Friday, December 26, 2008


Christmas was different this year for our family. As a follow-up from my last blog entry, my husband and I went shopping to buy our girls gifts to place under the tree with the unexpected money we had received. We found nothing. Literally-nothing. Nothing seemed right. No matter what we could put into a wrapped boxed... a pair of jeans, that new perfume they wanted, the electronic all seemed empty. We walked out of the shopping center with gift cards instead. There were no presents under the tree. We really felt burdened about the meaning of Christmas in our house and how we needed to honor it this year. So this year each girl received a stocking with candy, make-up items, the gift card, and one special gift God laid on my heart. Joe and I felt so strongly this year that the best gift we could give our girls was the gift of having a relationship with God, a real relationship.

Now you and I know that Joe and I cannot give this to them-so as parents how do we encourage this? This is something they have to accept from God himself and as parents we can plant the seed. We both have come so far with God and it is only because of the time we commit to Him each morning and through the way we try to walk our life each day. Though we are not perfect, we are changed. Our life is secure in Him. We want our girls to have that.

So each girl received a journal in their stocking and we have encouraged them to journal a piece of scripture each day. The more they spend in scripture, the more they will get to know Him and the more He will become a part of their life. Though each girl has accepted Christ as their Savior, their lives are their own. They don't seem to include Him in much. So we introduced a discipline to them. Though we have planted rewards for them if they do this, it is up to them to accept the challenge we presented before them. We know in the the end, the ultimate reward will be the discipline of spending time with God.

Years ago I was introduced to the "S.O.A.P" method of journaling scripture. I have taught it to women at several conferences I have been involved in. I was attracted to it I think because it was similar to the old way of charting we did in the medical field in the 70's & 80's. I introduced this to our girls and I thought I would share it with you. I still use this from time to time such as when I am between studies during my own quiet time. I do not know who the creator is to give them the credit. Maybe one of you will find this useful within your quiet time for 2009. Here is a condensed version of the S.O.A.P method:

~record the verses or verses you have read within your quiet time
~what is the verse saying? What is the message?
~How can you apply it to your own life?
~pray the scripture back

It is so simple but can be so powerful.

I can reflect back on 2008 and see it as the year of TRUTH. Every study I was involved in, every devotional lead me to the TRUTH of who I am in God and where He is taking me in this journal of life. It has been a most amazing year of growth, release, capture, renewal, and security. Like Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1-2), I am “rejoicing in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my [past]; I rejoice because God rescued me. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides God; there is no rock like our God".

2009 holds to be a year of PRAYER for me (I recorded how I came to this here). I am excited about this journey and the changes it will mean for me and the continual molding of my Fathers hands. I pray all of you experience God in a profound way in this new year. I hope all of you have found that special piece of Scripture to carry you though 2009. Be determined to know Him better! I wrote Phil 3:10-11 in my girls journal covers and I will pray it for each of you.

Striving to live in the power of prayer~Pamela


Amy said...

This is a wonderful idea, Pamela!:)
I am going to write it down and give it a try myself.

I hope that you and your family have a lovely holiday weekend!
God Bless,

Jill said...

Good words - Christmas has been different for me this year as well. The thought God put on my heart this last week was what He wants for Christmas. We spend so much time thinking about, asking and looking for what others want, but what about Him? I gave Him my life 9 years ago, but have assured Him it's all His and as He calls me to the unknown, I know this is all part of His plan. Thanks for sharing about your daughters gifts, good idea!! Some day I may do the same when my youngens get a little older. We've done the 3 gift thing, just like the wise men brought Jesus, which is good and accepted by my kids, but my family who is all about stuff, presents and more stuff struggle to understand this. But like you say maybe we are planting seeds. Blessings to you and your family, Jill

Laura said...

This is such a sweet post about your desires for your girls, Pamela. I, too, have these dreams for my boys. It is my greatest prayer that their relationship with the Lord will be the guiding force in their lives.



elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Still working on my verse for 2009. I think I have it, but continue to be open to the Lord's leading.

SOAP...I've been doing it, just didn't know what to call it. Very practical and life changing to boot.

