So, how did Every Word Collective come to be?
Somewhere in mid 2018, I was going through what I believe was a spiritual famine. And it’s sad to say, but it went on for quite awhile. I was spiritually starving, spiritually parched, and spiritually exhausted. I was really struggling. Looking back I can see I was letting my flesh rule by not allowing Christ to live His life through me by the Spirit and by not going to Him every day in His Word. My wifehood, motherhood, and every other kind of hood was suffering. Life was just really difficult and really, I was making it that way. I was not tending to my soul as a follower of Christ ought to so as to be nourished by and tethered to the Lord.
It finally got to the point where I cried out to the Lord in desperation, “Lord! What is going on? Help me… what do I do? Tell me what to do and I’ll do it!”
And He answered. (I feel like the Lord always answers me when I am the most honest with Him)
In His gentle voice, He said…
‘You haven’t been reading my Word.
I want you to read my Word every day.
and I want you to read it cover to cover.
Aaaaand I want you to write down everything I show you.”
With His answer, I immediately realized that I was spiritually depleted because I had not been sitting with Him and soaking in His Word. I was not taking in my Daily Bread. I was weary and had no strength. I was spiritually malnourished. I had been in a famine and didn’t even realize it. Physically, there is a point in starvation where you just don’t feel the pangs of hunger anymore. I believe it is the same way with spiritual starvation, you don’t feel it… but by God’s grace, you sure do feel the effects of it.
And then He reminds you of His presence and calls you back to Himself and His Word.
In the deepest part of my soul, I already knew His Word was the answer. I knew I was trying to live in my own strength on a poor diet of “yesterday’s manna.”
I responded with, “Okay, Lord.” And I set out to obey and read His Word every day and journal the journey.
I took the practical step to put my Bible in a place where I could readily see it every day so as to make it easier to remember to read it. I chose a reading plan to use and promised myself grace as I started to go through it.
Next, I set out to find a journal where I could “write down every thing the Lord showed me.” I jumped online to find a journal with a Bible reading plan in it since I was going to be reading from Genesis to Revelation. I wanted to be able to keep track of where I was. I wanted it to be simple and clean with nothing distracting on the pages. And I didn’t want it to have set dates where I would have to read set passages on a certain day of the year in case I “fell behind.” I had tried reading the Bible before and would fall behind, would get discouraged, and would just stop reading all together.
I’m sure none of you reading this can relate to that;)
With my desires in mind, I went looking for a journal, and I could not. find. one. anywhere.
Then I thought, “Why don’t I just make one?”
(This is the MOMENT where a little seed that that I believe the Lord planted in my heart long ago burst and sprouted into an idea that only the Lord could have given.)
Without a doubt, I can say that God gave me the idea to create this journal.
I also feel God gave me the name for the journal as I was reading through the Bible on this journey. I got to Deuteronomy 8:3 and it says,
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
The Every Word Journal and Every Word Collective was officially named.
Now, without knowing anything about journal design or layouts, I set out to create said journal. And thankfully, I didn’t have to go too far. This kind of thing is in my husband’s wheelhouse and he so graciously helped me bring the idea to life.
In order to get the idea “on paper” the journal first started out as a multiple page PDF (183 pages to be exact) and was put in a 3 ring binder. At this point I thought this Journal really could be something that would bless others and I didn’t want to just trouble shoot it by myself. I got a few friends in on the trouble shooting with me! Not sure if they appreciated the heavy 3 ring binder I gave them, but they were super supportive and willing to try it out because they, too, noticed a desire and need to read God’s Word cover to cover in a simplified way.
Here is a photo of the first “journal” in binder form…
After using the binder for a bit, we just decided to finish up the journal layout and get it printed in book form. The first edition of the journal was paperback, had a gray cover and black spine, contained many typographical errors;) and felt so so so good to finally hold in my hands. I’ll never forget the day it came in the mail, especially when my at the time 7 year old daughter exclaimed, “Mommy, I’m so proud of you!” And I was able to tell her, “Sweet girl, God gets all the glory, it was His idea anyway!”
Here is the first paperback version…
Next, we made a revision to the cover, making it a lighter solid gray all the way around and inverted the text on the cover to be white. We also created a hardcover option.
Here is the final hardcover version…
So, that is the story of Every Word Collective. (so far;)
Every Word Collective is here to create resources to encourage you in your time spent in God’s Word!
I believe God has given me a few ideas for other possible resources, but for now I am seeking Him and His timing.
I don’t know what lies ahead for EWC, but I do know that God knows… and whatever it is, I pray that it brings Him glory and that it draws others closer to Him through the reading of His Word. Every. Day!
Again, thank you for being here!