  What is important is your relationship with the Lord.  He saves so many lives and those are the things you can write about in your journal. If you have been in such a situation as these mentioned write about it. 

Is your life spinning out of control like a twister in the spring that suddenly appears in the once clear sky?  Are you finding yourself out in the open in the direct path of the tornado?  Is your life so dark due to the harshness of the weather conditions that you don't see the tornado heading your way?  Have you not heeded the warnings?  Did you decide it wasn't important to watch for the signs of doom coming?  What has made your life this way?  Write about these conditions and what you can do about it.  God's Word is better than any warning the meteorologists'  radars can provide.  When you find yourself in a tornadic situation run for safety.  Find a storm shelter through reading verses and discover other people in the Bible who have lived destructive lives.  Write about how they overcame the negative results of the tornado in their life and how you can relate it to your survival.  Write the aftereffects and what life dealt you in ways you were not aware of.  Out of the rubble left behind the tornado in your life what have you found to be salvageable?  Are you relationships, friendships, and family ties stronger because of the storm you had to endure?  Are you prepared for life's tornadoes that could unexpectedly appear at any time?  Remember God is your shelter in the storm.  His Word says so.

Other characteristics of spring during rain is a good old fashioned thunderstorm.  Thunder and lightning.  Crackling sounds.  Bright lights filtering through the sky.  And the downpour of rain.  Lightning has killed many people.  Thunderstorms can cause fear for those who experience tornadoes.  Thunderstorms can cause torrential down pouring of rain, which bring the fear of flooding.  Is there something that has caused the loud sounds of thunder to drown out the voice of the Lord in your life?   Write to the Lord how you need to come out of the rain so you can hear His voice.  Has lightning struck your life and split your life in two?   Has the lightning caused your life to go haywire with the tragedy of electrocution?  Is there anything that is so electrifying in your life it has caused you heart to stop?  God has included fore warnings of the effects of sin in the Bible.  Do a search of these warnings and write how you will heed to them. 

We have written about the storms that come to people's lives.  We need to learn from the storms and not live in fear of them.  Where they leave destruction, the Lord can give you hope.  Hope to clean up, rebuild, and see the rainbow.  Write about how the rain provides growth.  Growth where there was nothing left.  Growth when you don't expect nothing positive from the storm.  See the green in your life where there was once a brown, withering hopeless life.  Write how you have grown through the help of the Lord's provision. 

Remember when you hear the drip, drip, drip of rain that the Lord is in each of those droplets.  The Lord is in the storm.  The Lord is providing you shelter in the storm and He will be there to help you rebuild.  Look for the rainbows He provides.  And go walking with the Lord in the rain.  It will be refreshing and nourishing to your spiritual life.  May  you know when to come out of the rain.  May you know when your life needs the sustaining of Jesus's Living Water.  And always remember God has made a promise.  Talk with Him today of that promise and see how the streams will flood your life with salvation and forgiveness. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

You Name It!

Each day I am calling someone by name.  At the daycare I call each child's name during roll call and for many other reasons their names are used throughout the day.  I have some children whose names are said more than others :>)  When I am at the store I try to greet each customer by their name if I know it.  Once I learn a customer's name I use their name as often as I can.  When a people hear their name during the transaction I watch his/her face relax some and a smile grows.  We all love to hear our names used.  So this prompt is dedicated to "names".

You name it and I will have a prompt about it I bet!!

First, let's write about our own names. Do you know the meaning of your name?  Write it out on your journal page and put a border around it.  Now, do you feel as if your name fits you?  Do you live up to the meaning of your name?  Were you named after someone in your family?  Why did your mother give you that name?  Is the person living still?  Do you have a special relationship with that person?  Are you named after an actor/actress?  Is there someone else you are named after? 

Write in discussion format how you feel about your name.  Do you like your name?  Have you ever wished you were given a different name?  Did you ever use another name when you were in school?  Have you ever used an alias?  Do you go by your middle name instead of your first name? Why do you do this? Write how you feel about your name.

I have used more than one name in my lifetime.  My birth name was Marchelle Marie Umipig.  I never used that name because my mother kidnapped me from my father when I was only six months old and gave me another name.  I went by Marshel Marie Chambers.  Did not know my legal name until I was in high school. That is another story for another day.  But my family called me Shelly and that is the name I used until high school.  I did not like my middle name because it is after my maternal grandmother and I could not stand her.  She was the meanest woman I knew.  Her birthday was Halloween and I always said it was a holiday just for her.  Another story at another time.  I really like my first name.  I know no other Marshel.  Since the onset of internet I have seen some spellings of my name.  But have yet to meet another Marshel with my exact spelling.  When I ran away from home a couple of times I used the name Michelle Marie Mason.  I pretended to be my best friend's sister.  My family never knew I used that name and if I ever wanted to never be found that would be the name I used.  My best friend Perry Mason even named his first born after me.  Well, my namesake is Michelle Marie Mason so I guess she is actually named after my AKA.  When I was in high school we went by nicknames in our circle of friends.  My name was Sundown.  That will be discussed later.  But I truly do love my name now that I have met my real father.  See, my name Marchelle is after my real father Marcello.  My mom did not want him to find me so changed my spelling of my name to Marshel.  I love it spelled that way.

