This week I wanted to share one of the best investments I have ever made!
No, it’s not financial, although it pays AMAZING dividends. It’s actually an activity that I go through most mornings, and I call it my “Morning Devotional”.
I love my daily early morning devotional time. It brings me a sense of peace and order that sticks with me all day long. Over the years, I have worked out a practice that I can do regardless of how I feel or how much time I have. I love it because it began as a gift that I offered to God, to give my time to meet with him daily, and as a result, my head, my heart, and my body are each filled to overflowing, and I have enough energy and strength to be there for myself and anyone who needs what I have to offer during the day, usually I have plenty, and to spare. It has been an amazing return on my investment. I always end up with more than I give. I love it so much that I want to share it with you and perhaps you will find it’s the best investment you’ve ever made too!
My morning devotional grew out of a list of healthy habits that used to help me overcome feelings of depression when I was a young mom. As I got older, I wanted a closer relationship with my Heavenly Parents, I wanted to know Christ better and I wanted to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Those healthy habits formed the foundation of my morning devotionals. I still find that spending time in the scriptures and seeking the spirit is the best anti-depressant for me.
The elements that make up my morning devotionals include:
Many kinds of prayers, such as, prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving, prayers for individual people in my life, mighty prayers, prayers asking for blessings, prayers to help me understand what God wants for me. I usually open and close my devotional time with prayer.
I am fond of gospel and Christian music, and particularly Southern Baptist, but my favorite style of music is scripture set to music. Music really sets the tone for my devotional time. I have a couple of playlists that I’ve created on Amazon music.
I love to read my scriptures. To me, there is no right or wrong way. I read long or short passages, using multiple translations or even recite memorized scriptures. I have no fixed number of scriptures or length of time I need to read. I am not in a hurry or working to any set schedule. I might spend a week on one verse.
This both helps me sort out my thoughts and puts me in a place to receive revelation. I enjoy writing letters to God, asking questions, and then listening for answers.
Currently, I am studying “Come Follow Me”, belong to some Gospel study groups, including the Inklings group on Instagram and do two or three study guides each year with Multiply Goodness. Additionally, I usually set aside one day a week to work on my topics that I struggle with or want to know more about.
WALKING, STRETCHING AND MOVING MY BODY
I have discovered that there is a strong mind-body connection, and by moving my body more I can better access my inner thoughts and feelings. For instance, I might take a walk and all I do is process an emotion, like anger or grief. Moving my body helps me get those difficult emotions out in a positive way. it also gives me a minute to hear the Holy Spirit speak to me.
I have studied various forms of meditation and have found several to be helpful to me. I currently use an app called the Small Seed App that uses scripture as the foundation for each meditation. I really love a meditation where I create my day spiritually before I live it for real. This has been an intentional way for me to preview what I want for the day.
I use a technique that I learned in lifecoach training called “the model”. I use it in combination with journaling to use my agency to choose how I want to show up each day. Some days are better than others. Let’s just say that I am a work in progress.
BELIEF PLAN OR POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
The most influential book I read last year was “Soundtracks” by Jon Acuff. The premise is that we all have thoughts that we have playing like “soundtracks’ in the back of our minds. We are actually able to develop our own soundtracks that help direct and shape our lives. I call it my “believing on purpose plan” and I create one each year that I read as part of my devotional time.
The biggest worry people have when I tell them about my morning devotional time is that it sounds like it takes forever… I admit that there are some days when I allow myself to have all the time I want in devotional, and it can take hours. I have busy days, just like you do, when I have only a few minutes. So I don’t include every element every day in every devotional. I love the flexibility that comes from picking and choosing what I think will bring me closer to God and keep me most centered that day. I almost always open and close with prayer and have at least one verse of scripture. It’s like a sandwich – prayers are the two pieces of bread and I layer the rest between like fillings in a sandwich, until I feel like it is delicious to me.
Here is a partial list of the daily benefits that I have received from this process:
- I am a better person at the end of my devotional time than I was when I started.
- I have much more enthusiasm for the day when I take the time in the morning to talk things over with God.
- I feel impressions that I try to follow.
- I feel like I am guided.
- I make better choices.
- I love people more.
- I am not distracted by the news.
- I don’t over-react when something doesn’t happen the way I want it to because I have a broader perspective.
- I am more accepting of myself and others.
- I allow myself to feel all of my emotions – even the negative ones like grief, worry or sadness.
All these benefits don’t mean that I never get thrown off by unexpected bad or disturbing information, it just means that I have created a habit of having time to bring the hard things to God and process them with Him/Her.
One of the elements of “Becoming a Whole-Hearted Woman”, the coaching program I’ve designed to help LDS women learn to accept everything life can throw at them, is coming to love and understand God deeper. This morning devotional time is just one of the tools that I teach to help us spend intentional time with God, getting to know Him/Her more deeply.
I’ve created a simple worksheet to help you design your devotional time, and I would love to help work on it with you. If you would like to receive some of the above daily benefits in your life, click the following link to email me at Jennifer@JenniebCoaching.com and we can setup a time to talk.
Honestly, my Morning Devotionals are one of the BEST investments I have ever made in my life!
ALL my best!
Your Life With Peace, Joy and Purpose