Prayer of Examen

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God.”

Philippians 1:9-10

As I lay my head on my pillow at night, with a deep sigh of relief I begin to mentally sift through my day. I begin by asking God to help me see where He was present in my day. What are the things that happened today that I am so grateful for? Beginning with when I woke up and mentally stepping back into my day, I begin to look, as an outsider, into the actions/attitudes/responses of my day.

Welling up with gratefulness, I remember the small moments of laughter with my children that day. I see the faces of friends who came to bring a gift to our daughter after an injury. I reflect on the tiny moments also, the sun that poured through window in which I quickly turned and was embraced by the warm light.

With a little bit of resistance, I then ask the Holy Spirit to walk back through my day again and help me to see where I was not paying attention to His prompting. Beginning with the morning, I remember how slow I was to wake up and possibly quite a bit cranky when my children interrupted my morning coffee time. I see myself teaching one of my children at the table and feel the regret as I remember how I was not as patient or encouraging as I could of been in that moment. God invites me to offer those moments back to Him, to turn back and ask for His help in these areas for the next day.

“The examen makes us aware of moments that at first we might easily pass by as insignificant, moments that ultimately can give direction for our lives.”

Dennis Linn

This simple practice is called the Prayer of Examen. Combined with lectio divina, this practice is helping me to become more aware of God’s presence throughout my day. Lectio is bringing the meditative power of the word into my day and the examen is bringing the reflective power of a soul anticipating God’s invitation in my ordinary moments.

Asking myself these questions every night brings to my attention where God is present in my day. This awareness and remembrance helps me to notice what I might otherwise miss due to the busyness of life. I sometimes miss those moments where I feel intense gratitude because life keeps on moving. I also skip right pass those moments where God is inviting me to be a presence of peace for others, but I choose impatience instead.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”


While I think Socrates is being a bit dramatic here, I agree that the examined life brings a FULLNESS that otherwise gets missed. Taking the time to examen our day takes only a few moments at the end of each day. My practice takes about 5 minutes… or until I fall asleep.

Just like the vines in the above picture, the interweaving of the disciplines into my daily rhythm creates something beautiful out of the ordinary, muddy boots and messy bun moments of life.

Soul Tending Invitation: Prayer of Examen

The Prayer of Examen began around 400 years ago through a Jesuit priest named Ignatius of Loyola. He realized that by reflecting on His day, in prayer, it made him even more aware of God’s presence as He was with him through the day. This prayer also focuses on the feelings that rise up in us as we reflect on our day. We can bring those feelings before God and ask Him to guide us in prayer as we explore the reasons behind those feelings even more.

There are many different ways of practicing the Examen. Some prefer to sit with a journal and write their way through the prompts. Others choose a different time of day, like mid afternoon, to practice the examen. The examen can also be done as a reflection after each season or even at the end of the year/beginning of a new year.

Here is one way to begin this practice.

  1. Begin by taking a few deep breaths and bringing yourself to this present moment.
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to walk with you as you mentally revisit your day and show you where God was present.
  3. Beginning with the start of your day, mentally walk through the events from beginning to end. Pay attention to the emotions that rise up in you as you get to different events. If you notice emotions rising to the surface, offer those to God in prayer. Spend some time reflecting.
  4. Now pay attention to what you are grateful for from the past 24 hours. What stands out? Thank God for those little and big events that bring you gratitude.
  5. Are there moments from your day that feel like you were being drawn away from God? Spend some time in prayer, confession and reflection.
  6. Thank God for being with you today and for the awareness that He has given you of His presence. Ask Him now to be with you again tomorrow and for a greater awareness of His constant presence.


“If there is any concept worth restoring to its original depth and evocative potential, it is the concept of hospitality.”

Henri Nouwen

Giving respect to the space between the meal and the clean- up, we all sit around the table not ready yet to interrupt the sacred space. Stomachs are full, the kids have run off to play and we begin to offer tea or coffee to our guests. They politely refuse, but instead begin to ask us more questions about why we are here. Why would we bring our family of 6 to this exact city and country?

We both begin to explain, sharing stories of how God called us and how God was faithful to provide. Our guests began sharing stories about their faith traditions with us, but also telling us how good it is that we are here. They haven’t found many people that speak English and so they said they have been lonely. Leaving our home that day, they said they would be back soon. This time, they would cook us some Indian food.

