Intentional. That has been the word on my heart for the last few weeks. There are some intentional people in my life that always ask me, “How are you?” I usually answer with an adjective, and maybe some anecdotes about my crazy, abundant life. I think that I give a good answer or at least a better one than the classic and many times fake, “I’m doing well.” But then they ask, “How’s your soul doing?” And follow it up with, “How’s your time with the Lord been?” Those questions are easy to dodge with a one word answer. But then they say, “What has He been speaking to you lately?” And every time someone asks me that question, my heart just melts because I can’t believe God put people in my life that care about the condition of my heart and soul. It’s not a question the average person asks, and it always shifts my perspective back to Jesus.
These people have inspired me to live a lot more intentionally. My main goal of 2019 is simply to put God before everything. I want my time with God to be congruent with the time I spend doing every day tasks. What we do with the talents we’ve been given is our gift back to the Lord. We’ve all been created with such unique gifts, so the way I spend time with God is going to look different from the way you spend time with God. Spending time with the Lord shouldn’t feel like some tedious routine that you have to do, because that’s religion. We are called to work from a place of rest and worship, and give God the glory in everything we do because we love Him. It takes time. There’s no rush. We’re not in a hurry when it comes to His presence or voice, and the more we press in and desire to hear it, the more evident it becomes.
So I’ve been trying to spend as much time with the Lord as possible these last few weeks before I have to go back to college! Since it is so important, I wanted to briefly share what time with the Lord looks like for me. 🙂
Worship music. I am so obsessed with worship music and find myself spending more time praising God through it than any other way. This is my easy way. I am a worship leader after all and am always looking up chords, learning them on the piano, and singing my heart out. To spice things up a bit, some friends in college inspired me to take up learning the guitar. So I took the guitar that’s been lying around my house, tuned it and claimed it as my own. It has been so much fun learning to play worship songs on it, and though my fingers hurt so much I am very happy with the extent of songs I can play (since many worship songs are the same 4 chords). Another friend inspired me to take up the ukulele claiming it hurt less than the guitar, so I got one for Christmas and have been learning that as well. Being able to worship in all these different ways brings me so much joy.
I play worship music while I’m driving, cleaning, showering, running, studying (really need to stop doing that), or sometimes I just have a song on my heart that I want to sing, so I play it, allow the music to fill the room, and lift my hands. Sometimes I play worship music and have an improv dance session around the house and allow the words to flow throughout my body. Sometimes I sit and listen, and sometimes I belt the words as loud as I can. It just depends on what’s on my heart and what my soul is longing to do. When I go running, many times I stop on the trail to lift my hands during a song and simply take in the beauty of this earth. Many times I stop to dance. I’m learning that there is no right way to be aware of the presence of the Lord.
I pray. I pray very imperfect and honest prayers throughout my day. I pray the, “please save me from this test,” and “take all my pain away” prayers a lot in the moment. I’m human. But an intentional prayer for me is anytime I take a step back and acknowledge that I need God with me in the battle throughout the day. Sometimes I stumble upon random pieces of scripture that speak to me. If I’m praying and someone pops into my head, I’ll usually pray for that person and then text them the verse or word of encouragement. So many times people text me back saying they were just thinking of me or that they really needed it, and it blows my mind so I keep doing it. I’m always praying for healing, strength, courage, and peace. I pray for wisdom and the courage to be grateful.
I pray for God to reveal my heart posture to me. I want to know if my relationship with the Lord is being fueled by anything other than love. I want to know what I’m truly anxious about and where those anxieties are coming from. I ask God if I’m striving. The answer is usually yes. And then I ask for grace upon grace.
Sometimes I pray in tongues. They call it a heavenly and personal prayer language. I received it after praying for it for so long, and the whole concept is still crazy and new to me. I don’t know how I’m supposed to be using tongues yet, but when it’s on my heart to pray in tongues I will.
I read the Bible. This is the one I’m the worst at, but it’s so important and I’ve been noticing how much my heart just craves to read it. When I read the Bible, I have no plan. I just open it, trusting that I’m going to turn to whatever I need to see in that moment. I was telling Ezequiel one day about the lies go through my head. And he asked me, “Where in scripture can you prove that they’re lies?” That question has been one that I am always trying to answer as I try to navigate my way through the waters of college.
I also write stuff. I got a word once about how God speaks to me through my writing, and it was so spot on. Writing always helps me find my way back to the Lord and brings me closer to Him in general. At this point in time, my blog has become my journal. It’s raw, real, and so imperfect, and it captures all the time I spend wrestling and struggling along with all of my breakthroughs. I have many revelations writing as it points me back to Jesus.
And I spend time with people. I always feel like I need to figure out how to heal on my own by spending more time alone with God. While that is important, I’m learning that the people in my life have been the reason why my faith skyrocketed this quarter. I struggled, healed, and grew so much. God gives us community to highlight how much He loves us, and He speaks through others all the time. We were designed to be codependent, and where two or more gather in His name, He is there. My time with the Lord is time I spend in small group, large group, and church. These are the places I ask all my questions and they keep me from doing my walk with God alone. I love retreats, conferences, and worship nights. You don’t have to go to those to hear from God, but I tend to find myself at these kind of things a lot simply because I love them. I experience a lot of spiritual highs, not because I chase them, but because God likes to meet me in pretty unreal ways.
And because so many people pour into me, I try to pour into others. I got to take one of my girls for an adventure downtown and another one of my girls ice skating. I’m growing into this mentor thing. There are people in my life that just carry a presence that makes them so easy to be vulnerable with, and I’m still trying to figure out how I can be as amazing as my mentors for my girls while still being me. But it made me so happy to get to ask them, “How has your walk with the Lord been? And what has he been speaking to you?” Because their souls are so important. And I love them so much.
So how has your walk with the Lord been? And what has he been speaking to you?Happy New Years!!! 💗