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Take a Day

Have you ever had the feeling that you could be experiencing more of God? It’s this nudge inside of you that suggests there’s more. Sometimes it comes while you are listening to Pastor Chris speak or watching people get baptized or listening to a worship song or sharing with a dinner group friend.

Perhaps there is no nudge. There is only unrest. A weekend away doesn’t seem to fix that deep unrest that won’t go away. You think it’s just a busy season, but you are starting to suspect it may simply be your life.

I found myself there a few years ago. I wasn’t where I needed to be spiritually to be the wife, mom, friend and leader I was called to be. Everything felt hard ー too hard. Hoboken Grace kept expanding, our family kept growing, and my life kept taking unexpected turns. With every new season, my personal experience of God took a hit until I hit a wall and there was nowhere left to turn but to Him. I knew that if I was going to be who He has called me to be I needed Him. Not just on Sunday, not just in dinner group ー every day in every season.

I did two things that have DRASTICALLY impacted my experience of God.

 

1. I replaced my social media app with an app called First 5.

 

You must find something that works for you in order to spend time in God’s word CONSISTENTLY! This app works for me whether I have only 5 to 10 minutes or more time  to dive deeper. It also has group chats so I am communicating with friends on it about what we are learning and how it applies to our lives. It also goes through a book of the Bible at a time, which means you get the full picture of books which is super important in your study of God’s word. It has worked for me, but you must not give up in finding what will work for you.

 

2. I started taking one day away with God every three months.

Yes, a full day away. It took some time to get used to (the first time I made it two hours before I called a friend and asked her what I should do). Now the day flies by, and I often wish it could be longer. In case you want to give it a try, here’s what a typical day away with God can look like:

  1. Schedule the day the way you would schedule any other important event. It doesn’t get moved just because another event came up.
  2. Start the day with whatever helps you clear your mind. Maybe that’s taking a walk or bike ride. Maybe it’s yoga. For me it’s always a workout. It may sound odd, but it helps my mind STOP when I push my body to its limits physically. I also listen to worship songs and let my mind be consumed by thoughts of Him.
  3. Once there, my time with God follows a rhythm of confession (ways I know I am not being who I am created to be), gratitude (acknowledging everything good in my life is a gift from Him), and time with a Bible and journal. Spending time in God’s word is CRUCIAL because it is a letter written with you in mind and He has something to share through it. Your journal is so you can write out what is on your heart and where you are. Writing it down helps you stay focused.
  4. Halfway through, do something you enjoy WITH God that brings you rest. God is fun and He would LOVE to enjoy His time with you. He will meet you anywhere! I have gone to the beach, to the spa or to my favorite lunch spot with Him. You may be wondering what “with Him” means. For me, it’s that I keep doing my reading while having lunch or I talk to Him the way I would with a friend. If you are new to that it will take some time, but I promise you will get there.
  5. Go back to your Bible and journal. I try to end the day by asking Him who He wants me to pray for or encourage. He often brings someone to mind throughout the day, and so this is the time I take to reach out to that person. I can’t tell you how many times the response I get back is, “This is exactly what I needed today. Thank you!”

 

These two things may seem too time-consuming, and I completely understand that fear! It seems counterproductive and even selfish. But if you’re tired of getting the nudge without doing anything about it, if you want ACTUAL rest from the One who knows you best – give it a shot.

You can even do it with friends who want to try it with you. Doing it with a friend means you come back at the end of your alone time and you share what you read, what you heard, what you experienced. Friendships like that are a lifeline and will help deepen your experience of God.

 

Hoboken Grace has resources available to help you in your journey with God – RightNow Media (free access to a library of video studies), Rhythms (a way to build daily habits, also found in our app), Axiom (a weekend retreat), and all past messages.

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