Speaking of nicknames.  That is one subject that you could write about in many different ways.
As I asked earlier, write about your nicknames in school.  Does your family call you by another name besides your given name?  Did you give yourself a nickname or did the family give it to you?  Why is it your nickname?  Did your nickname change over time?  Have you been called by that name for so long your friends did not even know you had a different name?  Write about these questions.

Another form of nickname is terms of endearment you give your family members.  Some of those would be sweetheart, sweetie, sweetness, sweetcakes, babycakes, cupcake, honeybun, cookie, muffin, sugar, sugarpie, and pumpkin.  Write why you call them these names.  (I just realized that those terms of endearment are all desserts.  Is there a relationship to that?)  Does anyone call you those names?  Who and why?  My grandson's name is Mythias and I have called him my honeybun ever since he was born.  My granddaughter has the prettiest red hair and I always call her pumpkin.  I shared before how she was learning how people are related and I asked her how Mythias was kin to me and she said he is your grandson.  Then I asked her how she was kin to me and she put her hands on her hips and said you know.  I am your grandpumpkin.  When my husband is just talking to me lovingly he calls me "girl".  Why I don't know but it his term for me.  My oldest daughter's name is Philesha but we call her Lesha.  My middle child is Jessie not Jessica because we did not want her to have a nickname.  My son is Dewayne and we called him Bud when he was younger and when he went to kindergarten we realized he did not know his name was Dewayne. 

Are you a grandmother?  What name have they given you?  Grandma?  Grandmother?  Grandmama? Mimi?  Mawmaw? Granny?  Write what the children call you and how that came about.  How does it make you feel to hear them call you by your special name? My oldest two call me Mimi.  My youngest call me Grandma Marshel.  They call their paternal grandmother MawMaw.  How it came about who knows. They just started calling us that.  My daughter asked me what I wanted to be called and I said I always wanted to be called granny.  She laughed and said I was not a granny.  She explained that grannies cook, bake, sew, clean, etc and I do none of those things.  So, I just let the children call me what they want.  When I am at the store and they are there too and they see me I love it when they come running at me and jump into my arms.  Oh what pleasure!  Write of different memories of your grandchildren and them calling you by name.

Is there certain names that are just used in different parts of the country?  For example, here in Oklahoma we call every boy Bubba.  My son is Bubba.  My grandson is Bubba too.  We even call our boy dogs Bubba.  My children did not even know their Uncle Bubb's real name until they were already grown (it is Jerry).  I call my daughters Sister.  We call our neices Sister.  I even call my four girl dogs Sisters.  Some even go by Sissy.  My boss goes by Sissy and I did not know her real name until I had to call her and find her name in the telephone book.  Are you a Sissy or Sister?  Do you have a Bubba?  When I met my real brother for the first time I said "I finally have a Bubba." His name is Joelino. 

Speaking of names only used in certain parts of the country here are names I know are in Oklahoma but may not be in maybe Florida or Canada or so... Gunner, Hunter, Tanner, Wyatt, Bo/Beau, Cinch, Rope, Duke, Chisholm, Quardale, and other cowboy names. Do you know anyone with a name that isn't really a usual name for a boy or girl?  I have a friend who named her two girls "Noah, and Micah".  Write of these people and how they came to have these names.

Google the popular names for the year you were born.  Is your name one of them?  Do a search on the most popular names in the 50s, 60s, 70, 80s, 90s, and nowadays.  What are the most used names in your town today?  In my teaching career I have had several names that were never going to be in the most popular names.  And then there are the names that are NEW but everyone starts naming their child that.  Right now in the daycare I work at these are the names of our students or their siblings -
Aiden, Braidon, Braden, Braidon, Bryden, Bryndon, Caden, Caydon, Camdyn, Drayden, Dradon, Dryden, Hayden, Hadyn, Jaydon, Jaden, Jordyn, Kayden, Layton, Payton, Tristan, Tristen, Triston, Trysten, Trystin, Zaden, and Zaydon.  Yes, and many other versions. 