We came to Hungary knowing that Christian hospitality was to be a fundamental part of our ministry, but we weren’t sure who the Lord would ask us to invite into our home. So, we waited for people of peace to become evident. It didn’t take long before we began connecting with international college students that would come by the church service. We began to invite students into our home to cook an “American” meal for them. Then it would turn into them coming back again to cook an authentic dish from their country for our family.

“If, when we open the door, we are oriented toward seeing Jesus in the guest, then we welcome that person with some sense that God is already at work in his or her life.”

Christine D. Pohl


God has kept opening doors for students to come and feel at home here in our flat. Our prayer is that it will continue to be a safe place for students, of all backgrounds and religions, to experience the love of Jesus and to ask deeper questions of faith. Some students come to our church community on Sundays, especially if they are believers of Jesus. Other students, who are not believers of Jesus, will gladly come to our home, but not make a commitment to come back to church.

We are seeing first hand what we have believed for quite some time, a ministry of hospitality (outside the four walls of the church) is an imperative part of reaching others for Jesus.

“The future of Christian hospitality is partly tied to the future of the home and family. Recovering hospitality will involve reclaiming the household as a key site for ministry and then reconnecting the household and the church, so that the two institutions can work in partnership for the sake of the world.”

Christine D. Pohl,

Just as we are accepted and loved into the safe arms of Christ, we too can extend the gift of acceptance and love through Christ. Hospitality is an act of opening our homes and our hearts in order to give others the love of Christ, through the overflow that we have received.

During this Difficult COVID time, we have been unable to open our home as much as we would of liked. Great news, we can show hospitality in so many ways! Gathering up items to make American Apple Cider kits, we put gift bags together to deliver to people at their front door. My daughters helped me to write out verses to include in each bag and we hope that the Love of Christ was extended with each one we delivered.

“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

Romans 15:7


Where is God inviting you to be hospitable this week?



  1. the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

Hospitality can take on many different forms during varying seasons of life. The breaking of bread with others around a communal table can be seen many places in the Bible. I have also witnessed hospitality as an act of creating a sacred space for others to safely share their hearts no matter where this might take place. Hospitality can look like giving time to your neighbor as you chat across backyard fences, taking food to a widower on your street or simply offering to create space in your family for someone where family simply doesn’t exist.

Here are some practical ways you can think about hospitality as a spiritual discipline this next week:

  1. Take some time first and offer up this discipline to the Lord. He knows what people you will come across and who He wants you to welcome into your moments this next week. Pray that He will send you people of peace.
  2. Keep your eyes and heart open to those around you. Who might be someone that you can extend an invitation towards this week? It might be for a simple cup of coffee on the front porch or a meal in your home. It could simply be a person who comes to church alone and would appreciate sitting with a family this next Sunday. There are so many ways to be hospitable!
  3. Think about some ways that you can extend hospitality on “the go” this week. This can look like delivering cookies and a note of blessing to someone you want to encourage. It can be calling someone who lives far away and giving them honored space in your day. Even paying for the person in front of you at Starbucks this week!
  4. Generously consider how God might lead you to open your home to others as a spiritual discipline. There are more ideas that I can list, but some are: game night for college students, a front yard ice cream party for the kids that live on your street, a tea party for high school teenage girls or a backyard bonfire with someone you have just met.
  5. Consider ways that you can show hospitality, a generous welcome, to others outside of your home: serving your church community, a homeless shelter, the firehouse down the street or a nursing home.

Mindful moments

“Surely the LORD was in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

Genesis 28:16

It was 6 a.m. and my inner alarm went off. This was out of the ordinary for me as most days I sleep until at least 7. The night before I gave myself a pep talk about getting up early. I thought it was to no avail. But here I was, 6 a.m. and wide awake.

The flat was quiet, dark and cozy. The shades and curtains were still drawn closed. I warmed up my teapot for some early morning tea and then settled in to do some writing on the couch.

An hour or so later my husband woke up and came into where I was. The first thing he did was to open the curtains and tell me that it was beautiful outside. Ice had formed overnight and it covered the trees and rooftops.

Even though I was the first one up, I was completely unaware of the magical scene right outside the window. It wasn’t that I intentionally ignored it, I just didn’t know it was there. I was more focused on paying attention to my own agenda. I almost missed it.

