Not all that long ago I had surgery to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed. During my recovery, I had plenty of time to think about how I spend my typical day-- and how much of it I actually spend with God.
My answer was: not enough. Not nearly enough.
Something’s got to change, I thought.
So here’s an overview of what I’ve been doing for the last couple weeks:
In the morning when I first wake up (before I even touch my phone), I read a short devotional out of “Everyday Joy” by Janice Hanna, which has a verse and a short inspiration about having joy throughout the day-- despite any circumstances you may face.
I then read out of my Bible-- normally I use the YouVersion Bible App. Once I’m done there, I think about what I have read and then ask the Lord how He wants me to apply it to my life. :)
Throughout the day I have a bullet journal set up. I use a plain notebook and have my “to-dos” all written out. It’s very simple, but it gets the job done! Before I start my day, I pick one verse that I read in the morning and write it somewhere on the day’s entry. Because I look at this page dozens of times each day, this serves as a good reminder to apply what I read in the morning! :)
I also have the YouVersion Bible App push their “Verse of the Day” notification to my phone at noon so that I am brought to a Biblical focus in the middle of the day as well, instead of just in the morning and evening. I need the reminder to keep the right focus all day, don’t you?
It may be 10:00 or 11:30 at night, or it could be well past midnight before I make it to bed. However, no matter how late (or early) it is, before I actually turn out the lights, I take time to reflect on my day.
I write this “Reflection Statement” in my bullet journal as well. I don’t make it long-- it normally is only one sentence, but it is honest. If it was a good day, I’ll write that it was. But the same goes for when it’s a not-so-good-but-really-hard day, I’ll write that down instead. Or I may have to write down that I procrastinated all day. Once I am done reflecting, I write down my “to-dos” for the next day (this really helps me to prepare for the busy day ahead and not stress about what I might forget while I lie awake in bed).
The last thing I do each night (that means after I put my phone down for the night!) is read a chapter in a Faith-focused book. I just finished reading “I Have Loved You,” subtitled “Getting to know the Father’s Heart” by Cynthia Heald. I have really enjoyed spending this special time at the end of each day, just me and God. :)
Just like you, I could make a thousand seventy-three excuses that I don’t have enough time.
One excuse for me specifically is that I have chronic insomnia (I have difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep) so some mornings it is harder for me to get up early enough and it can be difficult to stay up late to do the reading that some people may call “extra.” There are mornings when I just want to stay in bed for that extra half hour. And there are evenings when I can barely keep my eyes open while I read.
But you know what?
I don’t want to let that excuse keep me from getting to know the One who made me. I did that for too long. He died for me; I think it’s only right that I give up a few hours of sleep for Him.
God has been giving me strength each morning and each night to, not only read, but to learn more about Him and who He is and how I need to be living my life as His child.
He’s teaching me diligence.
And He’ll do that for you too.
They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit.
I am well on my way to 21 days, but I’m not there yet. And, by no means, it is not without work. It’s still hard to get up in the morning and stay up at night.
I still forget things.
I still procrastinate.
There are still habits I need to break.
There are still habits I need to make.
But one thing is for sure: I don’t ever want spending time with my Father to be just a habit.
Friends, having the privilege of being intimate with God is amazing! It is truly awesome!
Will you please spend some time with Him right now, thanking Him specifically for what He’s teaching you and what He’s done for you, and praising Him for who He is?
What habits are you trying to make/break that will help you grow closer to God?
Keep Smiling Every Day,
Marie Cloud :)
God has given me a love for people and a passion to write. I love that the sky shows the creativity of our loving Maker, don't you? I hope you will join me on this journey through life exploring the beautiful creation God has made and the lessons that He is teaching me through it all.