Monday, March 14, 2016

Springtime for renewal

This weekend we had the first day that felt like spring was coming.  I live in Michigan so I know it's a false sense of Spring, but I'll still take it.  Something about the sun and warmth, after so long without it just makes you feel good!

It's kind of like that sometimes with our spiritual life I think.  For me, I know place makes a difference.  In the fall it may be cozy to sit by a warm fire and pull out your Bible, or in the winter to look out over a snow covered pure white scene, but for me the outdoors in spring and summer is the place to be. 
A great place to enjoy creation and time alone with God

view looking out from the deck, no green, yet!

I love my decks, especially our front deck off our master bedroom.  This is where I like to start my day with coffee and conversation with God.  There is just something about being outside, hearing the birds, seeing the tree's and flowers come to life over the season and smelling the fresh air.  We are so blessed to have this space.  It's even great in the rain, we get to watch storms and play games during gentle rainfalls under the large awning.  So this weekend I was able to get this space ready for our habitation. 

So where is your place this Spring?  Maybe that's just what you need to get excited about your devotion time again?  Change your scenery if you can, it just might be the renewal that you need.

Maybe it's a particularly dry season in your spiritual life right now?  Need more than a change of scenery?  How about mixing it up a bit?  I'm the kid of girl that gets bored easily and need variety.  Here's some of the variety I use from time to time.  (No, I don't do all of these all the time, remember, I get bored so I tend to go back and forth and revisit these.)
  • Keep a prayer journal.  If you don't already do this it's a great way to see answers to prayers and how you change and grow.  I don't do this EVERY day, that's too much for me, though sometimes I will so everyday for several days and then not again for a month.  Just depends.  Make it work for you, no guilt.

  • Topical prayer journal.  This is something I revisit from time to time.  I have different sections or topics that I pray regularly about.  For instance, I have a sections for each of my children where I write out the things I want to pray about for their life; future spouses, character development, protection etc...  The difference with a topical prayer journal is that it's for those things you pray over and over again.  You can take the time to write out in a more thoughtful, perhaps elegant way rather than your regular journal which may be a little more haphazard.

  • Start a file.  What are you wanting/needing to learn about?  The file idea came from Elizabeth George (author of Life Management for Busy Women and may more...)  She calls it 5 fat files.  For me 5 is too many, but a few that as you study you "file" the verses, thoughts, other sources etc.. that speak to that issue.  What should you file be?  That's totally up to you.  Could be child rearing, dating/courting, marriage, women's role in the church, homemaking, end times etc....

  • Read through the Bible.  Just because it's not January doesn't mean you can't start a "read though the Bible."  I've done it a couple of times, a couple of different ways-my favorite; using a parallel Bible with 3 different versions side by side to compare as I read.  THAT was very insightful!  Currently I'm still working on my last years "chronological" read though the Bible.  Yes, I know it's March and I'm in Decembers reading.  It doesn't have to be done in a literal "year", no guilt, remember.

  • Use one of Stormie O'martians' books as a prayer guide.  I love her "Power of a praying ___________ books". The first one I did (led as a study actually) was Power of a Praying Wife.  The one I'm trying to work on now is The Power of Praying for your Adult Children (yes, I have those now, a whole new world!) 

  • Start a Bible study.  Nothing keeps you in the word like leading a Bible study.  I have led dozens over the years, and honestly it is partially for that reason.  It will challenge you and push you.  And yes, there will be rewards and blessings too!  (So many dear sisters in Christ I have come to know and still connect with because of the many Bible studies I've led!)
So let me know how you decide to "change your scenery" and mix it up a bit.  Have another idea for spiritual renewal? Share!

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