In the last two posts, I shared my struggle lately with keeping my mind fixed on Jesus. With the day to day busyness of being a wife, mom, housekeeper, cook, church member, missionary, (maybe) English teacher, etc. I get to the end of a day and realize that my focus has not been on God. Not that it has been on anything necessarily BAD - but I think I could do better about thinking about God. I know he thinks about me:
If I can focus more on my spiritual life in the midst of my busy, crazy "normal" life, maybe I can learn that all I that I do is spiritual and can and should be dedicated to God. I'm not talking about sitting around all day long just praying (although that would be great from time to time). But there has to be a happy medium between that, and falling into your bed at the end of the day having barely thought of God at all.
Well, enough of trying to explain myself. Here are two books that I have found helpful. Actually, they are books that suggest habits. Good habits - disciplines - that cause you to focus on God. Both of these books are really, really good. So good that I want to read them again and go back and underline, highlight, take notes, etc.
The first one is One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. Simply (very simply) said, it is about keeping a gratitude journal. But that one sentence doesn't do justice to the book. Ann Voskamp is a mom of 6, just like me, and she has laundry, etc. too. She has a great gift for writing and has wonderful insights about how keeping a gratitude journal blessed her life and brought her closer to God. This book is really, really good. I started my gratitude journal on March 1st. It has 3 things on it. Not so good.... yet! Like I said, it is a habit and a discipline that is actually work at first. But, I am excited to see the results!
The second book is called Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day by Macrina Wiederkehr. I am actually not finished with this book yet. It is about pausing throughout the day at certain "hours" and entering in prayer. Each "hour" has it's own theme. The author of the book is a nun and evidently this is a discipline that the nuns do in the monastery. I am loving it so far and am going to try to put it into practice soon. I have already read the chapter about the night time hour and how it is a time of silence and waiting to hear from God. From someone who wakes up many nights and then can't go back to sleep because the brain won't "turn off", this has been really good for me.
Thank you Lord, for showing me where I needed to grow and then giving me some tools to help!