My Blog Guest

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Guest Author & Columnist Carol Round

After retiring from a 30-year teaching career, author Carol Round followed her dream. Her stories and essays have appeared in local, national and state publications and anthologies including Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, A Cup of Comfort, American Profile Hometown Heroes, Raging Gracefully, Remembering Our Parents and Body Image Lies Women Believe.
Without God’s continual nudging, however, she would not have begun her writing ministry. With His guidance, she has written one 500-word column each week since November 2005.  Her column, A Matter of Faith, runs in 12 Oklahoma newspapers and two online Christian publications. Three of her books are collections of her weekly column.
She is the author of five books, all available at A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters, by FAITH alone, Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God, and the companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge.

Are You Lost?
By Carol Round
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save
 what was lost” (Luke 19:10).

In my late 40s, I began to keep a prayer journal because I was lost. I began to ask myself, “Who am I?”  My nest was empty. I no longer felt needed by my sons, one of whom had married. The other had just started college. I also went through a divorce after my 28-year marriage ended. I no longer could identify myself as a wife or a mother. Through journaling, I rediscovered the most important part of myself. I was a daughter of the most High God—a God who cares about me, a God who hears my prayers and a God who wants a relationship with me.

Since that time, more than 10 years ago, my life’s journey has become intentional. Instead of allowing my peers and the whims of passing fancies to lead me, my goal has been a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father, who longs to meet each of us at the heart of who we are and all that we hope to become.
I had no idea the trials I would face after rededicating my life to Him in the fall of 2001. My journal has become a place to record my cries for help as well as the outcome of many of those times of despair. The pages of my journal have helped me to find the beauty of God’s activity in my life and the lives of those I love. When my ink pen flows across the page with words inspired by the Holy Spirit, I find clarity in my life.
Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is peace I find after spending time with my Heavenly Father each morning, pouring out my heart to Him in praise and supplication on the written page.
If I could choose the most important differences in my life since I began keeping a journal each morning, it would be the following:
  • A peace like no other. When my world and the world around me is in turmoil, I know where my peace comes from.
  • The knowledge of who I am and whose I am. I spent most of my life living up to other people’s expectations. Now, I live for Him.
  • Contentment with who I am and what I have. Many of us live our lives in discontent and seek things outside of God to satisfy that longing that can only be filled in a relationship with Him. Material possessions will never satisfy.
James 4:8 reads, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Do you want to draw closer to God? By expressing your thoughts, your feelings and your insights in a journal, you will be surprised when you discover God in the process. In turn, He will use your journal as an instrument to transform you. Your journal will also become a way of holding yourself accountable to spiritual maturity.

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