RJD: Taking a Day Off with My Journal

I am a writer.

I write. Everyday. One thing or another.

Lately, it’s been hours in one position in front of my laptop at work on the Study Guides I hope to publish this fall as companion to my first Fable Springs Parables book. And, now that I’ve recently returned from the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference last week, I’m staring at my new Focus List of projects to put my energies into.

I love to write.

But, I’m exhausted!

So, making daily time for journaling in the midst of my writing projects cluttering up my drawing board, is beyond difficult. What’s a lover of writing and personal journaling to do?

Retreat–to advance.

A good example of that is when I was teaching at StoneBridge School in Chesapeake, Virginia in the mid-1990’s. As a Principle Approach teacher, I was tasked with writing my own curriculum from my personal studies of my subject. I was teaching drama and writing original plays for production in addition to promotional writing for the school in general at the time. I had a full year of events and activities on my plate plus two elementary aged children. Time for my own personal journaling curled up in a thoughtful position in an overstuffed chair with a cuppa tea was not a regular part of my routine.

One of the most memorable days I spent was with a young student photographer who knew I was fascinated with the abandoned dairy farm ruins I passed on the way to school each day. They enthralled his artistic spirit, too. He planned to photograph them one Saturday morning and invited me along to explore with him. I was happy for the invite–I’d have never ventured to such a site alone.

barn bnwa

Securing childcare for the morning, I met him on the grounds with a fold out beach chair, snack food, sketch pad, journal, and writing instruments. While he wandered about clicking away with his 35 mm camera, I found my quiet place under a shade tree in front of a decaying, ancient barn.

I looked closely at the landscape before me–studying the details. I wrote what I saw.

I listened to the sounds of nature surrounding me. I wrote what I heard.

But, when I listened for His still, small voice within my spirit to explain the significance of these ruins and my retreat there, I made sense of what I wrote. My sloppy, stumbling prose tightened into poetic free verse–blowing a breath of refreshment into my writing life that became a watershed moment for me as a writer.

God reminded me of to Whom my pen belongs–and for Whom I write my words. Love letters, all.

A Romance . . . in the ruins . . .

The Romance of the Ruins


There is an abandoned dairy farm near my home.

Each time I drive past, it beckons me

And I sense a feeling of Romance!

In this place


I think…I dream.

A story to tell,

A pause to listen,

What will I hear?

What secrets discover?

The romance of the ruins;

A rendezvous with a Lover.

He’ll speak in the breeze.

He’ll laugh joyous in song,

Throated through sparrows, cooed softly by pigeons,

Roosting amid the tattered framework

Of a sheltered place long abandoned.

He’s still there.

Through the cricket’s violin and the reeds of the trees,

The splash of blue sky and golden sun,

Twinkling through teasing clouds,

Through that red barn door hanging askew,

I’m swept off my feet!

Shall we dance a galliard before we waltz?

I don’t know,

My Lover leads.

There is an abandoned dairy farm near my home.

A place that once produced nourishment for the body

Nourishes now my soul.

And my spirit soars…

Kathryn Ross, Copyright 1996

Have you ever written something that you know was a love letter from the Heart of God to your journal?

I’ve fed off of this poem and the metaphors hidden in its depths for years. It is so very precious to me. What I’ve shared here is the short, abridged version. In its original form it is much longer with a host of imagery drawing one into the setting of this abandoned dairy farm. When I have read it intermittently through the years, God always speaks another layer of truth through it to my spirit. Always relevant–even though they are words I penned almost 20 years ago. 

THIS. Is the glory of keeping a journal. Whether you can maintain one on a daily basis, or in select seasons like me–each word is a record of a Divine Encounter with the Lover of Our Souls. 

And, our spirits soars . . .

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P.S. Are you curious about the full version of The Romance of the Ruins? I’m preparing to re-publish it in an E-book devotional that will be available this fall. Look for me to offer it as a FREE GIFT to new subscribers to The Writer’s Reverie when I release it for a limited time. I plan to announce it on RJD so you’ll hear about it first!! SUBSCRIBE TODAY and let me know you did with a COMMENT. I’ll put you on the list of recipients first! If you’re already subscribed and want to be on that list–leave me a comment and you’ll be on the list, too!

Kudos to our Enthusiastically Dawn for creating such an enriching community of kindred spirits as we cheer each other on with our pens and journals and the glorious words we bring to life–to the glory of God!

Sharing RJD: Taking a Day Off with My Journal with Enthusiastically Dawn’s RJD Linky!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Kathryn Ross

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and blogs at PageantWagonPublishing.com.


  1. I come here through RJD. I enjoyed your post. Yes, I just subscribed to your blog. I look forward to reading more of your posts and seeing your arrwork.

  2. Miss Kathy, such richness. Such eloquence and beauty…I so enjoy our mutual love for journal keeping, and writing…loving and learning as our Savior leads. We do need to touch base soon. That long lost skype call. I will contact you. Soon! Thank you so much for making the time to share such a lovely post and poem. It is so true, the words that come feed us, nourish us. I know my writing is a gift…but this gift is that He speaks to me through me and it feeds me…so I so relate to your heart on this matter…this truth – He is amazing.

  3. Kathy, once again a beautiful and engaging post. yes, I have written words in my journals that i know were romance poems from The Father straight to my heart. There is nothing like it!

    • Hi Susie! Thanks so much for your comment. The romance is not ended! I’m expanding the full length version into a devotional e-book and will be publishing teaser excerpts. God’s pen blessings never get old. His Word and the words He pours into our journals have power to nourish our souls and spirits til we meet Him in the sky.

  4. Kel Rohlf says:

    I love how you make time for your journal and a date with God…I like to go to our botanical gardens for just such a date…love your enthusiasm and creativity…your life sounds like a wondrous adventure with God! JOY to you!

  5. I love your writing, dear friend. And that poem was beautiful imagery to feast upon in my soul. I love old buildings, too. And yes, there are many *lessons* to be gathered when we ponder them.

    Much energy and insight as you prepare your study guides. And may God continue to bless you on the journey.


    • Blessings, Sharon! I’ve been digging into some older nuggets of my writing and finding new treasure. I returned from the writers conference with a more focused vision and new challenges to conquer. Trying to get back on track with my blog writing and reading. See you at your place!

  6. When God breathes words into our spirits, it is a wonderful romance indeed! Beautiful imagery, Kathy-both poetic and prose.

I would love to hear from you--share your thoughts!


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