With it being November, a lot of people are talking about gratitude challenges and such. I could never keep up for a full 30 days of social media posting or whatnot. But daily challenges, that is something else. You can do these daily challenges for gratitude, for seeing through the eyes of Jesus, or anything else that you feel lead to. It’s a hyper focus on God for one day. Here is what it would like like. I’m going to use the gratitude option because I recently did this one when I felt whiny. When I say I felt whiny, I mean it. I found myself in a constant loop of negativity. Now, I like to think that I am a pretty positive person, but when struggle comes in, it can be hard for us to focus on the positive. It’s easy to focus on the struggle. The unanswered prayer, the battle that we are still facing even though we have given it to God so many times. I needed to break the cycle so I decided to spend the day counting my blessings. I might not have an answered prayer, but I do have a lot. So think about them! Not just to be grateful but to give thanks to God for what you do have in your life. Starting your day, thankful for time in the morning before everyone gets up, grateful that you have a bible and are free to express your religion and read it. Grateful that you have children to wake up, that you have coffee in your cup, that you have hot water to take a shower with. That you have make-up, clothes, and hair care products that help you feel your best. That you have a car, thankful for the wisdom and inspiration that God gave them men and women that created the car. Thankful for the people that built the roads that you drive to work on. Thankful for the technology that allows you to work from home. Thankful for the favor of God that got you the job that you have. You can go on and on. It changes your focus super quick.
Obviously, you can’t do that everyday, but doing it every once in a while is effective.
A reason that this challenge or challenges like it are important, is because it keeps Jesus on our mind all day. Remember, your faith is a relationship. Think back to when you first started dating your husband. He was probably on your mind all day. You kept thinking about him, daydreaming about your future, replaying a date or a conversation in your mind…..how often do you do that now? If you are like me, I am preoccupied with daily life. The newness has worn off. I still love him, but it’s not totally consuming my mind. Same thing with God. There are times when I am gushy about my relationship with God and then there are the majority of the time when I am working on my relationship with him. I am working to understand him better, communicate better with him (and for me, that means listening more), and show my love and respect for him in my life. Relationships take effort and just because it takes effort doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with it.
So put up reminders for yourself. Set an alarm in the middle of your day as a reminder to check in and pray. Reserve 5-10 minutes before important meetings at work, to lift them up to God. Pray over your kids, pray with your husband, and pray when you eat. The more you talk to God you are creating a habit to keep the conversation going and talk to him throughout your day about everything.
Quiet time to listen
Find just 10 minutes in your day where you can be still. We talked about this during our 7 week challenge this past summer. Remember, it’s a relationship and it’s not just about us talking or doing. It’s letting him communicate and minister to us. I was getting a massage yesterday and my masuse said she started coming to work 10 minutes earlier and sitting in her car to just be and listen.
Everything can be worship if we put it in the right framework.
Dedicate your work as worship.
Dedicate your workout as worship.
Dedicate your housework as worship.
Turn praise music on and worship throughout the week. Music gets my heart into a posture of worship so fast. But it’s not just for Sunday morning. Play it in the car, at home, at work….it’s a great reminder.
Bring him into your relationships
Share your faith, even with the faithful. Be open to talk about what God is doing in your life, what you are praying for, believing for. The more you can bring him into your conversations, the more you will hold your focus there.
Talk about him with your friends
Talk about him with your kids and husband
And you never know who will hear you speak and be encouraged and even turn their life to God.
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