Coincidence vs Cultivating & Other Lessons From Creating The Prayer Journal


This picture right here, it is a good feeling. A few people reading this know exactly how I feel about this picture, because they were on the other end of text messages I sent this week after totally discouragement met me at the front door- not really the front door but the computer at least.

Prayer Journal- Honey Flavored Lemonade- Marissa DodgenSo here’s the story: I printed the original prayer journal about a month ago & immediately decided some changes needed to be made & it under went a redesign. 4 weeks of consistent work has gone into the physical redesign of this journal. Searching for verses, checking versions, typing, designing, placing, etc. So when Wednesday rolled around & I found out I was half an inch off in my page size for the new version, to say I was angry & wanted to give up is about accurate. I had to start, almost, completely over.

The silver lining is that I didn’t have to retype the entire thing. I was able to save the text & just drop & resize it into a new layout. So the last 48 hours I have been feverishly working to get the journal done- again, in hopes that I could get it to the printer & into my hands in time for the shop launch on the 16th. That part is yet to be seen, but at this point I can’t really do anything about that- although I could have expedited the shipping when I ordered, hindsight huh? I just have to leave it in the Lord’s hands.

Now I am a pretty positive person, I always try to find the best in a situation like this. I mean everything happens for a reason, right? Nothing is coincidence, right?  I, first, realized the good when I noticed the resolution of the files was half what it needed to be, meaning that the final version of the journal would have been a little blurry. Second, I caught a few text errors. Third, I was able to change the font to something I liked better & was more cohesive. All good things.

But what is the bigger picture here? There’s always a bigger picture.

  1. God always has our best interests in mind even if it means we end up a little angry & ready to give up. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. He did work for my good, because if I had submitted the first time I would have had to go through all of this weeks later & had to do another run after orders had come in….not good. He also saved me some money on some copies. Lol.
  2.  Sometimes, God has a better plan than we do…ok, all the time. Proverbs 16:9 says “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” I have always seen this verse as God looking after us. Allowing us to make mistakes & get tripped up a bit, but that he steps in before things go horribly wrong. This is different in every situation, sometimes the trip is off the side of a mountain & other its just embarrassing. In my situation, I really see [now…again hindsight] that God was preventing a mistake for me. I was headed toward the end result, but HE could see the outcome I could not. Thanks God- here’s to looking out for me.

Lastly- it makes me think about my word for the year, Cultivate. The definition of cultivate is improve & prepare by plowing & fertilizing, grow/tend. Promote growth. Encourage. Foster. Acquire. Develop. Refine. Every time I have had to start over, every time I have had to fix something, I have learned something. To grow something or create something is a process of trial and error. It takes a tireless effort to see something that started as nothing, grow into something else. In this particular situation to cultivate this journal means not just adding to it, but picking it apart to make it the best version of itself. Published- Cultivating isn

So yes, it was so discouraging to have to start all over, but thankfully I wasn’t starting a square one or the seed. I guess I only had to start half way over, but in the end it is done. Yay! I am excited, but a little nervous about launching it. I am sure there are mistakes & I know I will find a ton of things I could have done differently; but, I will pull those weeds when they need to be pulled. For now, I am just going to thank God for giving me this idea & this vision to help people cultivate their prayer lives, the way I have been cultivating mine.

#HFLprayerjournal #sneakpeek


Marissa Dodgen @ Honey Flavored Lemonade

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