Since moving to Boulder less than a month ago, God has awakened in me a deep desire for three spiritual disciplines. Two I used to practice regularly and one I’ve never really practiced consistently.
-Prayer/Prayer walking: I’ve always been someone who prayed often throughout the day. It is a natural part of what I do. However, setting aside a chunk of time (more than 15 minutes) to pray is not something I’ve really done since college. This semester I will walk (at least one direction) to school three days a week (we’ll see what happens when the weather gets bad, but that’s currently the plan). This is the better part of 30 minutes each day. Rather than turning in to that student who plugs her earphones in and tunes out the world, I’ve felt like the time should go to prayer, meditating on scripture, and listening to sermons. Technically I’m multi-tasking as I’m transporting myself to school and getting some steady-state cardio exercise in. However, I could be taking the bus and getting to school in 10 minutes, so I’m counting this as a spiritual discipline. I’m praying for the city, university, and those I interact with as well as those I love who have entrusted me with their requests–probably some of you reading this now! I’ve only done it once so far, but I love it. It’s a great way to make sure my spirit is in the right place and centering me before I get to class. If you want me to pray for something, let me know. I’ve got from 90-180 minutes a week.
-Scripture memory: I have this overabundance of note cards leftover from teaching. I left several hundred of them for the teacher who got my classroom, but still have a couple hundred with me. I’m not anticipating having a huge need for them in school, so I’ve decided to start using them for this spiritual discipline. In high school I memorized scripture constantly and have had entire chapters memorized. I haven’t done this since training to travel to Rwanda back in the summers of 2008 and 2009. David says in Psalms he hid God’s word in his heart so that he would not sin. I believe in this and am working to re-ignite this discipline in my life. I’ve written two verses from Sunday’s sermon on a card. On the back I put the date, what the verses mean to me, and what was happening in my life when I filled out the card. I now have a use for my note card file box as well. This will be a neat artifact of this time in my life and hopefully help to keep me accountable. I’m thinking I’ll post the scriptures here too though, so I have electronic record as well.
-Sabbath: I dabbled with this one as I went to a Seventh-Day Adventist school for grades 3-12. However, husband and I are being intentional about making it a practice for our family. It’s important to me to keep grounded in grad school. I’m in no way concerned about losing my faith, but I am concerned that I will not be intentional about being the person God created me to be when I am not constantly surrounded by those who are reminders of that. Additionally, as a type A personality and someone who enjoys work to an unhealthy degree, I believe it is truly an act of obedience. Thanks for teaching on that Sandals! If God, Creator of the universe, in whose hands the world spins and floats, took a day off during the creation of the world, who am I to believe that I can work constantly for seven days a week. We’ve been practicing this one for two weeks, and it’s been so freeing. There has been time to do things I enjoy and normally would not allow myself to do. Last week I read a book for fun, leafed through community publications, and framed some pictures. This week I planted a tiny “garden” of two basil plants, spend time encouraging other believers, and wrote blogs! It’s so great.
These disciplines are my plan for grad school. I know there will be times when I fail, but I am sharing here for accountability. While I may not memorize a different scripture every week, I will hopefully be in the process at all times. I’m sure there will also be days when my mind wanders from prayer to whatever is happening in school, but I want to hopefully remember to re-focus once I realize what is happening. As far as Sabbath goes, I fully believe that practicing this one faithfully will help me be more successful in grad school. It is good for my marriage, body, mind, and spirit. Hopefully this one will be a regular occurrence.
I’m thankful God is using this transition period in my life to return my focus more to Him as it has been previously in my life. It is my prayer that these disciplines become such a part of me that when I enter the work force again they are just who I am and not something that I lose again. I ask from my praying friends for prayer regarding my faithfulness to these disciplines and invite questions of accountability.
Are there disciplines God is asking you to practice? What changes are you making to incorporate them into your life?