Can I just tell y’all how excited I am to share three (yep THREE!) new journals with y’all today!?! A funny thing happened as I was writing this post a few months back. I could not get one line from the post out of my head.
“What idea has God put on your heart that the world NEEDS and would be sad to miss out on?”
It fueled me to think outside my comfortable box of the women’s prayer journal and see what else God had in store for Val Marie Paper. So here they are:
I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. My pregnancy with Vivi is when I designed the prayer journal to begin with. Pregnancy can be a time of worry and stress and discomfort or it can be a time of faith-building, peace and joy, the latter of which I never thought I’d experience, but did!
The pregnancy prayer journal is divided up into trimesters and then months with space to prayer for your worries, baby’s developments, future, your symptoms and dad. There is space for answered prayers and a Scripture verse and even goals.
We have a second section to include prayers for labor and delivery and the first six week. AND something I’m really excited about, the labor verses that I shared here are ALL included!! Honestly, if you are 6 months into pregnancy, I think the labor and post labor sections are worth the $15. I’m so glad we were able to fit the labor verses in!
If you are already using our women’s prayer journal, no need to stop using when you start this. This journal is specifically just for pregnancy so I’d actually encourage you to use both together. We don’t want those pregnancy months to just be focused inward so the women’s prayer journal, more geared toward all those people in our life, helps to do that. I actually considered including the full context of the women’s prayer journal in this so you could have together, but it would have been enormous, not fold properly and I really wanted it to be something you could take with you everywhere!
If you are in the process of trying to get pregnant, feel free to purchase before. I actually have a page for the first month, when you might get an inkling you are pregnant before you know for sure. And your secret is safe with VMP! We won’t share your potential news! 🙂
I never thought I would write a guide for marriage. Not because I am a total failure at it, but because I didn’t feel qualified to give such advice. But the thing is, I’ve been passionate about marriage for a while now. As a wedding planner, I was always more interested in preparing couples for a lifetime together instead of one day. So back to not being qualified. I REALLY wanted this guide to not be just a regurgitation of your standard marriage counseling questions. There were several times I was tempted to just google “good questions to ask before you are married” but instead, listened to more sermons than I thought possible on marriage and spoke to my own pastor, Dennis Malcolm, who we did pre-marriage counseling with. I also based a good bit on what I have learned from my own marriage. I have to say, I can’t wait to get my final copy so Tyler and I can officially fill out our journals too!!
So what is inside? I called the journal a compliment sandwich. PART 1 is all about the past and telling your story of how you got to the altar and what you love about your spouse. I hope on tough days, you will reference this section and be reminded of why you fell in love in the first place. PART 2 is the critiquing portion of our compliment sandwich. This section is about answering honestly your expectations for marriage. You WILL have different expectations. That’s why we are discussing them now instead of letting issues fester and turn into arguments that might have been avoided with a little communication. Prepare your heart, pray together before you dive in and remember, God wired us differently as husband and wife. What might look like differing opinions is probably God’s way of balancing you as a couple. PART 3 is your spot to dream together for your future and family legacy. These things don’t happen on accident, but take vision. May God inspire each of you to dream big and be open to how God can use your marriage for His glory.
The heart behind this journal is for you to grow closer together and start real conversations. This is not a book of rules to follow once you’ve answered every question and dotted every “i”. And it’s definitely not something to drag out during a fight and say “but you are supposed to do this.” Instead, it is to open your hearts to a marriage built on understanding your spouse. Just like an adventure, both a minute by minute itinerary or no plan at all will sabotage a trip.
I am probably most excited about this one because my twin sister Natalie wrote it. I like to tease her and take credit for this happening because while we were at the beach last Labor Day, I told her I knew what God wanted her to do: for her to write a devotional for singles. She said “I need to write this.” I honestly expected a little backlash and doubt. As I read the pages of months of work, all I could think was, I may have told her to write this, but she could have said no and none of this would have come to pass. She could have put a little time in and created a mediocre guide. But y’all, it is sooo good.
If you are single or have a friends, daughters, sisters who are single, THIS JOURNAL IS A MUST READ. Singleness is tough and it’s hard not to feel like you are in a holding pattern waiting for life to begin. This journal is not about patiently waiting for Mr. Right. It’s about LIVING wholeheartedly for the Lord. She is brilliant (ok, I’m a little biased) but I have watched her grow so much over the last 10 years in her faith and devotion to God. Being a twin, she says, is like having a constant barometer of where you should be. I know I feel it when it comes to our weight (I’m a good 15 lbs heavier than she is) and she has certainly felt it when it comes to singleness. She lives out her singleness with joy and to the fullest. I am constantly inspired by her.
Wholeheartedly, is broken into two sections. PART ONE is 21 days of devotions with Scripture to read and questions to answer. Keep a notebook and journal your thoughts as you read through, I have a feeling the questions will spur on a lot of thinking. PART TWO are fun extras to keep you encouraged and to use as a resource you can reference long after you finish your study. It includes a gratitude section, single girl’s bucket list, do’s and don’ts, goals and some of her favorite podcasts, books and songs.
I am kind of obsessed with the lettering that Mattie of The Green Tie Studio created for all three covers and each devotion in Wholeheartedly. I had originally picked other fonts for the covers, but am so glad I spotted her work again on Instagram. I sent an email late Friday night (like two weeks ago!!) because I was so excited it couldn’t wait till Monday and she was able to create such beauty while accommodating our crazy deadline!
And of course, all the lovely photos were taken by Catherine Guidry!! One of my favorite people on the planet for her sweet heart and passion for what she does. It bleeds through every image!
Yay!! There you have it! I’m so curious to hear your thoughts? What do you think? Are these what you were expecting?
Head on over to the VMP shop to order your journals and see more details!! These journals will ship February 9. Just in time for Valentine’s Day! 😉