Why did you name your children their names?  Write why you chose that name.  Describe what makes your children's names special.  My oldest daughter is Philesha DeAnn.  Her father is Philip.  My best friend's middle name is Ann.  Her father's middle name starts with D.  My other daughter is Jessie Leighann.  My husband's oldest son is Daniel Leigh.  He had a sister who passed away named Jessie.  And we put our two oldests' middle names together.  My son's name is the same initials as his brother.  Dewayne Louis.  If I had one more daughter I would have named her Jaycee LouAnn.   
What would you name more children if you were to have more?  Is there patterns to their names?  Do all your children's names start with the same letter?  (It amazes me that 20 children and counting could come up with that many J names.)  Have you ever wished you had named your children another name instead? Write your reasons.  I wanted to name my middle daughter Sarah Marshel, but Gordon got his way.  I wanted to name my son Joseph Michael, but again Gordon got his way.  I was not with my oldest's father at the time of her birth so I got to name her what I wanted.  One of the names I had considered calling my oldest was Chyvona Llyshel.  No one liked it.  If she had been a boy I considered Chevy Blue (Cher had named her son Elijah Blue) but no one liked it.  What list of names had you thought about naming your children but didn't?  Why did you finally decide on the name you did?  Write about your children's names and let them know all of this.

Are you married?  Write how you felt when the minister said, "And now I would like to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs._______."  Did it take you long to get used to your married name?  Right after I got married I had to go to a doctor appointment and the receptionist called Marshel Morrison and I didn't go to her desk.  She called me two more times before I realized it was me she was calling.  Are you divorced?  Did you keep your married name or go back to your maiden name?  Write your reason.

Are there names that cause you to remember a special memory?  If you hear a name being called does it make you think of someone in your life that had a positive/negative effect on you?  Do certain names make you stop and look for that person?  Write about particular names that are important to you or that conjour up certain memories.  Write about those memories.

There are names that are not appropriate.  Calling people bad names has been around for many years.  Sticks and Stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.  Did you ever have to repeat that saying before?  Write why.  Have you ever been called inappropriate names?  My stepfather called me pig so many times.  That may be why I am a hoarder now.  Are there names you were called that still hurt you to this day?  When my husband was drinking he called me many nasty names.  I pray I never hear them again.

Have you called someone names that you wish you hadn't?  Did you call someone Porky or Skinnyminny?  Or other inappropriate names?  Does it make you sad that you did that?  Write how you feel about how you used to call people.  When someone is called bad names as a youngster it can still hurt them as a grown up.  Are you one of those children that people made fun of and called names?  Write how this made you feel then and how you feel about it now.   My students, who are preschoolers, call each other names all the time.  I teach them that they are to call each other by their real names.  One of the names that will cause every child  cry I have ever dealt with is "Stupid".  Have you ever been called Stupid or called someone Stupid?  Write why you would do that.  And how it made you feel to be called Stupid.  My stepfather called me Stupid all the time.  And I wasn't.  I had the highest IQ in the county's dependent schools.  I never knew I was smart at all.  I was surprised when I graduated with honors when I got my Associate's degree.  I did not even know I was smart when I graduated Cum Laude when I got my Bachelor's degree.  But now finally at age 52 I feel smart and will be getting my Master's finally.  I did not have enough confidence in myself to think I could be smart enough to get a Masters.  All because I really thought I was stupid.

Did you teach your children to call adults by Mr. and Mrs.?  Did you teach your children to call their aunts and uncles with that before their names?  I still call my aunts and uncles Aunt Debbie or Uncle Jack.  But many children do not do that anymore.  And very few children say ma'am or sir.  Write about how names show respect or disrespect.  Do you like to be called by Mrs. or Aunt?  In regular schools we call our teachers Mrs. Morrison, etc.  But in preschool we are usually called by our first names.  Ms. Marshel.  I love it when they call me that.  But most of the time they call me Teacher.  And that is all right with me too.

I know this has been a long prompt.  Now we are going to have a more spiritual prompt dealing with names.  I have a book named "The Wonderful Names of Jesus."  There are hundreds.  I did a study once on each one of them. If you don't have a book Google names of Jesus or names of God/Lord.  Write them in a new journal.  Do one a day or more.  Write the meaning of them.  Write where they are found in the Bible.  Write the situations when you would use them. 

What name or names do you use when you are praying?  What names do you call Jesus?  Write about these names in your journal.  Try using different names for different types of prayers when you are talking with the Lord. 

There are certain names in the Bible that mean different things.  Do a study on names in the Bible.  The Lord changed some people's names like Saul to Paul, Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah.  Do a study of these people who had their names changed in your journal. If the Lord were to change your name today, what do you think it would be?

There is a special book in the Bible that mentions our names.  The Book of Life.  It has your name written in it when you are saved.  Write your salvation experience and how you felt when on the day your name was written in that special book.

When you hear your name being called do you know who it is by the voice?  Does the Lord know it is you calling Him by name?  Do you recognize the Lord's voice when He calls your name?  Write your answers to these questions.