“Where we direct our attention is exceedingly important to Jesus because where we direct our attention determines what our life is. It’s easy to sleepwalk through our days of commuting, working, eating, exercising, texting and so on. Christian mindfulness/attentiveness keeps close watch on our inner compass so we can notice if we are mostly present to anxiety about our wardrobe, our longing for food or our expectations about tomorrow. Jesus tells us to be present to God and others, and not only to our worry. ‘Do not worry about your life…Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?’ (Matthew 6:25, 27) A mindful person collects scattered attention and brings him-or herself back to the presence of God.”

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, “Spiritual Disciplines Handbook”

As I stepped outside into this Narnia, I couldn’t help but come up with a plan for my whole family to step into this winter wonderland. By allowing myself to be captivated by the beauty of God’s creation, my mind couldn’t help but to be in awe of God, praise Him and thank Him for the wonder before my eyes.

Excitedly, I shared my plan with my family. We were going to do a wintertime tea party outside on the rooftop! This was a morning that the normal routine would go amiss and we would step out into the beautiful gift God had created.

I turned on the Christmas lights that were still on the rooftop, heated up some hot water, took out the tablecloth and candles. The kids were instructed to dress as warm as they could and then meet both my husband and I out on the rooftop with their steaming mug of warmth.

“Historically, great theologians have cited the created world and its beauty as the first sign of God’s goodness. Paul said as much in the opening chapter of his epistle to the Romans. Creation speaks of the goodness and glory of God through dazzling colors and intoxicating scents. The sunrises and sunsets are grand spectacles that happen twice each day and are seldom noticed by people too busy to look. God could have made an ugly world; he was not obligated to make a world that inspires awe. Beauty has a lot to do with order. Simply gazing at a daisy reveals the mind of God.”

James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful God

As we all gathered outside to drink hot tea and share some poetry, we could barely sit still. All around us were sparkling crystals that drew our attention. The choice in that moment was whether I allowed the beauty of nature to draw us closer to God or not.

The practice of paying attention or being mindful of God in our midst has been around for centuries. Yet as our culture gets busier, louder and more demanding, we have to be more intentional about paying attention. It is a habit that can be cultivated.

“But for all the soul’s vastness and independence, the tiny executive center of the person- that is, the spirit or will- can redirect and re-form the soul, with God’s cooperation. It mainly does this by redirecting the body in spiritual disciplines and toward various other types of experiences under God.”

Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart

Where is God inviting you to be mindful of Him today?

Being mindful of God in our present moment has been around for centuries. In the act of Christian mindfulness it is the goal to be aware of the present moment, not in emptying our minds, but in filling them up with thankfulness, praise, awe and prayers to God about what our eyes see in the present. It can be quite challenging to be in the present moment, but it is an invitation to awareness of God in your everyday ordinary moments of life. Being mindful is an invitation to prayer.

  1. Slow Meal- During meal times you can choose to eat slowly, savoring the tastes and experience of those joining you at the table. Be present with all of your five senses. How does the food taste? smell? feel? look? What does it sound like to share conversation around your table? How can you see God in all of it? Talk to Him about this as you enjoy a slow meal.
  2. Slow Walk- Decide to take a walk for the purpose of being mindful of God in your midst. Pay attention to the small things. Stop and look at the insect crawling across a leaf. Notice the sound of the birds singing and try to identify them. You can even take a sketch book or camera along with you to draw or photograph the beauty of God’s creation. Sunset is an especially good time for this. Prayerfully walk with God and share with him what is stirring in your soul as you respond to what you see around you.
  3. Stillness- Take time in your day to sit and just be present with God. The goal is not to rush somewhere, to try and check items off of your list or work harder. The goal is to be still with God. Just be. Even if it is just for 5 minutes. If it helps, keep a notebook and pen handy to jot down all of the distractions that come across your mind initially. Invite God into this moment and enjoy being in His presence. Think on scripture, talk to God and listen to Him. Let God renew your mind.

Lectio Divina

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10

Winter brings with it the hope of Spring to come. Planning out a garden for the spring brings me hope of the new season. I think back to the last spring, our first spring in Hungary. Working silently on my rooftop, I would look over the edge and see rows of small orange tiled roofs. It’s different, tending a garden high above everyone else.

After such a quiet and dark winter, the smell of the wet soil woke up my senses. I knelt over the garden box and with one finger I pulled it along the top of the dark soil, a shallow trench following my movements. Then with my other hand I dropped seeds. A few at a time they fell into their new home. Out of the envelope and into the perfect environment for growth. Their time of waiting is over. I finish, row by row. dropping dry, seemingly dead, seeds into my garden boxes. Will they work this time?

