In the morning hours, I love to sit and soak up scripture...and I will often share photos on Instagram of my morning table. Recently, I have had several requests for more details on exactly HOW I go about this. Here are a few thoughts on how you can incorporate more spirit & truth into your daily life:
- Read one Psalm a day. These gems are so full of encouragement. My favorites are 18, 63, 71, and 103, and 119.
- Read the Proverb that corresponds with the day of the month (there are 31 Proverbs)
- Use the One Year Bible (one Old Testament passage, one New Testament passage, Psalms and Proverbs). This is a great option if you really like a structured reading schedule.
- Pick a smaller book (I recommend James, John, or Philippians) and read it every day for a month.
- Pick one scripture a week to memorize. Meditate on it often.
- I also look to devotionals for inspiration and use them as a spring board in my reading. Right now, my favorite devotional is Jesus Calling. It's ALWAYS perfect for me in that moment, and there are scriptures listed at the bottom of each page if you want to go deeper.
For the past 14 years, I have used the Life Application Study Bible. I love the commentary and the biographies. I've made it a practice to write dates and events in the margins of my Bible...to remind me of His faithfulness. It's so encouraging to go back through and see evidence of His presence in my life over and over. I look back and say...
"Whoa. I did not think I would survive that. But I did. He has never failed me."
JOURNAL AND LISTEN
Now that you know WHAT to read...JOURNAL it! This looks different for everyone and my prayer journals have changed a lot over the years. I currently write out any scripture that "pops" for me in my reading. There isn't a rigid structure to it. Some days I discover many things...other days, not so many. I do know that the more I dive into God's word DAILY, the more I "HEAR" Him speak to my heart.
It's just like spending time with a dear friend. If you and I meet for coffee every single morning...I would start to know your mannerisms, your personality....your VOICE. I would recognize you easily. And so it is with God. So many times, I will be reading and I will KNOW that a certain scripture was meant for me on that day.
TURN UP THE MUSIC
There is so much inspiration to be found in music. Like little sonnets of truth, music AWAKENS ME to possibility, makes me happy, and releases stress. I'm somewhat obsessed with Josh Garrels. He's my fave. But my musical tastes range from Neil Young to Katy Perry and everything in between.
Find a community of like-minded lovelies who will encourage you along the way. This might be church for you. Or a house church. It might be a small group of people gathering to talk and eat together. Or maybe it's an online community like She Reads Truth. There is no one perfect way...although lots of people would have you believe that. I do believe that we are MADE to interact with others on a spiritual level. Finding truth is way more fun when you're surrounded by people you love!
OPEN YOUR EYES
And lastly...seek for truth in all things. I don't restrict myself only to traditional "christian-approved" readings and music. I find truth in graffiti words on a passing train. In a bathroom stall. In thoughts from Thich Nhat Hanh or Mary Oliver or Jay-Z.
Truth can be found in so many places. Because God IS TRUTH. In one my new favorite books, "Thrashing About With God", Mandy Steward says,
"I listen to my friends who could be labeled as non-Christians talk about their spiritual lives, and I'm blown away by the encouragement they have to offer me. They seem to sprinkle fresh rain on this dry clay that is my body. I hadn't even realized parts of me were still cracking or brittle until the soft drops of water began to fall. I'm so tired I don't even reach for my Christian umbrella anymore. I just put up my head and soak in every drop I can find because God is God and I know the things they are saying are true about Him even if they don't say it in Christianese. in fact, in some ways, He seems bigger to me when they talk, because He doesn't exist in the confines of what I can understand, control, or teach in a 6-week Bible study."
*Sigh* Yes. This.
I have many friends who consider themselves Christians. And I have an equal number of friends who are on other paths. I NEED friends in my life with many different viewpoints. It's invigorating and creates growth. And contrary to what I was taught growing up...having friends with different spiritual stories pushes me to refine my own truth with Jesus and understand their truth more fully.
With that said, I'd love to hear from everyone...not just my Jesus-loving friends. Let's have a conversation about growing spiritually. Have you found a quote, song, book, or practice that is affecting you deeply?