My final writing assignment to my HS writing students was to start a blog. They are doing a terrific job. Check out their posts on I wanted to share this one with you because I just love the writer’s comment on keeping a journal. She writes, 

“Keeping a journal is living a wide-awake life. Whatever its name—notebook, sketchbook, log, daybook, diary, or journal—the blank book we fill with bits and pieces of our lives affirms and validates our experiences. It also provides a safe place to make discoveries, celebrate one’s story, and to confide, confer, question, and confess. Alert to the outside world, attuned to the inner one, the journal keeper lives with the consciousness that his or her life matters” (Graham ix). 

It begged the question, “Janell, are you living a wide-awake life?”


“On the way home from having maintenance done on my car, 
I began seeing signs for “Faith Farms. Fresh strawberries.” 
“Fabulous,” I thought. “Fresh, local strawberries.” The signs led me
to a quaint local farm, off the beaten path.
 As I drove down the long, winding gravel road, I felt far away.
The sounds of the city were slowly fading into the background and 
the smells of country living filled the air. 

The only sound I could hear now was the slight
crunching of the gravel underneath my feet.
All of a sudden, much to my surprise,
a peacock—yes, a full-fledged royal blue crowned peacock—
stood in front of me. Gasping, I couldn’t help exclaiming,
“Well, hello beautiful! How in the world
are you?” My conversation with this stunning bird continued,
“Oh, can I take your picture? Stop! Hold still!”
Luckily, my camera was in the zipper pouch of my purse.
Posing regally, of course, this proud peacock 
honored me with his picture. I couldn’t help but smile.
All I wanted was a basket of organic strawberries.
But, God surprised me with something extraordinary. Why?
Because that is the God we serve. He loves to surprise us. 

 “Lord, help us live a wide-awake life!”


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