We aspire to build a life that reflects our faith. We want to be like the 'spiritual giants' that inspire us. But, all too often, we find it difficult to to commit to the spiritual disciplines we set for ourselves. This is frustrating. Here are 5 strategies that will help you find what works for you and incorporate them into your routines.
Turn your eyes and ears and spirit to God's nearness
Stand before something that seems god-forsaken to you, and see how God might be present in this space. How does God show up here? What does God speak to you here? Do this same exercise in front of something beautiful, and again in front of something ordinary. Train yourself to be aware of God in all things.
Reflect on God's nearness
After each experience of connecting with God in different contexts, take some time to reflect on how this affects you moving forward. Did you learn something new? Did you expperience God newly? What does it change about your perceptions/assumptions? What do you need to confess or let go of?
Find your prayer style
Do you like to journal? How do you feel about meditations? Affirmations? Do you like to move when you pray? Find a method of speaking and listening to God that suits you. There are an infinite number of ways to pray. We often think that prayer is sitting and talking to God. It can be this, and it can also be more. Pay attention to how you experience God's nearness, chances are good that this will open up an a proactive of prayer for you.
Incorporate study into your routine
Find an app or a devotional that helps you read the Bible. Find a blog. Read Sojourners, or Christianity Today, and other publications. Most importantly, find an author or speaker outside of your context and perception. Read books from other races and cultures. Read what it means to be a person of faith in a country other than your own. Read Latina authors. Read black authors. Read. Engaging in materials beyond our own context and experiences challenges our assumptions and broadens our perspectives. Also, it helps us to understand our own thoughts and convictions.
Find a way to give back
Find a way to give back. If you were a philanthropist, where would you focus your resources? We are all philanthropists. We have causes and passions that speak to us. We want to be a part of making our world better. Look into groups that are already doing work in these areas. How con you be a part of this? Engaging in these activities give us purpose and puts flesh on our faith and beliefs.
After you find how you connect best with God, and how you naturally pray, things will begin to fall into place. Once you uncover these tendencies within yourself, they will become as natural as breathing. Soon, you will have a rich and nourishing spiritual life! If you would like help in discovering your spiritual personality, click here and take the quiz.
Your Partner In Spiritual Health,
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Hi, my name is Melissa Ebken, and I'm so glad you found your way here.
I am at home in the difficult spaces of peoples’ lives, willing to listen and to support those who work to grow themselves. I am a trained coach and have consulted with churches in conflict. Not your stereotypical minister, I embrace the Gospel with joy and laughter as I seek to help those around me grow in faith and understanding, always striving to leave people better than they came. An agent of wholeness, I create a safe space for people, especially those who have been marginalized, where they can understand how ridiculously loved and valued they are by God/Higher Power/Spirit, and to experience the difference that makes in life.
I started the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast to share the stories of people who have faced life's most difficult challenges, to inspire you to lean into and overcome your own. It's helpful to know that you're not alone in your struggles and to see how others have navigated similar circumstances. You can listen to it here.
Here's what I can do for and with you.