After sharing my personal God-story (Coming Into Faith and Running on Mission) with all of you over the past two weeks, I thought today I would take it one step further and share with all of you some of the daily, spiritual rhythms I’ve established to draw closer to God and experience more of Him and His Presence in my life. These things I’m sharing today are especially important to me as I seek to cultivate everyday abundance in 2017, and I’ve been learning more and more that when I take the time to show up and let Him into my day, He reveals Himself and speaks to me in ways I never imagined. He is so good and faithful like that!
Part of my inspiration from today’s post comes from working through the Rhythms & Grace Devotional this month, as well as the time I’ve been spending going through the All Things New bible study since the first of the year. Just this past week in bible study, I read these words:
“The wisdom and knowledge of Jesus is what the world is desperate for. … What people are longing for is to meet someone with abiding spiritual wisdom and knowledge about what truly matters. Someone to tell them the secret wisdom of God that rescues us from loneliness, satiates our longings, obliterates the strongholds that keeps us addicted, and washes our consciences clean!”
And friends, it’s the daily, spiritual rhythms we practice that cultivates in us the secret wisdom of God and gives us power to get through whatever is facing us in our lives. And in these politically charged times, especially, and with so many voices coming at us, I think we could all use a little more (how about a lot more) of what God longs to give us.
I certainly don’t have it all figured out – I stumble and fall and forget and have to repent (A LOT) – but I have been doing this thing with God for some time now, and there are just some really simple things that despite the times and changes in my personal life have remained a constant in drawing close to God and experiencing His love, grace, and blessings. So, below I’ve listed those things and invite you to join me in practicing some or all of them. I’d also love to hear what your rhythms are; there is so much we can learn from one another on our journeys.
Time in God’s Word: I love to begin my day with my bible and a hot cup of coffee. There is something about opening the pages of my bible, ruffling through its pages, letting His truth saturate my mind at the start of a fresh new day. It sets my day on the right course and helps prepare me mentally and emotionally for whatever might come up. Also – the more marked up and highlighted my bible is, the better. What I usually do is take something that stuck out to me from either a devotional or bible study I’m working through and bring it to life by writing my own commentary or prayer/praise, or handlettering the specific verse (or a paraphrase of it) in the margin. Lately, I’ve been really enjoying The Message version, and I’m reminded of a quote by Charles Spurgeon that I just LOVE – “a bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to a person who isn’t.” So true, friends! If you have one rhythm you decide to incorporate into your life – choose the Word of God. It is powerful and transforming!
Praise and Prayer: The past few years I’ve been very intentional about also starting my days in a posture of praise and prayer. I like to write (bet you didn’t know that), so I journal my praises (the things I’m thankful for, the prayers God answered, the things I’m excited about) and my prayers / petitions (everything from the small to the big that is on my heart that day). Then after I write it all out (it’s usually only about two pages), I pray out loud to God. It’s very centering, and much like being in the Word, helps put my focus on what really matters. It also reminds me that God is in control and I am not. More Jesus, less me. That’s what I want my life to look like – every part of it.
Worship: It’s not uncommon for me to be found working, doing things around the house, or driving with the worship music turned up. Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, and Hillsong United are a few of my favorites. I’m also currently loving the new albums by Kari Jobe, Ellie Holcomb, and Brian and Jenn Johnson (check them out if you haven’t already)! The beat of the music pumps me up and the lyrics are real and raw and speak truth and power.
Practicing Sabbath: Starting at the end of last year, I began routinely setting aside one day of the week (usually Sunday) to be home all day and have no plans other than to rest, cook a good meal at home, spend time with the Lord and with my hubby. It has done my soul wonders to have intentional downtime to do the things I love – being creative, reading good books, catching up on movies I’ve long wanted to see, and napping (yes, sleep is a gift from above!). When I take a break from the tasks and to-do’s of life to bask in these good things, I go to bed in peace and wake up refreshed for the day ahead. There’s no better way to start a new week, in my opinion.
Health and Wellness: I very much consider taking care of my body, mind, and spirit a spiritual rhythm. God’s Word says that our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit and that we need to care for them as the divine vessels they are, so that’s what I’m committed to doing. I run, I strength-train, I walk, and I stretch. I drink a lot of water, attempt to get enough sleep every night, and do my best to eat well and consistently. I don’t sleep with my phone next to my head, I do my best to have “technology free” time during the week, and I have certain “self-care” things I do each day. My goal is to glorify God with the body, mind, and spirit He’s given me and be my best self. (And sometimes that even involves a burger, fries, and a bottle of brew … because you know, God created these things and they are good too! Amen?) Another thing I’ve adopted into my weeks – specifically my hour-long drive to/from the office – is listening to the Revelation Wellness podcast, focused on a “healthy and whole” lifestyle – mind, body, and spirit. It’s really encouraging and truth-filled goodness that challenges, motivates, and empowers. Check it out if you’re looking for something new to listen to!
Fellowship and Sisterhood: The Lord has blessed me with the most amazing friendships with some of the most creative, kind, loving, smart, talented, and Godly women I’ve ever known. This has truly been an answer to prayer, as there was a time in my life after college where I really didn’t feel connected to anyone who shared my faith, passions, etc. I’ve really developed a unique friendship and sisterhood with some awesome women and being able to connect with them throughout my weeks via text, email, social media, and going out for “girl time” is something I am so thankful for! It’s not uncommon for us to share prayer requests, encouraging words, our dreams and snippets of projects we’re working on with one another. The way each of these ladies spurs me on in my journey is essential to my life. There is nothing like community, and thanks to the modern wonders of technology, we can do that no matter the distance and time between visits. I hope I am half of the encouragement and inspiration they are to me on a regular basis.
So there you have it – some simple things I do to draw close to God and abide in His Presence in my everyday life. I encourage you to try one or all of these things if you’re looking to know Him more and experience the peace and joy that can only come from Him. God will honor your obedience to Him and will bear much fruit from your remaining in Him.
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Your soul is most fulfilled in the small, quiet moments on bedroom floors where you pray or in comfy chairs where you read your Bible or in your car where you worship God with Hillsong turned up so loud you can’t hear yourself singing.”
– Jennie Allen, Nothing to Prove
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