From My Journal

By Brenda Jank

I love Psalm 26.2-3
Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind. For your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.

I like this quote, too. 
“Knowledge has a love affair with answers. Wisdom has a love affair with questions.” – Julio Olalla

As a routine, I try to move out of autopilot, hit pause, and ask myself good questions, typically early in the morning with pen and paper in hand.

As a family, we are going through a season of HARD. 

A few weeks ago I jotted down 4 questions. They have paved the way to a truck load of very good stuff for me and my heart.
What do I need?
 What do I want?
What do I not want?
What do I need from You?
Here’s a sneak peek at my journal from Sunday, October 22nd. 
Every time I answer these 4 questions it looks exceedingly different.

What do I need?

  • Only one answer – You.

What do I want?

  •  I want to shine a light on You in this dark space.
  •  I want the suffering of my children to have limits.
  •  I want to not gain 15 pounds.
  •  I want sunshiny days to sit outside and watch hundreds, thousands of leaves fall from the trees in the breeze. (My affection for the fall runs deep. We’ve had a lot of rain. Sunshine is forecasted for this week. I know where I need to be, even with a to-do list screaming for attention. It is an extravagant delight for me to spend an hour with Jesus under a canopy of falling leaves.)
  • I want to not forget that You are here.

What do I not want?

  •  I’m not sure today.
  •  Oh! I do not want to lose any more things (keys and credit card top the list at the moment).
  • I do not want to be afraid.

What do I want from You?
I answer this question with two things in mind. 1) the serenity prayer 2) a particular person.
Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.

On Sunday, nobody surfaced as I thought through this question. So the space was blank.

So this, my friends, is one page from my journal Sunday morning.

There are other pages. Many things to pour over these days as I pray, process, and ponder.

Ah! I spent the most remarkable time in 2 Corinthians 4
God did my soul good.
If you dig in sometime this week, you won’t be disappointed.

Brenda Jank and the Run Hard. Rest Well. team are thought leaders in the arena of Restorative Wellness. Find additional resources at Contact us at:

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13 thoughts on “From My Journal”

  1. Praying for the Jank family. This post was an arrow to my heart in some troubling times. Thank you. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power

    • Susan!
      You are spot on!
      Most days and weeks, I have very real needs of what I need – in general, and/or from someone specific in my life.
      This question helps me identify important things. It brings clarity.
      It honors my need(s) on a particular day – and gives them a voice.
      I hope this helps.
      (On Oct 22 … nothing surfaced as I asked that question.) May these questions be a blessing!

  2. God did my soul good! Really that says it all.  In the midst of joy and sorrow, of sunshine and rain, of want but content with my haves. I love you, Brenda.  I love your family…..even the challenging ones.  They do grow up, and we have to let them, even in the midst of heartbreak.

    • God does that! He does our soul, good.
      I love you, Betty.
      Your love and prayer SUPPORT surround us!
      Onward – Jesus leads the way!

  3. What does a particular person mean on question 4?

    Susan Renee Ferre’, RN, BSN, Founder of Kids on the Block and Friends- Decatur, IL

    • Good question.
      We are the family of God.
      We are inter-connected. Other people need us and we need them.
      Relationships are incredible complex.
      I tend to be one who gives a lot to others, but I don’t always do a good job of giving a voice to me needs.
      When needs go unmet, I can put up walls or allow bitterness an entry point.
      I have come to learn that sometimes people are not aware of what i need and it is OK, it is important to ask and share.
      “I need help, so I can take a break.”
      “I need to have some fun. Can we go out.”
      “I need some quiet time.”
      Is that helpful?!

      • Yes/ maybe…But apparently I don’t do that well. As far as communicating my needs. Hard time for me as well, trying to ponder the questions. I can relate to your answers.

        Susan Renee Ferre’, RN, BSN, Founder of Kids on the Block and Friends- Decatur, IL


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