Fall is a special season. Typically filled with new beginnings and fresh starts, school supplies and novel activities, it's an exciting time of change that soon settles into a familiar routine. But after an especially trying and unpredictable summer, this fall season seems frought with the same uncertainty, perhaps an even greater threat. While it may be tempting to lose heart, we must remember that such troubling times are an opportunity to deepen our faith.
As we head into fall ready to establish a new routine, let's reevaluate our priorities and refresh our daily rhythm so we can dig into what is most important—namely, the one who has sustained us and walked with us through every trial: Jesus Christ.
This fall, with all its unknowns, is a chance to reorient our lives around the Truth that holds—our Savior and His Kingdom.
This fall, with all its unknowns, is a chance to reorient our lives around the Truth that holds—our Savior and His Kingdom. As Christians, if we want to live transformed lives that recognize we've already got one foot in heaven, we must first treasure our Redeemer. As we do, we'll have the wisdom to discern what to prioritize and how to let go of our disappointments, that we might gain something greater. With this in mind, the following are some practical tips to help you spend time with the Lord and be alert to His call for you.
1. GET QUIET; BE STILL
In our fast-paced culture, as soon as our feet hit the floor, it's go, go, go. We hardly have a moment to stop and consider why we do what we do and for whom we are doing it. And that's all it takes—just a moment. So, to help you plan a new routine for this unusual season, one that keeps you awake to the Lord, start by taking just 3 to 5 minutes in your day to be quiet and still before Him.
Even the busiest mother can carve out a moment to commune with God. Though often surrounded by many children (she birthed 19) and endless chores, Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, developed the understanding within her family that when her apron was over her head, she was not to be disturbed. Here she fellowshipped simply with the Lord to gain strength and faith for her day. So, let's put the phone out of reach, fold our hands, and listen for God's will for us, saying, "Here I am, Lord."
2. CHEW ON GOD'S WORD
So many of us neglect to go to the Word of God each day for the renewing of our minds—or we overwhelm ourselves with Scripture reading goals that are simply too much, and we burn out. But what if you focus on a few verses a day—reading them, chewing on them, digesting them, and applying them?
God has much to say even in just a small bit of His Word—and that Word has transformational power. So spend time each day allowing God's Word to dwell in you richly. Read your Bible, even if it's just a little at a time, and meditate on its message: God loves you, and He wants you to be with Him and be like Him.
3. FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD IN NATURE
These days, so much of our day is spent inside—away from the wonders of creation—that we don't even realize when our noses have been in screens for hours at a time. But getting out in the sun, moving our bodies, and engaging our childlike curiosity are a great way to fellowship with God.So go on a walk, leave that phone at home (or silenced and stowed away), and open up a dialogue with God. Allow the beauty around you to drown out the busyness, the restlessness, and the noise that our current circumstances perpetuate. What gifts He has given us and what perspective we will gain when we praise Him for the blessing of His creation. Talk with Him about what matters and allow Him to re-align your heart and your priorities with His.
4. WORSHIP GOD IN THE MUNDANE
Our days are often filled with mundane tasks. There's always something to clean or organize—dishes to wash, laundry to fold, dirt and dust to vanquish. But these seemingly trivial tasks are ideal times to meet with God. Allow your mind to wander to the Lord, reflect on His character, and pray for the things He places on your heart.
Instead of allowing frustration and exhaustion to dwell in your heart, work to make these moments special times of reflection and praise as you serve others and care for your home—carrying out these tasks as unto the Lord.
And if you tend to busy yourself with too much, as Martha was hard-pressed to let go of her tasks to meet with Jesus (see Luke 10:38-42), step away from your chore even for just a minute to be still and talk with God. Ask Him to prepare your heart for the task; the more you do, the more discerning you will become about what is most needful in your life.
TURNING THESE TIPS INTO HEAVENLY HABITS
While these are all tips to help you determine the right daily or weekly ritual for your household—a routine that puts God on the throne of your life—they are also exercises that can become a central part of the routine you develop. These small habits can help you stay focused on God and your heavenly home so that your values align with His. So let's pause before becoming frustrated with the instability of our fall season. Let's meet with the Lord and determine to live a decluttered life that helps us better delight in our King.