Anyone that knows me, knows that I love crime shows and podcasts. Most of my friends rave about a new podcast they’ve just discovered of uplifting, positive mantras, and I’m over here raving about a new podcast I discovered about forensics and trying to figure out who killed who. Morbid, I know. I even toured a local forensic lab and gave some serious thought about changing careers. Then I realized how much science is involved, and well, it was game over. When I discover a new show or podcast about crime, I become enthralled with it. It’s like I can’t wait to watch/listen to the next one. That actually got me thinking about where we put our focus. Focusing on crime shows, doesn’t really uplift me. I mean, it gives temporary satisfaction (and please don’t get me wrong—I don’t LIKE the actual crime—it’s more the reasons behind the crime—mental health, trying to solve it before the announce it, etc), but it doesn’t give anything long-lasting or doesn’t really add a whole lot to my quality of life, nor does it bring me any closer to my goals and dreams. So, why do I do it? Why do any of us do things that take our focus off of the real life-giving things?
I was thinking about this the other night while I was trying to decide if I wanted to clean, shop or work-out. I spent more time making the decision than actually doing the activity. (I ended up working out) The next night, I was faced with either going to bed early and listening to one of my podcasts or having my usual date with God. I mean, no brainer, right? Should be! I chose to have my date and oh man, the feeling I get when I do that is incredible. I don’t know about you, but when I carve out time every day to just sit with God and talk to Him, read His word and just allow myself to rest…I can feel myself coming back to life every time. I have found that when I give focus on that, everything else just seems to line up. My mood is lighter, my relationships with others are better, I am more productive. My last date with God, I closed my eyes and all of these hurtful memories from my past came flooding in. I thought “wait a minute! This is supposed to be when I escape from these!” But God brought these to my mind for a reason. Because it was time to let them go. Move on. Move forward. Stop living in those memories of pain, and start looking towards the future. It was a huge realization for me, and that was when I also realized that it really does matter what we give our focus to. Praying, spending time with God isn’t a luxury for me, it’s a necessity. When I don’t do it, I feel different. I don’t feel “filled up” or at peace. Here are my steps for the perfect Date With God.
- Set the tone! I usually do this right before I go to bed. I light some candles, incense and just sit and allow myself to clear my head. I invite Him into my space and heart, and ask that He guide me.
- I journal what my intentions are for the time. What do I want to pray about? Who do I want to pray for? What do I need to work on?
- I usually play a worship song and meditate on the lyrics. It just kind of is my way of starting with rejoicing and gratitude.
- I start talking/praying just like He is sitting next to me. I talk to Him like I talk to an old friend. I don’t hold back—I lay it all out there. If I’m angry, confused, sad, happy…whatever, I say it all. He wants us to come to Him and express ourselves fully. He isn’t afraid of honesty.
- I ask Him to search my heart and reveal anything that needs to be healed. Any unconfessed sins, any unforgiveness, anything that’s holding me back. I ask Him to remove those things and wash me clean.
- I pray for friends, family, others. I started a new thing where at the first of the month, I will reach out to friends and ask if there’s anything they need prayer about. I write them down, and pray for them throughout the month. Of course, I have my own list of prayers for other people in my life that I continually pray about, without even asking them.
- I journal anything else and just meditate on whatever He puts on my heart.
Sometimes this takes an hour, two hours, and other times I don’t have a whole lot of time. But, I generally try to find as much time as I can every night to spend time with Him. And I have to remind myself (and you!) that it doesn’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to do all the things. Just cast your cares onto Him, take your burdens, your pain, sorrow, excitement, whatever you have…bring them to Him. Leave them with Him. Let Him work them out the way they should be. Don’t force anything. Don’t take anything out on yourself or others. He loves and cares for you. More than any human on earth.
Have a great weekend, friends! Be kind!
What I’m meditating on right now: Philippians 3:13-14.
What I’m listening to:
“Got It In You,” Banners
“Rescue,” Lauren Daigle (let’s be honest, everything by Lauren Daigle!)
“Burden,” Keith Urban