The Notebook

Shortly before our teenage son was sentenced to prison on May 23rd of this year, I was really struggling with the unknown. I have a history of when I feel life is out of control, my natural tendency is to be drawn away from God. It can be a struggle to keep my eyes focused on Him so I have to be purposeful in my thoughts and actions. I went to the passage in the Bible of when Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40-days found in Luke 4:1-13.

What popped out at me was every time Jesus was tempted by Satan, Jesus replied with Scripture. He’d start out every reply to the devil with “It is written”. So, I decided to do the same thing and I started a journal. On the top of my page I wrote the words, “It is Written”. Then throughout my day, when I felt tempted in thought or anything not from God, I’d open my Bible, find a verse that counteracted the temptation and write it down. I did this for all of 2 days.

A few weeks later, I was at work and felt worn out and scared from worrying about our sons’ upcoming sentencing date in May. To say the devil was messing with me is an understatement. I do home health care and my 88-year-old client is a strong Christian man. We have what is called a communication book and each aide writes a simple paragraph to let the other shifts know how his day or night went. In the basement, my client has 2 boxes full of Mead subject notebooks. The pages of the communication book were full, so I went downstairs to grab a new notebook.

He has notebooks in every color of the rainbow and for some strange reason I remember telling myself, “Grab a yellow one, it will make you happy.” On top was a blue notebook, so I flipped through the spirals until I saw a yellow cover. As I was walking up the stairs, I looked down at the notebook in my hands and stopped walking. “Whoa” was all that I could say as I stared at the notebook. 


I sat at my clients dining room table for the longest time just staring at the notebook. My clients’ wife has been with Jesus for 4 years now and  I wondered which one of them wrote on this particular notebook. When I showed it to my client, he remembered nothing, but told me to keep the notebook. 

I wondered when God had prompted one of them to write 3 words that would hold so much power to someone they hadn’t even met yet. Three words that would be found in May 2013. Three words that would make this mom who felt helpless and out of control feel embraced by hope. I wondered why a God would go through so much trouble to let me know, I see you. I see you in Lincoln, Nebraska and I know your struggles to keep your focus and I’m letting you know, I love you. Stay in My Word. I’m worth trusting.

I didn’t even tell Gene about this right away. I just didn’t know how to wrap my mind around something so bizarre. Something that only God could do. Nobody but God knew about my attempt to keep an “It is Written” journal. 

The yellow colored notebook did indeed make me happy. But happiness wasn’t all God had for me. He had hope, encouragement, love and strength waiting for me. He used that notebook to remind me that I have a God Who is so aware of my need and desire for Him that He will go to great lengths to get my attention. Even through a canary yellow Mead notebook buried in a box under blue, green and red notebooks. 

I don’t know if you are enduring something heavy right now, but if you believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, know He has His eye on you. He sees you right where you are and wants to love you through your journey. 

It is Written…



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37 Responses to The Notebook

  1. jazzimum says:

    I love this Lelia! Responding to the promptings is one of the delights of knowing Jesus. xo

  2. Kelly Greer says:

    He is so faithful….In similar times, I have gone “into the desert” for 40 days and answered God’s call to a radical sabbatical – no email, no internet, no outside dates except for church and/or prayer group – and a time dedicated to him – discipline in the disciplines – physical – mental – spiritual. A committed 40 days in his word and journaling. He transformed me during those 40 days with him…..And he met me right where I was. He gave me what I needed at that time…a book that somehow ended up in my grandson’s hands and he delivered to me, marked in 3 places – I thought my best friend must have given it to his mom to give to him to give to me….no….he “randomly” found the book on the shelf, and gave it to me….Wow! I used that book and the bible for my 40 days. It is “Streams in the Desert” – the old fashioned edition. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it’s daily dose of comfort and further reflection on the God who has his eyes on you, especially during this difficult time. Still praying for you all,

  3. Judy Gruidel says:

    I love that God already had this notebook for you way before you even knew you needed it! He is truly SO GOOD! And only God knows how healing your writing is for you and others. This “Godincidence” blows me away. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Kathleen L. Maher says:

    wow. Thank you. And may the Lord bless you and your son. I hope he is surrounded by mighty angel armies all through his days and nights until he returns home to you. Bless you, Lelia.

  5. Alexis Moses says:

    WOW! Look at God! that was very encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing this Lelia!!

  6. Sita says:

    I needed that. The God Who sees me.

  7. This is just like Jesus to love you so personally. Wow!

  8. Mississippi says:

    What a mighty God we serve! This was an encouragement to me tonight!! God bless you!

  9. What a tender, compassionate, all-knowing God we serve! I LOVED this story ~ so glad you shared it Lelia. This might be a perfect verse for an It Is Written Journal…”You will keep him {her} in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he {she} TRUSTS in You.” Is.26:3
    Continued peace and blessings as you trust in the Lord through this journey of faith.

  10. Dixie says:

    And that’s the God that promises never to leave us even when we doubt Him and His Almighty Power! That’s an awesome thing to ponder Lelia ~ thanks for sharing!

  11. oh Lelia, WOW. what an amazing moment…to know that you were prompted to pick and yellow one and that God would have you select that one with words to draw deep into your heart. I think that the idea of keeping a book full of scripture to counteract the lies we so often hear and believe is such a great idea. I definitely need to know more of His word…and I long to long for it like my very breathe depends on it. I like the ways that God does crazy things like this to let us know he cares. Thank you for reminding me friend.

    • My girlfriend Renee Swope taught me how to “throw away” thoughts/lies from Satan away and replace then with God’s truth. You can find the link to her website on my home page if you’re not familiar with her. 🙂
      Blessings to you!

  12. Chrissie says:

    God is AWESOME! He knows just what we need and when we need it. When we doubt that, we doubt His love. May I always remember and trust. Blessings and thanks for sharing this Lelia.

  13. Susan says:

    Thank you Leila, your words went straight from your mothers heart to this mothers heart. God is working mightily sending encouragement to me through your words. … It is written..yes

  14. suto13 says:

    Thank you Leila, opening your heart, straight to another hurting mothers heart. ( In Australia ) God is using you mightily. Needing encouragement for my adult children. God is working mightily with His word through your words…. It is written.

  15. jillberan says:

    Wow, I love this story Lelia! He is such a great God who cares about and controls absolutely every detail!! Thanks for sharing and reminding me of just that!!! Blessings and prayers from Iowa!!

  16. Wow. What a beautiful story of God’s personal touch and voice. I needed this today.

  17. Beth says:

    Oh! My! How absolutely powerful! Truly a God thing!


  18. wow! That’s awesome!

  19. hisfirefly says:

    this was surely worth the re-post Lelia!
    His ways are timing are beyond comprehension!

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