Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Taking the Month Off - What

So I feel the need to take the month of December, 2012 off from as much of life as possible to focus my energy and attention on my spiritual life, which, in all honesty, has almost been non-existent. Let's not go into details at this time, though.

I want to use my time intentionally. And not on organizing and cleaning my house, or even focusing specifically on being a better wife, but on re-establishing the habits of a relationship with God.

I want to be transparent here and tell you that I am highly skeptical of what could possibly happen. Above all, I don't want to be fake. I don't want to pretend any change has occurred if it hasn't. And I don't want to hide any change just to fit in.

I'm also terrified. I'm scared of what may be revealed. Of what He may ask me to do or change.

Change. That's the key word in that sentence. I'm scared to change and to enter the unknown.

But I'm willing to take the risk.



Back to being intentional. I began to think of how I should spend this extra time (funny how we use words like spend in reference to time and money. We can always make more money, but never get more time. But that's another post entirely). I started brainstorming (my new favorite thing) and research various pillars of Christian discipline. [Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. There are many more that could be added. I make no attempt to argue where they fall on the priority list.]

Bible reading.
Prayer.
Bible memorization.
Journaling.
Worship.
Fasting.

I'm going to share with you what I found and what I've chosen to do regarding each of these (two today, two on Wednesday, and the final two on Friday). Please don't regard my choices as a choice for you. You have to listen to what you're being led to do by Him, not me.


Bible Reading

I pulled out every Bible we own and counted.

We have FOURTEEN Bibles in this tiny apartment. I doubt my husband has as many socks without holes in them.

FOURTEEN. That is an obscene amount of Bibles. I digress.

First, I pondered my options.
- I could study a particular book of the Bible (James is my favorite)
- I could do a devotional on a particular topic: Prayer, Missions, Being a biblical wife, having a biblical marriage, etc.

I ultimately chose to use what was available to me and search through what I have in my own little library. I also decided that I want to read the Bible, not about the Bible. Yes, I think there is a place for literature about Christ and Christianity and living that lifestyle, but that's not what this particular season is for.

Next, I started to look through each for any tools to guide me through the month. I found what I want to use in the first one. It is a 30-Day walk through the basics of Christianity and the life of Christ. I think this is the best place for me to spend this time when I am trying to re-invigorate my spiritual life, to re-learn what I have forgotten.


Prayer

Let me start by sharing that this is possibly my biggest struggle among the disciplines listed. Seriously. I can give up food easier than I can pray. Not. even. kidding.

Part of my struggle is the desire for perfection. There is so much that needs to be prayed for. So many requests. I just get overwhelmed because there is not possible way I can pray for everything every. single. day. So I just don't pray at all.

But there is a solution. I found two websites that tackle this issue.

Both Study in Brown and Organizing Made Fun make use of a prayer schedule. On each day of the week, they pray for a different area of their life so that by the end of the week they have had the opportunity to pray for every thing. GENIUS.

I used a little bit of both in the schedule I created. I'm sure I didn't cover everything, but that's ok. It can be flexible. A fact that I LOVE!

So, I am going to set aside a specific amount of time each day dedicated to praying about the area for that day. My goal is to start a habit of scheduled prayer so that it can eventually become something I do without thinking... to pray without ceasing.



Well, that's the first two disciplines or first two foci of my Month Off. Wednesday I'll post about Bible Memorization and Journaling.

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