I loosened up the soil and I promised myself I would consistently check for weeds. Not giving up that year, I successfully buried dozens of zinnia seeds. I secretly hoped they will pop up in neat little green rows and that by the end of summer they would produce an abundance of brightly colored petals. The abundance would not happen overnight. It was going to take months of tending and added rhythms to my day to intentionally care for them.

I began my garden that year with good intentions, but I still wondered, will my good intentions lead to an abundant garden?

“In the end, this is the most hopeful thing any of us can say about spiritual transformation. I cannot transform myself, or anyone else for that matter. What I can do is create the conditions in which spiritual transformation can take place, by developing and maintaining a rhythm of spiritual practices that keep me open and available to God.”  

Ruth Haley Barton- Sacred Rhythms

I believe that our souls can often reflect those little seeds planted. In fact, Jesus often referenced plants, soil, weeds and seeds in the word to help us understand the kingdom in a way we would relate to. Transformation happens in our soul as our daily spiritual rhythms take place. Weaving throughout our days are natural rhythms. They are not hard and don’t feel like work to get started.

As I awake in the morning, I begin my morning rhythm of getting ready. For me that means meeting my husband at the table and sitting down to a cup of coffee while entering the day slowly. A gentle reminder is all I need, the smell of the brew. Coffee is waiting and it’s time to put my feet on the floor. It’s a welcome invitation.                

After coffee and breakfast, I make my way back to my room and roll out my yoga mat. Laying out my devotional book, bible and journal in front of me, I start with a short scripture.

As I stretch, I feel the short scripture making its way into my soul. Using Lectio Divina, I re-read the short passage four times over, each time praying and asking the Lord to speak to me.

A word or phrase will be brought to mind and I meditate on what the Lord wants to say to me through that short part of the scripture. Some days I really am not sure and so I offer it back to the Lord and ask him to show me. I trust him to do the work.

As I finish up my morning stretches, I sit with my journal and pen. Writing, for me, is another way I connect with God. The words flow and I can better hear his heartbeat for me. The Son is providing food for the garden of my soul.

This time all together is not long, and it does not feel like work. These quiet moments are an anchor in my morning and a daily rhythm of grace. I don’t expect one season of my life to look like the last. Each season has its own challenges and blessings. In this season, I draw the line in my soil and plant the seeds that match my circumstances.

Continuing in my day, I find little pockets of time when I can meditate again on the short scripture, I read that morning. Warm, bubbly water and a line of dirty dishes on the counter give me the gift of a mental freeload. While my hands are busy washing, my soul is connecting with the Lord again over those same words I read that morning.

If I have forgotten the seeds planted, I will ask the Spirit to give me new words to meditate on during this silence, turn on some worship music or spend time in praise and thanksgiving. The garden continues to be nurtured in little moments throughout my day. Each tiny drop adds up to a well filled cup by the end of the day.

“Pray to God for rain- it’s time for the spring rain- to God, the rainmaker, Spring thunderstorm maker, maker of grain and barley.”

Zechariah 10:1 (MSG)

These spiritual rhythms in my day have become a gift. They are the water for my soul. The daily tending of my soil. Just like the seeds I whole heartedly planted, the rhythms must stay in place for an abundant growth, but they don’t need to feel heavy. The Lord’s burden is light and therefore our moments with Him should feel more like an invitation from a friend, as a reprieve of our burdens.

The cycle of planting is never done. Each season and throughout the season I will continue replanting in my treetop garden. I will try my best to keep the rhythms of watering and weeding daily so that the growth can continue at a steady rate and not choke out the new life growing. My soul tending continues in much the same way, daily rhythms set in place and good intentions to keep my soul watered, trusting in God to do the work of transformation.

Spiritual Discipline Invitation: Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is an ancient Christian practice that began in the 6th century. It is latin for “divine reading.” It is a discipline of contemplatively reading the scriptures, in short sections, listening for the Spirit’s leading as you read. There are four main parts to Lectio Divina: reading, reflecting, responding and resting. The entire process should feel unhurried. Unlike Eastern practices, this practice does not invite you to empty your mind, instead you are practicing the presence of God by paying attention, in prayer, to what God is speaking to you through the scripture.

