Life is busy! Like sometimes I can’t keep up with my own life kind of busy. I work (obviously, hence this post). I am a wife and mother, which also equates to chef, housekeeper, gardener, planner, facilitator, organizer, therapist, and every other title you can think of that a wife and mom might also take on. I also have hobbies that include running, physical fitness, reading, journal, shopping, and occasionally vegging out in front of the TV. I like to dabble in graphic design. I enjoy mini home makeovers. I also love to spend time with friends and family (preferably near water or around a campfire). I like to travel.  As a family we enjoy being involved in the community. Our kids are involved in various sports and fine arts in school, which is a whole other level of busy. The list could go on. My guess is that this list is pretty common for many of you as well. We choose to keep ourselves busy….because what else would we be doing?

I have learned (often the hard way) that in order for me to keep up with this busy life I have to be consistent with some important spiritual practices. I function better when I am fueled by the Holy Spirit. Stress will always be there, but when I keep committed to my spiritual routines I find that I can handle stress much better.

What exactly is a spiritual practice? The dictionary defines spiritual as “relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit” (1). It also defines practice as “to do or perform often, customarily, or habitually” (2). So if we combine these two, the simple definition (in my own words) is to habitually do something that will affect the spirit. I would also like to add…in a good way. In my experience spiritual practices are always a good thing.

What kinds of spiritual practices should we do? I like to keep it simple (no need to make spiritual practices stressful). One of my favorite things to do is to journal. I like to journal my prayers and I love to write out scripture. I seem to really let it sink in a bit deeper when I write it out. I try to find short daily devotionals or 30-day scripture reading plans that I can do for a couple minutes each morning (or at night, whatever). I also learned a long time ago to not beat myself up if I miss one or don’t do it at the same time every day. Just pick up where you left off and keep moving forward.

There are many other types of spiritual practices that are beneficial. The key is finding one or two that really fit well with who you are. This is not an exhaustive list, but a few ideas (3):

  1. Spend time in solitude, away from people and alone with God.
  2. Fasting from food or something else for a period of time.
  3. Taking a Sabbath
  4. Bible reading and Bible study
  5. Praise and worship
  6. Prayer
  7. Journal
  8. Personal reflection

Why should we engage in spiritual practices? Again, this is not an all-inclusive list, but here are some good reasons why spiritual practices are important and beneficial (4):

  1. To keep connected and grow in deeper intimacy with God.
  2. For clarity and awareness.
  3. To lift your mood and remind you of the joy and blessings in your life.
  4. To allow you time to vent your frustrations to God and cry out to him.
  5. For steadiness and grounding (especially in times of stress and change).
  6. For mental focus and preparation.
  7. For opportunities to evaluate life on both the big and small levels.

Finally, how to we stay motivated to keep up on our spiritual practices? My recommendation here would be first and foremost just walk in the doors of the church. For me, every Sunday is fresh start. It’s the beginning of a new week (or the end of a bad one) and it’s a great motivator to reconnect with the Lord. I would also encourage you to join an encouragement group or bible study group (there is a really good one coming up for ladies this fall…more on that later). Find a prayer or accountability partner to help you. Sometimes we just need that little nudge from a good friend or trusted spiritual adviser to keep us going. Set an alarm on your phone. Leave your bible in a prominent place that you will see every day. I am sure there are many other ways as well.

As always, the staff her at FCC is more than willing to help you navigate your walk with the Lord. If you need help getting started in a spiritual practice that will work for you, simply reach out, we’d love to help.

Jen Troyna
Administrative Assistant & Kids Ministry Coordinator
Self-Appointed FCC Blogger

 

(1) Spiritual. (n.d.). Retrieved August 9, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiritual
(2) Practice. (n.d.). Retrieved August 9, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/practice
(3) http://www.soulshepherding.org/2012/07/spiritual-disciplines-list/
(4) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maggie-lyon/spiritual-practice_b_1231569.html