Most days I’m in serious need of a mental makeover by 5:00 p.m. I start the morning on a positive note, but then home school, housework, e-mail, errands, and phone calls leave my mind worn down and overwhelmed by late afternoon. That’s why I want to keep working this year on the single most important New Year’s resolution I ever made. [Read more…]
Does your life ever get wild and crazy enough to send you into a tailspin? Many of us struggle to balance caring for our families with work or ministry commitments. If your kids are small, caring for them can be overwhelming; if they’re teenagers, they often need special encouragement to thrive and make good choices. Parents serve as part-time chauffeurs, counsellors, and cheerleaders. Then there’s the ongoing job of keeping food in the fridge and meals on the table. Work projects, phone calls, e-mails, social commitments, and lost library books add to the craziness. [Read more…]
We live our lives on the run, and God, who seems so real in a quiet moment during Sunday morning worship, gets lost in the hustle and bustle. I lose him as I race to get breakfast on the table so the kids won’t be late for school, or when someone pulls out in front of me in 5 o’clock traffic.
I keep telling myself that life is not an emergency, but sometimes it feels one. Last Friday after school, I baked 36 mini-cheesecakes, hosted my kids’ youth group in our home, and the following morning, I rushed out the door to a friends’ birthday breakfast, praying all the way that I wouldn’t have a wreck due to my hurry. Later that day, I hosted a women’s tea in my home. Do you ever have weekends like that?
A quiet voice breaks through my hurry with these words: “God… has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9) How amazing! God has called us into fellowship with himself. But I’m too busy rushing around!
How do we hold on to God during our busy days? How do we hold on to awe and a vision of life in God’s presence: living for Him, in Him and by His power?
We have to learn to seek and find Him in the ordinary.
Brother Lawrence, the inspiration for my favorite book, Practicing the Presence of God, said that the key to finding God in the ordinary was to practice His presence: to continually lift your heart to him and maintain a running conversation with Him throughout the day.
Here are some simple ways to remember God in the ordinary:
- Spend a few minutes praying or reading His word in the morning, so you’re more apt to remember Him later.
- During a busy day, stop and say, “I love you, God.”
- Thank Him for His gifts, like the miracle of a flower in your front yard.
- Ask God for help before you start each task. Lift up your work to Him as you do it.
- Thank Him for grace as you complete each job or activity. Then ask, “What next, God?”
- Worried? Turn each anxious thought into a prayer.
- Upset? Tell God all about it just like you would talk to your best friend.
- Instead of blowing up, pray for your kids when they start fighting.
- Say a silent prayer for your spouse when he or she leaves in the morning.
- Before you make a phone call, pray for the person you’re calling.
- As you clean house or cook meals, pray that your work will bless your family.
- Make God the first and last thought of your day. Say goodnight as you go to bed and good morning as you get up.
Slow down and enjoy God. Breath in and smile. Remember you are dearly loved.
What helps you to find God in the ordinary?
Many of us balk at the idea of journaling because we think we’ll have to sit down for half an hour and write our hearts out, and who has time and energy for that? Or we remember high school teachers who required us to make two entries a week in a journal we had to turn in on Fridays. We dreaded it because what could we write anyway since the teacher was going to read it? [Read more…]
Do you ever feel like there’s a wall between you and God? You pray and get no response. You sit down to read your Bible and your eyes glaze over, or a thousand thoughts come into your mind.
Many things can sabotage our relationship with God: tiredness, stress, busyness, or discouragement. No matter the reason behind spiritual dryness, adding variety or change to my morning quiet time sometimes helps me to sense God’s presence in new ways. Just like opening windows lets fresh air into my home, opening new doors brings renewal into my relationship with God
If you need fresh air in your daily time with God, try one of these ideas: [Read more…]