  1. Choose a short section of scripture to read through today.
  2. Invite the Holy Spirit to come with simple words such as, “Holy Spirit, come and meet me here.”
  3. Lectio- Read the short section of scripture you have chosen. Read the scripture through slowly and pay attention to a word or phrase that seems like it is speaking directly to you. Reread the scripture as many times as you need. Slowly. What word “shines?” You can read it aloud or silently. Reread the phrase or word that seems like it is meant for you today. Thank the Lord for that word.
  4. Meditatio- Reflect and seek understanding on how it applies to your life. Read the scripture you have chosen again and as you read it, ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand why this word is meant for you today. How does this passage connect with your life? You may need to sit in a few moments of quiet as you quiet your inner voice and wait for the words from the Spirit. If you want, you can use your imagination and picture yourself with God, receiving this word. You can also imagine yourself in the scene that is set in the story (if the verse is from a bible story). Take your time.
  5. Oratio- Respond in conversation with God For the third time, read the scripture again. Listen this time for your response to what you feel the Lord saying to you. What emotions do you feel? Pay attention and ask the Spirit to guide as you discover together your response. You may need to “do” something in response to this word today or you may just need to respond to the word in your time with the Lord. Spend a few moments in prayer, silence, and honesty before God. It should FEEL like an invitation from the Holy Spirit, not an unwelcome push.
  6. Contemplatio- Rest in God One more time, read this passage and rest in the Word of God. In these moments, release what you have heard back to the Lord and rest in the comfort He gives. Spend time yielded as you surrender your life to God and rest in Him.
  7. Lastly, now it is time to live it out. Throughout your day continue to think on this scripture. Mull over the words (meditate), let them continue to speak to you and sink into your soul. Carry this word with you and commit to responding to the word in action and thought.

The Invitation

What if we were to choose to view January as an invitation?

Less like a clean slate and MORE like a chance to persevere.

What if we saw 2021 as a continued step in the direction of where God is already at work?

If the invitation was less about what I can do to improve self and

MORE about what GOD can do?

Less about my works and MORE about trusting Him in my stillness.

The Invitation Stands.

Will you Join me?

Burning the candle at both ends can burn out the soul as well as the body. Spiritual disciplines are ways we give our bodies to unhurried rhythms of grace. They are ways we unhurry our souls before God.

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

 Whether it is fresh slate January or late summer August. The Invitation to view our lives as moments of trust is the same. Sadly, many of us feel like we have to do more. We have to “pull ourselves up by the bootstraps” and keep plugging away.

I know that feeling. I still struggle with it daily, but I have found rest for my soul and peace in the green pastures. I invite you to consider experiencing God in a new way this year.

Journey along with me as we explore the ancient (and some modern ones too!) spiritual disciplines. Each week I will offer one new spiritual discipline that you can put into practice, if you so choose. The invitation of the week will be just that, an invitation.

An invitation that you can accept or decline. No guilt. No shame.

If you read the weekly invitation and decide it’s not for you, our God is a gentle guide and I trust that He will meet you in other ways that week.

Think often on God, by day, by night, in your business and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave him not alone.

Brother Lawrence, His Conversations and Letters on the Practice of the Presence of God

You will find that some of the spiritual disciplines only take moments a day. Most are meant to weave into your day seamlessly so that you can practice the discipline while you are going about your ordinary, daily life.

God wants to WALK with you through your days. The disciplines are one way that I have found that encourage that journey.

The disciplines themselves are basic components of the rhythm of intimacy with God that feed and nourish the soul, keeping us open and available for God’s surprising initiatives in our lives.

Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms

Even though the word discipline has a negative connotation to it, the disciplines are not meant to be a heavy burden. Instead they provide a rhythm for your ongoing spiritual formation. We trust God to do the work of transforming our hearts, but He also asks us to accept His invitation. The disciplines are a means of grace, a way of putting ourselves before the Lord and accepting his gift of transformation and renewal. A walk of being more like Christ.

The invitations can easily be added along any other spiritual rhythms that you already have in place. I encourage you to dive into the word of life in addition to the weekly invitation. Each week I will offer a short scripture for the invitation. Reading, writing and memorizing that scripture to meditate on all week is also a beautiful rhythm to add to the invitation.

If you don’t want to miss out on the weekly invitations, follow me on Instagram or sign up to receive a weekly email below.

I’m excited to journey with you!

Want to see an index of spiritual disciplines? Click here.

Ready to get started? You can view the invitations here.

Want to know more about me? Click here.

Invitation: Seeds of Generosity

Walking barefoot on my rooftop, in the windy and cold December air, I am drawn to the deceptively dead plants in my garden boxes.

