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Monday, November 19, 2012

How’s Your {Spiritual} Health?

When I was a student and still single, my spiritual life looked much different than it does now that I'm married, pregnant, and have three other kids ages 5 and under. Back then, I could spend hours of time studying, journaling, praying, and more. It's not that I wasn't busy...
...I certainly was. It's just that time was more flexible. In my current season of life, I have four other schedules to work around, and that takes effort! Here are a few practical ideas that have helped my spiritual health.

First, let go of the idea that everyone's spiritual life looks the same. Do we all have the same personalities? The same passions? The same interests? No. Though I think there are some specifics the Bible teaches us to pattern our lives after, it doesn't always look the same from one person to the next.

Be intentional. This is very important. In the busy stages of life, if you are not intentional, your best plans will never happen. Choose a specific time and goal length to spend in Bible reading, study, journaling, memorization, prayer, and so on. Maybe you can even alternate which of those happens each day to get the most out of your time. Get up before your kids, even just 15 minutes earlier is a start. Yet, be realistic. Chances are, if you have a newborn, you will not likely pull yourself out of the bed if everyone is still sleeping.

In addition to these smaller set aside times, try to plan longer ones as well… maybe once a month or even once a quarter. I like to spend a few hours a month at a local coffee shop for this purpose. If your significant other can't watch the kids, trade off with a friend.

Lastly, and very practically, offer what my husband calls “pop prayers” throughout the day. No matter what you may be doing – cooking, cleaning, changing a diaper, you can take 60 seconds to pray. “Lord, help me get through this day.” “Help me to show grace towards my children.” “Help me know you better each moment.” “Thank you for so many blessings.”

When I neglect my spiritual health, everything else suffers as a result. If my heart and mind are not directed towards God, I'm shorter tempered, more easily dissatisfied, and out of alignment with what I believe to be my ultimate purpose in life.
What helps your spiritual health?
Contributed by Terra Santos, parent-writer for Today’s Family magazine.
Photo Source: Turn Back to God


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