There may be many people with your name or names.  There may just be a few with your name.  Your name may be very unusual.  Your name may never be remembered after you are gone other than family members.  But one thing you can always count on is the fact that the Lord knows you by name.  No matter who you are He will always know you when you are praying.  And when others use your name during their prayer time. Remember to call out the names of those needing prayer. 

Never use the Lord's name in vain.  And when you hear other's use His name in vain remember to praise the Lord.  Tell the person cussing that if he/she is going to knock the Lord down you are going to build Him up.  When you hear the Lord's name being used in vain say "Praise the Lord".  Write about times you have lifted the Lord up when others have put Him down.

I know that this has been a long prompt.  Writing about names and their meanings have been around a long time.  Children love to hear their names, see their names in writing, and know why they are named that.  Take time to write about these different prompts about names.  Someone is longing to know...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How "Relative" Is It?

We just celebrated two holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) that are spent with relatives.  To start the new year most people spend the night with relatives.  Our church has a candlelight service and at midnight the members are at the altar welcoming the new year in with prayer.  So, I began thinking of a prompt that could incorporate relatives.  And this is what the Lord help guide me to do...

Let's write entries to our relatives.  Do you ever write to your children but it is in a journal for them to read after you have passed away?  What did you tell that person?  Did you share your thoughts, your feelings, your ideas?  Did you give advice?  Did you ask forgiveness from that person?  Did you share your expectations of that person?  Did you talk about how you love that person?  If you have not written a journal of this type, why not start one today? 

I thought of how we are related to people.  I came up with the following ways:
By birth
We have fathers, mothers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses.
We have extended families.
We have in-laws.
We can be related by friendship.
We also can be related by church home, acquaintances, and coworkers.
Use these relationships as prompts for journaling.

We can also be related by love.
We love our family.  We love our friends.  We love many things.  We love in many ways.  For instance, I truly love my animals.  I have made scrapbook pages of them.  They are more important to me than they should be.  Afterall, dogs and cats are people too.  I have written many entries about my animals.  Use the things or people you love to journal.

Do a study on the begats found in the Bible.  Have you ever made a family tree?  Draw one in your journal.  Is your tree full?  Is there missing limbs?  Does it lean or is it not complete yet?  Write about your family tree in your journal. 

Do a study on relatives in the Bible.  Adam and Eve.  Abraham and Lot.  Those are a couple of people we know about their life stories and they are related.  Write letters to them and ask them things you are curious about or have questions about. 

Do a verse study on words that relate to the prompt, such as mother, father, brother.

There are estranged relationships.  Do you want to reconcile?  Are you not willing to forgive?  Write about the reason you are separated from these individuals.  Ask the Lord for healing of your relationship.  Ask Him to provide what is needed to mend the broken relationship.  This could provide many entries in your journal.

Are you a Christian?  Then you are related to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Do a study on the genealogy of Jesus.  Are you surprised at some of the people that is listed in there?  You are related to Him through the shedding of His blood.  You have been adopted in His family.  You have an inheritance in the Kingdom of our Lord.  Write about your salvation experience.  Journal how you are related to Jesus.You are also related to other Christians through the mutual love of Jesus Christ.  Write about these things.

Now, let's talk about this spending time with relatives. Some people see their family every day.  Some live too far away to spend time with them on a daily basis or even weekly or monthly.  Some people do not ever see their family members due to an estrangement.  Write about your time you get to spend with your family. 

Are you spending as much time with them as you would prefer?  Do you wish to spend more time than just at holiday get-togethers and funerals?  Do you live with your family?  Are you feeling like you spend too much time with your relatives?  Write about these different questions.

Are you spending as much time with your Heavenly Father that you should?  Do you spend time with Jesus?  Write about your experiences with the Lord that shows how you are truly related.  Are you one of those relatives that doesn't join in any family gatherings?  Do you neglect your relationship with the Lord?  Write of these things...

Do you still attend family reunions?  Do you avoid your family reunions?  Would you like to have a family reunion?  Write your feelings on these different questions.

I used to spend more time with my best friend during my junior high and high school career.  I hardly spent my time with my family.  So I attended some of my friend's family reunions.  I was with my friend so much that I guess some distant family members thought I was one of them.  They would tell me "I haven't seen you in so long.  My, have you grown."  And they weren't even my family, but my best friend's family treated me as if I was one of them.  I could write in my journal of the many times I felt more loved by them instead of my own family.

Are you a part of an online family?  Write about them in your journal. Describe them so that others would be able to know them just by your description.

Is there someone in your family out there that you haven't seen in a long time and you miss them?  Write a letter, send a card, or even Facebook that person and let that relative know your feelings. Make a copy of your letter or card and save it in your journal.

Another way people are related is their mutual hobby or club or organization.  Write about the different ways you are related to others that are not blood relation.

I hope this prompt relates to you in such a way that it inspires you to write.