Keeping Company: Keeping Items Found in Unlikely Places

Celeste at Joyous Lessons is starting a new monthly linkup series on “Keeping” as described in Laurie Bestvater’s book, The Living Page.  I have not yet read that, but thought I’d share a couple of pages from my Commonplace Books.  I love when Celeste shares on Wednesdays with Words.  She generally shares a picture of her page and her beautiful handwriting.

The first of my books is my Sermon Notebook.  I love taking notes during Sermons in a pretty binder, and now have many binders full of notes.  Sunday’s sermon was particularly excellent, about 1 Cor 10:31, “Whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God and tying back to Psalm 24 (which will be our next big memory passage. Can you say revel in the King?)  Pastor also referenced Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, “Pied Beauty“, I’m glad Anna found it and posted it to her blog.  Here are my notes:

I love the two points Pastor made 1) When it comes to God’s glory, all things are significant and 2) When it comes to God’s glory, all behavior has meaning.

I don’t know if a Sermon Notebook is a proper CM book, but I find it very helpful.

My second book is my proper Commonplace Book. (It’s the pink and white one above):

I don’t usually get caught by poetry, but happened across two poems recently. The first was Madeleine L’Engle’s (and let’s face it, if I’m going to love someone’s poetry, it is likely hers) “Epiphany” which I found on Twitter, of all places:

Unclench your fists
Hold out your hands.
Take mine.
Let us hold each other.
Thus is His glory

The second poem I recently found is W H Auden’s poem, ‘Leap Before You Look‘, which was referenced by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre in her book What’s in a Phrase?.

I thought it was interesting the places I found these.  Whether on Twitter (follow favorite authors) or taking a little extra digging (look up works alluded to), it adds depth to my Commonplace Book.

Come join us and find more examples of Keeping – Nature Journals, Books of Centuries, other Commonplaces – at Celestes’ Joyous Lessons!


  1. Thank you for linking this, Dawn! In the Living Page, Bestvater mentions that there are many potential iterations of notebooks beyond the "big three," depending on the needs and interests of the Keeper, and I think your sermon notebook is a wonderful way of engaging with what you hear. I don't currently keep any narration notebooks (as in, where I'm narrating something I have read or heard), but I really should–particularly for my reading. Right now, I scratch notes on various lists and they get all jumbled. 😉

    And by the way, your handwriting is so lovely and classic. 🙂

    1. I'm not very far in my "proper" commonplace book. I've tried them before but they've gotten lost. Keeping it – and pretty pens – in my Book Bag helps.

      Thanks for the comments … and the compliment 🙂

  2. I have a notebook – not specifically a sermon notebook – in which I write verses, notes, and prayers from my Bible readings. I haven't read The Living Page either (but plan to!), but it seems to me that there can be many forms of keeping, based on our own desires and what we expect to get out of them.

    Love that poem Epiphany…so simple, yet so full of truth. I really enjoyed your post!

    1. I need to take notes so I pay attention. And we are teaching the kids to, also (not as many lecture opportunities in homeschooling).

      I plan to read The Living Page next after I finish Consider This. I've had TLP long enough!

      Thanks! I hope you'll be back 🙂

  3. I've been starting to take more notes during sermons lately myself. I find that even if I don't go back and read, them just the note-taking helps me to remember it better. 🙂

    I really like that poem!

    1. I rarely refer back to them except in the car to help my kids narrate the sermon. But, es, the act of writing helps me recall overall.

  4. Liked those poems, Dawn. I've always kept a diary where I jot down everything – notes, poems, Scriptures, events but it was hard trying to find out where it was I had that great quote or when one of my children said something profound. Now I'm keeping a separate book as a Commonplace.

    1. Yes! I'm always amazed at how Mystie (or anyone) can find the perfect quote for the perfect situation. I've been watching the bullet journal posts and contemplating how to make an index even for my commonplaces.

      I tend to Facebook, tweet, or blog those clever sayings, but should probably write them so they're more permanent.

  5. Ahh! One day I'll be able to take notes during a sermon again. I'm sure I won't always have babies in my lap. 🙂

    I've missed my notebooks & had made a point to pick them up more this year. I should look at this book! Thanks!

  6. The sermon notebook looks like a very good idea. It is much like a commonplace book for a different purpose. I like how neat and tidy your notebooks are!

    1. I like to use a pretty book, too. My sermon notebook is a lovely purple, embossed leather (so soft) with nice paper and a ribbon. It makes note taking pleasant. Thanks! Often they have other papers (bulletins) or scraps shoved in until I get it cleaned up … like for pictures 🙂

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