I’m changing things up this week, and in lieu of a 5 on Friday post, I’m digging a little deeper. You may remember that I did something radical to kick off 2017. I became a goal-setter. Crazy, right? It actually was for me, and I’d love for you to read about my journey and that process.
My word for the year is “nurture,” and I’m trying to do that in several areas of my life. Because my faith is the cornerstone of everything for me, I thought it was best to start there. Today, I’m sharing how I nurture my faith: the routines and resources that help me stay close to the Lord. I’ve also got a little giveaway for you–something to help and encourage you in your own faith journey.
Let me start by saying that I’ve been a Christian my whole life. I don’t actually remember an exact moment when I asked Jesus to come into my life, but I was raised in a Christian home and have always believed in Jesus as my Savior. It hasn’t always been a smooth road, but I’m so grateful for God’s faithfulness. He’s worked in me and through me in so many ways. I’m still a work in progress, and this year, I’ve really been making more of an effort to nurture my faith.
I don’t do any of these things to earn God’s approval or to make Him love me. Jesus already paid my debt. God loves me because of who He is–not because of what I do. Even so, following Him makes me want to draw nearer to Him, and these things help me do that.
Prayer is simply a way of talking to God, and it’s something I do a lot. I wake up and pray quietly to myself. I pray out loud with my kids while I’m driving them to school. I pray while I’m sitting in traffic (“Lord, give me patience.”). I pray when things go awry during the day (“Help me Holy Spirit because my kids’ bickering is driving me crazy.) I actually use “Help me Holy Spirit” a lot. The Bible tells us that when we don’t know what to pray for, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. Isn’t that wonderful assurance?
I also pray when things go well–victories big and small are worth celebrating and praising Him for. I pray when I get a request from a friend. It’s so easy to brush those off and think you’ll get to it later. My mind is so busy during the day that if I don’t do it right then, I’m likely to forget. I pray with my kids as I’m tucking them in at night. I pray before I go to sleep, and sometimes I fall asleep during my prayer.
If you feel like your prayer life is lacking, just start praying more. Nothing fancy–God already knows your heart. He just wants to hear from you. Talk to Him like you’re talking to your friend. In fact, He is your friend, and He just wants you to trust him enough to spill it all.
I try to nurture my faith through media–things I read and listen to that help me grow closer to the Lord. As for books, I’m a huge bookworm. I’m almost constantly reading several books at once. These are all books that I’ve read within the past year and loved.
I also love worship music. I used to listen to it all the time, but I’d gotten out of the habit. Now, I listen to it in the car and usually have it on when I’m home working or cooking or doing laundry. Pandora is my music source of choice, and my favorite stations for worship music are:
- Hillsong United
- Bethel Music
- Praise & Worship
- Lauren Daigle
- Hymns 4 Worship
I also have a favorite podcast that I look forward to every week–the God Centered Mom. The creator is Heather MacFadyen, and we met years ago when our kids were in preschool together.
Heather has such a heart for the Lord. Her desire is to help women replace “me” with “He.” She does that through incredible guests on her show–authors, teachers, moms, dads, and so many people full of Godly wisdom. New episodes are released every Monday, but you can also go back and listen to the last three years of goodness (this is what I do on road trips to Houston to visit my sister). Definitely check it out–it’s perfect for listening to while you’re walking the dog or driving around town.
As Christians, we’re called to live in community with other believers. Regular church attendance has been crucial for us as a family. I’m so very grateful to have a wonderful church home that feels like a small community.
Throughout the years, I’ve been involved in small groups and various Bible studies. It’s such a special thing to be able to celebrate and grow in faith with others. I also try to surround myself with people who lift me up and help keep me accountable. I meet with a small group of women monthly and love their fellowship and wisdom. One of my goals for 2017 is to really connect in a weekly Bible study again. So far, I’ve failed at this. Like I said before, I’m a work in progress and this is an area I need to work on.
Oh, how I love quiet time. It’s my time to pray and reflect and listen to God. I used to wake up really early and sneak downstairs for this. These days, I’m embracing more sleep and on most mornings, my mister wakes me up by bringing me coffee in bed. While he hops in the shower, I enjoy my coffee and have my quiet time. There are days when morning quiet time doesn’t happen, so I’ll try to sneak it in later–usually after I take my kids to school.
I start with prayer and then read my Bible and/or do a devotional. I’ve tried several devotionals, but Jesus Calling is a long-time favorite. I’ll read the daily passage and then look up the verses. Almost every morning, I think, “This is exactly what I needed to hear today.” A lot of my friends also use this devotional, and we talk about how spot on it usually is.
This year, I started incorporating a Write the Word journal from the Cultivate What Matters Shop into my quiet time. It’s a beautiful journal (as is everything that team designs) that really helps you focus on the Bible.
Each day, you start by writing down something you are grateful for, and then there is a selected verse that you write out. Just the act of looking up the verse and then handwriting it has been so beneficial. There is another page where you can journal your thoughts, prayers, or anything else that’s on your heart that day.
Unfortunately, the journals are sold out and unavailable right now. Here’s where the giveaway comes in. When I purchased my journal, I bought extras. If this is something you’re interested in, I would LOVE for you to have one.
I’m giving away 4 Write the Word journals. To enter, simply click on the link below. If you have any friends that might want one of these journals, please forward them the link to this post.
If you’re still reading, thank you. I know this is a bit deep for a Friday, but it’s a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. In my 2016 Reader Survey, several people asked me to share about my faith and how I balance that with the daily demands of life. I hope this post demonstrates that. There isn’t one right way to nurture your faith. I think it’s personal for everyone, and it’s something that changes through different stages of life. This is just where I am right now.
I appreciate you for being part of my faith journey–allowing me to share my gifts and talents with you through this blog. I wish all of you a lovely weekend.