Social entrepreneur Charity Reeb recently set out to find a practical solution to the problem that she and many of her fellow Christians face: making a habit of practicing spiritual disciplines.
“Like many believers I know, I have struggled with spiritual disciplines,” Reeb says. “Some of my closest friends who are longtime Jesus followers have told me they have a hard time with even the most basic devotional practices.”
A search for templates that incorporated spiritual practices into daily life left Reeb dissatisfied.
“I decided to create something that would be simple and take the guesswork out of personal devotional time,” Reeb says. The result is the Real Life Journal, a weekly planner with daily exercises that enable users to practice spiritual disciplines of prayer and Scripture meditation as they pursue their goals and organize their time.
Reeb considers the Real Life Journal an alternative to the many notebooks and planners on the market that emphasize the achievement of work-related goals as the most important part of life.
Reeb says the journal’s subtitle, “Focus on What Matters & Live it Every Day,” expresses her desire to incorporate spiritual disciplines into a daily routine while avoiding a simplistic understanding of what devotions might look like.
“I wanted to move from seeing my devotional time as 30 minutes of my day toward seeing all of life as a devotional,” she says.
In an effort to provide a way for more people to share in her vision for a discipleship-centered approach to weekly planning, Reeb began a Kickstarter campaign. The resultant movement drew the attention of a high school in Canada whose 800 students will receive copies of the journal to help them prioritize their time and build a stronger sense of community. Students will use the journal’s Share Life template as they meet in groups to hold one another accountable.
The content of the journal is the result of a collaborative effort. Reeb created test pilot versions and sought feedback from a group of more than 1,200 people, including pastors, students, and business leaders.
In the spring of 2017, Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) students will use the journal as the driving force behind a campus-wide campaign called Be Present, during which students will be challenged to fast the use of their phones in public forums.
Natassia Lopez, a dorm pastor at SAGU, says she considers the Real Life Journal a perfect practical tool to accompany the campaign.
“I realized it was exactly what the students needed to take action and ownership of their relationships and their time,” Lopez says, adding that as a parent and a pastor, she has found the journal’s simple template beneficial to her own spiritual formation.
The Real Life Journal will be available through My Healthy Church.