Sunday, July 20, 2014

Living Habits

Yesterday’s Upper Room Devotional read:
Eternal One, revealed in waves and in the waiting stillness, teach me to rest, content in your love. Let my life be a poem that tells of your care, always ready to rise up on trusting wings and risk the wind. Amen.
- Elizabeth J. Canham
Heart Whispers: Benedictine Wisdom for Today

Yes… yes… that’s it! I want my life to be a poem that speaks of and to Christ. I want to see Christ in everything about and around me. During the times when I do not reflect Christ, may I be drawn back to that beginning and hear the refrain of a simple iambic pentameter coursing through my veins. God my Father, God my Mother – may the echo I hear be the words you speak to my spirit.
…and still You speak!
I was awakened early the other day. In the pre-dawn moments, I was nearly overcome by the melancholy song of the Mourning Dove. Its plaintive melody pierced my soul. God, God... give me the words to express my gratitude. My devotional read: "faith, hope, and charity [love] have no sadness in them" and yet the sorrowful cry of the Mourning Dove...
…and still You speak!
Here are five daily habits (in no particular order and certainly not all of them!) that I try to complete. They contribute to my general well-being, happiness and gratitude.

1. Pray with purpose.
Keep a written list of people and needs to pray throughout the day to keep my mind focused on God’s presence in all circumstances. Here is a prayer app you can use to keep track of prayer requests on your phone or iPad! 
2. Count blessings.
Whenever my head and heart start to wander towards discouragement, I jot down a few blessings. It helps!

3. Make the bed every morning.
This might seem silly, but for me making the bed is one act that starts a chain of other daily habits and feelings of happiness and gratitude for my home. It’s a little thing that is actually a big thing.

4. Take a moment to organize the bathroom.
Make sure the towels are all neatly hanging up and the counter is wiped off. 
5. Practice intentional acts of kindness.
Everyone needs encouragement and we all need community. Even if we are busy, or naturally homebodies or introverts, it doesn't take much effort to reach out, build a little more community and make someone’s day a little brighter. Besides the occasional coffee date to chat face to face, I've been working on remembering to send out quick notes friends to let them know I’m praying for them and taking the time to leave encouraging comments or compliments for friends or acquaintances on a social media sites. That small effort makes my day happier, too.
What are some of your daily habits that change the course of your day for the better?

Wishing you everyday grace,
Tamara
Luke 17:10 (NLT)
10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’”