Showing posts from February, 2018

Week Five: Welcoming Prayer.

It's Week Five of practicing a new spiritual discipline, something Adele Calhoun calls 'Welcoming Prayer.' And let me tell you, this has been a sweet and dear practice.

So, overview:

"Desire: to welcome Jesus into every part of my life, body, circumstances and relationships

Definition: Welcoming prayer is a way to detach from my need to be secure, liked and in control, and attach to the presence of Jesus instead."
(Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, pg. 287).
Additionally, she describes that a 'welcoming prayer' can be as simple as uttering, "Welcome, Jesus, welcome" (pg. 287).

So that's just what I decided to do – pray, "Welcome, Jesus, welcome" at various times throughout my day. It was a prayer I was aware of throughout the week, and whenever I felt nervous or lonely or confused or stressed, it bubbled forth from my heart: "Welcome, Jesus, welcome."

Though three simple words, they bent my heart towards deeper and fuller at…

Week Four: Silence (Again).

Welp, as promised in last week's post, I've sought to practice the spiritual discipline of silence this week...again.

While I had a good dose of resolve heading into this week, practicing silence was much more difficult than I had anticipated. And honestly, more times than not, I ran from it again and again; this tendency in me was quite confusing. I had a long week of school, filled with class lectures and studying and driving and conversations. Shouldn't I be craving silence in the midst of all the noise? I thought so.

But on Thursday afternoon, I decided I would try one of Adele Calhoun's suggested activities for practicing silence: setting a timer for just ten minutes and allowing the self to be present in the silence (Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, pg. 123). I thought this would be easy enough, so after putting my phone on 'do not disturb mode,' I set my iPhone timer for exactly 10:00. Then I was silent. I was even a good girl and turned off my ambient-no…

Week Three: Silence.

This week, I chose to practice the spiritual discipline of silence, though I did not do very well at it.  Let's just say that I realized how *radically* tied I am to any kind of noise – from my Spotify playlists to the whirring sound of the fan in my room.  Goodness, I'm even writing this blog to background music!

Here's how Adele Calhoun describes silence as a spiritual discipline:
"Desire: to free myself from the addiction to and distraction of noise so I can be totally present to the Lord; to open myself to God in the place beyond words
Definition: Silence is a regenerative practice of attending and listening to God in quiet, without interruption and noise.  Silence provides freedom from speaking as well as listening to words or music. (Reading is also listening to words.)
Practice Includes: Setting a period of time in which you don't speak but isolate yourself from sounds (other than perhaps the sounds of nature)Driving or commuting without the radio or CD player…

Week Two: Gratitude.

"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!"  (Psalm 118:1, ESV)

For this week, I've practiced the spiritual discipline of gratitude.  Though I wish gratitude was my default mode, I too frequently miss out on seeing the blessings God has given – the ones so clearly present if I would just give a moment to say, "Thanks, God."

Here's some of the basics of the discipline of gratitude, per Adele Calhoun's perspective:

"Desire: to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's prompting to live with a grateful heart, cognizant of God's work in my life and my abundant resources.

Definition: Gratitude is a loving and thankful response toward God for his presence with us and within this world. Though 'blessings' can move us into gratitude, it is not at the root of a thankful heart. Delight in God and his good will is the heartbeat of thankfulness.

Practice Includes:

Prayers and songs that focus on God's generosit…