My feet begin to get a little numb, but first I need to look closer.

All I see are brown, dry stalks and the guilt I have for not having cleaned out the spent summertime blooms. I release the negative tape playing in my head and that is when I see it.

I looked closer and I found the beauty. There is a second chance in this dried flower head. More than a second chance.

There is an ongoing bounty of chances for the unforeseeable future.

Each flower pod or head has protected its seeds. Life protected. Chances given. God giving generously.

Each dry brown flower head holds at least twenty seeds to save and replant in the spring. Seeds that will once again bloom for HIS glory and then in it’s season, give OVER it’s seeds in PLENTY.

Even in death, there is life.

Grabbing handfuls of dried seeds, thanking God He is generous in providing continual blossoms with these handfuls of seeds and generous in chances. Second, third, fourth chances…

Even the flowers of the field.

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Luke 12:27
We can trust in God’s abundance.
He showers us with seeds of Peace, Love, Joy…
Generous gifts of Love from family, friends, community…
He leads us to the fertile soil and gives rest.
His burden is light.

“Thanksgiving is possible not because everything goes perfectly but because God is present. The spirit of God within us- nearer to us than our own breath. It is a discipline to choose to stitch our days together with the thread of gratitude. But the decision to do so is guaranteed to stitch us closer to God. Attend to the truth that ‘bidden or unbidden God is present.’”

Adele Calhoun, The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

There was a time when in my life when I really struggled with gratitude. We were in the process of adopting and it was taking years longer than intended. We didn’t know if she would ever make it home. In order to protect our hearts and minds, I knew we needed to focus on gratitude.

I created a piece of art for our living room. I would consider it a functional piece of art. It was a large 100 year old door that was left in our basement. When you are waiting for so long on a journey that you are not sure is going to turn out the way you want it to you will hear the phrase OFTEN… “We are praying that the door will open.” I pray this, I’m sure you pray this… up until now it never seemed too “cliche.” Our door was not opening. Did this mean we were not doing the right thing?

Nope. Sometimes what God asks of us is not easy, it takes time, struggle, faith, hope, perseverance… Sound familiar?

The door we want to open may never open, but we trust and live in hope that what the Lord has to offer his kingdom through our struggles is worthy of praise. 

So once seeing these doors in my basement, I came up with a plan to “Kick down the door” as Bob Goff would say. We would praise God while we were waiting for the many doors to open. We would write our praises down on post-it notes and stick them on the door.

Our doors may remain closed, but we will STILL praise God in the waiting. We will live a life of gratitude and thankfulness even if our doors remain closed forever. Because it is not the opening of doors that warrants praise and celebration from our lips…

We must be present, however to see what he is doing. Gratitude requires cultivating an awareness of God’s generosity. Seeing. Pausing. Paying attention.

Everyone in our family participated in this door project. I painted the old door a fun turquoise color and leaned it up against our dining room wall. The post its and pen stayed put on our dining room table. Whenever I felt like the door was too full with post its or we needed a fresh start, I took down the post its and taped them in a special book to keep and look back on.

This was mainly a huge reminder for me (I need visual reminders!), but it was also a way to train our three girls to give thanks in the midst of discouragement and waiting.

We need practice giving thanks in the midst of plenty and of want. Giving thanks turns into HOPE that we think we may of lost along the way as we see the way our God provides.

Spiritual Discipline Invitation: Gratitude

This week you are invited to practice the spiritual discipline of gratitude. There are so many ways that you can weave this practice into your everyday life, so be creative! Here are just a few examples of how I ways I have woven this discipline into my life. Remember, there is not “one perfect way.” I do not do ALL of these things all of the time. In fact, some of these were just short season.

  1. Visually- Find a door or wall that you can stick post it notes of gratitude on whenever you get the chance. This is a great way to involve the whole family!
  2. Personally- Keep a small journal by your bedside table and every night when you go to sleep, jot down at least three things you are thankful for from your day today.
  3. Make it an attitude of gratitude! Make it a point to personally thank others things week for the little and seemingly “ordinary” things they do for you or others.
  4. Looking back at the past year, reflect and write a prayer of thanks to God for all the ways he has provided for you generously. Remember, these things don’t have to be physical gifts.
  5. Take a walk in nature or in your neighborhood. As you walk, prayerfully ask God to show you all the generous ways He gives.

How have you chosen to weave gratitude into your ordinary daily moments?