May God's peace and blessing rest upon you and your household as you move into the promise of a new year. Are you coming to She Speaks again? I haven't gotten a registration notice as of yet. Still not sure about going.


much2ponder said...

Perhaps what came from your heart was the perfect gift for this Christmas. You point them in the right direction and offer encouragement and acceptance and trust them to the Lord. God is so good.

Beth in NC said...

I love the journal idea for your daughters. That was a precious gift. I may have to use that idea!


LynnSC said...

Pamela... what a wonderful thing you guys did for your girls. I am a huge fan of journaling. It not only helps me organize my thoughts and prayers... but it helps me be able to go back and review them later to see what God has done in each situation.

I haven't come across the SOAP method yet... sounds great. I will have to give it a try.

This statement in your post was SO powerful...
"Though we are not perfect, we are changed."

What more can we hope for?? A changed life that will reflect Christ.

Thanks so much for sharing all of this with us,

Anonymous said...

Pamela, thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such kind coments.
I love your the journal idea for your daughters! I pray they will grow closer to the Lord while using their journals.
I wrote the SOAP method down; geat idea. I have kept a journal for several years.
Blessings to you,
Miriam <><

Yolanda said...


Not sure of my exact word at the moment, but a scripture that I re-committed to memory just this morning has really been beating in my heart.

James 3:17

And from that this is my prayer back....

I desire to be found with the wisdom that comes from heaven, to be pure, peace-loving, considerate of others, submissive to those in authority, especially God and my Man, full of mercy towards ALL others, and TONS AND TONS of GOOD fruit, that I would be impartial and especially sincere.

I'm thinking the word just may be either Mercy or Wisdom.

Love to you and I am feeling so much better, please continue to pray as I know that I know God is answering them.


Angela said...

I've journalled for YEARS. I love this time with the Lord. I always start with two scriptures, than I pray them, in written form, I just pour out my heart. I've journalled since I was quite young. My daugther and I have a journal where we write each night to one another, back and forth we go, leaving little 'notes of love', blessings, etc. We have done this now for 2 years. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I will be adding you to my bloglist so I can come and 'visit' you and spend some time in God's Word, ((hugs))

Angela said...

Paula and I get mixed up alot,lol. I`m Angela, Free Spirit Haven. Paula is His Living Sacrifice..((hugs))

Kim said...

It's so great to "meet" you! I love your blog and love the idea of the SOAP method.... thanks for sharing it. I know your girls will be so blessed by beginning to use it in their time with the Lord. Looking forward to your posts in the New Year!!!

Heather of S-A-M said...

Great Post! This sounds like a really great thing for the girls to do. I'm sure it will accelerate their growth too.

Merry Late Christmas by the way!

Love, Heather

Gail W. said...

WOW - SOAP notes! I am having a major flashback. I like your mnemonic better than subjective, objective, assessment, plan:)

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Wonderful gifts. You and Joe have such wonderful hearts and beautiful desires for your children. It is truly a blessing. I wish I was raised with such a Christ-focus. I have wonderful parents but missed the focus of Christ as number one concern in my childhood.

I learned of the S.O.A.P. journaling also. It's a great way to be disciplined.

I hope your girls will take hold of it and God will use that SOAP discipline to draw them ever close to Him, clinging as His ever Word, thirsting for more of Him, wanting to take Him everywhere.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time here...I found you at A View form the Mountain top...

Just what I needed this so many ways...Yesterday it was laid upon my heart to start a prayer journal...because I fail to remember things and people whom I had committed to pray for so I will be trying S.O.A.P.

Second...1 Samuel 2:1-2...I have been reading about Hannah in the first Chapter....but never made it to chapter 2...I have read 1 over and over and over...
Thank you
God Bless You

Yolanda said...


This morning in my devotion/quiet time there was a word that has been beating in my heart and I knew that I knew this was the word God had for me.



<3 said...

I found your blog by searching for SOAP devotional. I recently started a soap blog online. Will you be posting your soap online?

I LOVE YOU said...


Miss jane said...