Let’s state it clearly: One great idea of the biblical revelation is that God is manifest in the ordinary, in the actual, in the daily, in the now, in the concrete incarnations of life, and not through purity codes and moral achievement contests, which are seldom achieved anyway.”
This morning I rolled out of bed, put on clean-ish clothes, and went through my morning ritual of making my pour-over coffee. I fed my almost-2-year-old daughter her breakfast, checked email, and as an afterthought, turned my awareness to God. It was like a silent, "Hey there, God." An acknowledgement of his presence with me, a welcoming him into the ordinary-ness of my day.
On mornings like this, when life seems so normal and routine, I am thankful that God is present in the ordinary. I am thankful that God isn't only in the flashy and extraordinary. Because if that were true, my mostly ordinary life would seem to be missing the mark. So I am grateful. But I also recognize that I want more of this. I want to know and encounter more of God in my actual life. So I invite God in. I ask him to help me see him and hear him in the ordinary.
After I pray this, my daughter asks for a snack. So we toast some bread, and take our morning snack outside on the porch. We sit together for a while, my daughter is thrilled by the passing airplanes and garbage trucks. Then she turns to me, "Mama, kiss?" She plants a sloppy toddler kiss on my face. And in this moment, I sense God delighting in the moment with us.
I wonder how our lives would change if we became more aware of God's presence? How might we react to the interruptions? How would we treat the people we unexpectedly encounter? How would we experience our errands and household chores?
I am learning how to welcome God into my ordinary. I invite you to do the same.
ACTION & PRACTICE
Take a moment to simply be with God. Turn your awareness to his presence with you. Invite him to reveal himself right now. Ask him to help you see and hear him in the ordinary today.
How aware of God are you in your daily life? How do you encounter God in the ordinary? Please share in the comments.
If you enjoyed this post, check out these related posts:
Questions That Lead Us to Transformation
How to Pay Attention to the Health of Your Soul
Permission to Want and Desire
As we near the end of 2016, many of us are looking ahead to the new year. You may be planning, setting goals, or considering your New Year's Resolutions. As you think about the upcoming year, I encourage you to welcome God into that process. Consider what he is inviting you into for this upcoming year. How are you making space for your spiritual growth? What resources or rhythms do you need in order thrive with God? Take some time to listen to God and your soul as you look ahead to 2017.
Here are 10 resources that can help you launch into a great new year and thrive with God.
1. The Wheel of Life.
The Wheel of Life is a tool that helps you reflect on your current life, and identify changes you want to make in order to thrive. Click here for a tutorial and free Wheel of Life worksheet packet.
2. Read a book that will ignite your spiritual growth.
A great book has the power to influence our spiritual trajectory, and lead us into new insights and encounters with God. Here is a list of 10 Great Books to Ignite Your Spiritual Growth - I highly recommend every one of these books.
3. Go on a spiritual retreat.
Taking an extended time of silence and solitude with God can be an incredible place of spiritual nourishment and renewal. Here is a simple step-by-step Guide to Taking a Spiritual Retreat. Spiritual retreats take a bit of planning, but they are totally worth the investment of time and energy. I try to take 1 or 2 spiritual retreats every year, and they have become foundational in my relationship with God.
4. Join the Spiritual Journeyers Facebook Group.
I host and lead this group, and it is a great place to receive guidance and connection for your faith journey. People can freely participate in the group discussions, and we often share our struggles, breakthroughs, and prayer requests with each other. Click here to join the Spiritual Journeyers FB group.
5. Meet with a spiritual director.
My monthly conversations with a spiritual director are a vital place for my own spiritual growth. She and I pray together, talk about what God is doing in my life, and discern together how to respond to God. If you are looking for a spiritual director, I'd love to meet with you. You can read about the spiritual direction services I offer here. I currently have the availablity for a handful of new clients.
6. Create a new Rhythm For Life.
A rhythm for life is a simple statement of personal habits that you choose to practice to intentionally make space for God's presence and voice. The new year is a great time to reassess your current spiritual rhythms. Ask God to give you a few practices and habits to make space for him.
7. Join the Journeyers Collective.
The Collective is my monthly membership program that invites you into regular spiritual direction with me in a group setting, a private Facebook group, and a members-only library of resources for your spiritual growth. Membership costs $18/mo or $118/yr. You can find out more about the Journeyers Collective here.
8. Put the essential things first.
You alone have the power to choose how you spend your life. Make sure you are doing what is essential to who God has called you to be. As you think about your typical day or week, how can you block out the time and space for what is most important? For more on this, read Why You Need to Master the Art of Saying No to the Nonessentials.
9. Intentionally make time to do life-giving things.
What activities fuel your joy, creativity, and life? Make a list of those things. We often don't give ourselves permission to do these things. For the sake of your soul, create time and space this year to do the things that give you life. Some life-giving things for me are writing, date nights with my husband, weekly exercise, and reading good books. What's on your list?
10. Subscribe to my Notes email newsletter.
I send out a email with practical tools and guidance for your spiritual journey. Think of it as your spiritual director popping into your inbox to say hi and give you permission for your soul to breathe. Want to receive these emails from me? Sign up here.
What action steps are you taking as you plan and vision for 2017? What do you need to help you thrive with God this coming year? Please share in the comments.
If you enjoyed this post, check out these related posts:
10 Practical Ideas For Your Spiritual Growth
How a Spiritual Director Can Help Your Spiritual Growth
How to Create Space to Listen to the Voice of God
I was invited by my friend Brianna Wilkerson, a health and wellness coach, to write a guest post on her blog Made Well. Here is an excerpt:
A friend of mine asked recently, “How can I have a closer relationship with God?” This friend shared with me her desire to draw closer to God, to experience God more in her daily life, and to learn to walk with God. There was something inside her compelling her to want more in her relationship with God than what she was experiencing.
This desire expressed by my friend is something I, and perhaps many of us, resonate with. We long to know God more deeply, we want to experience an intimate relationship with God.
The good news for us is that God longs for a closer relationship with us as well. Revelation 3:20 says this, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” God himself is standing at the door, waiting for us to welcome him into our lives. The moment we open the door, we get to enjoy intimate relationship with God.
No matter where we are at, no matter where our starting point, we can always go deeper in knowing God. Intimacy and connection with God can grow. Like any relationship, the one we have with God is a two-way street. It takes both God and me to draw nearer to each other. So if God truly is drawing near to me, then what can I do to draw near to him?
To read the rest of the post (and get lots of great health resources) head over to Brianna's blog Made Well here: 3 Ways to Deepen Your Relationship With God.
Aloha! I'm Larissa, a spiritual director and Enneagram coach. I help others in their pursuit of God and their God-given calling.
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