In a complex world where life can get really complicated really quickly, I often find myself seeking the peace that comes from holding fast to one simple and unchanging truth: that I am deeply loved and cared for by a God who knows me intimately and has always been faithful to supply exactly what I need, when I need it, no matter what’s going on in me or the world around me.
Despite the simplicity of this truth, I've also found that it's incredibly easy to get distracted and too often I find myself struggling with getting caught up in the rituals of religion rather than caught up in Christ himself. (Trust me, the it's never a good tradeoff!)
A few years ago, after the birth of our fourth daughter, I came to a crossroads of sorts in my spiritual journey. After a few weeks of acclimating to life as a family of six, we transitioned back into our normal rhythms: church every Sunday, serving on a volunteer team, attending Bible study, and so on.
The problem was, none of these activities seemed to be "working" like they had in the past. I felt like I was doing all the "right" things, getting myself, my husband and four little girls out the door each week (by the skin of our teeth I might add!) to worship, study, pray, fellowship and serve.
And yet....during that season, I felt incredibly far from God. For some reason there was a disconnect between me and the Heavenly Father I'd grown deeply, intimately connected with over the course of my life....and I couldn't shake it no matter how much church we did or how many times I blared "Oceans" in my earbuds throughout the day.
One day as shortly after arriving home from church I was feeling particularly tired and cranky, fussing at the kids left and right, and just generally blah, I paused and thought, "This is not what an abundant life anchored in Christ looks like."
I knew, because I'd experienced that abundant life before, and in this season something was definitively missing....I just couldn't put my finger on what it was.
What I suddenly could see very clearly, however, was that it seemed the more I tried to do all the things that had "worked" in the past the worse of I was. Doing these things was very nearly having the opposite of our desired effect.
So I decided to do something really gutsy for a "good Christian girl" who grew up in the church - I talked to my husband about taking a season off from attending church, and we agreed to give it a try.
Making that decisions was so foreign and uncomfortable, and I worried that I was making a mistake, worried that this decision would negatively impact my kids, and worried about how I would explain to people that we were "taking a break" from church.
But as I dealt with these worries and questions, instead of running back to church or Bible study or my favorite worship music to make myself feel like I was being a good girl, doing what I was supposed to, I found myself running back to Christ himself.
Are you ready to be set free?
This guide is filled with 25 scriptural, spiritual truths that will refresh your spirit and help you refocus on Christ.
For months I'd been in survival mode, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and along the way I'd let my spiritual well dry up. When I felt that dry, scratchy feeling of a soul deeply in need of replenishing I mistakenly went everywhere except the source himself. I had overcomplicated it, and spent months doing more damage to my soul than good.
In that season, God met me where I was and I finally learned to let go of religious chains that had kept me bound my entire life. He reminded me of the beautiful, simple truth of his gospel: that he wants me. He wants my heart, not my striving and serving and works.
All I need to do is seek him, and abide in him, placing Jesus at the center of everything I think, say and do. No amount of "doing" will ever replace our simple, straightforward pursuit of Christ, and the soul-deep refreshment he is faithful to give.
Since then, we've gone through a bit of a spiritual evolution as a family. Sometimes we attend church if we feel led to fellowship with others who are seeking and worshipping Christ. But more often than not, we find ourselves home on Sundays, enjoying a sacred sabbath filled with rest, fellowship with each other, and worship as we seek God in the simple ways.
And it has been exactly the refreshment and nourishment my soul had been craving. Because I was willing to let go of my preconceived ideas about what I was and wasn't supposed to do, I was able to fully enter into a new season of living a life truly led by Christ, free from the bondage of religious laws that will never water a thirsty soul the way only Christ himself can.
So I challenge you, no matter where you're at today, to get back to the basics with your faith. Seek Christ in everything that you do, and get rid of anything in your life that is distracting you from that pursuit, no matter how much it seems like something a "good Christian" should do.
Get on your knees and open your heart to him, and he will be faithful to meet you wherever you're at, whether you're driving to drop the kids off at gymnastics, bustling about making dinner in the kitchen, or locked in the bathroom hiding from the kids after a long day of #allthethings going wrong.
Keep things simple by seeking Christ in everything. Invite him in, sit down and commune with him. Let him restore and refresh your dry, tired spirit. Don't worry about spending an hour every day diving deep into understanding the intricacies of scripture, or being at church every single week, or serving in the nursery, or attending that new women's Bible study.
Remove anything that distracts you from Christ. Get back to the basics. The fewer distractions you have, the more you’re able to focus on what matters most: loving God and loving people.
Ready to Simplify Your Faith?
Download this free guide filled with 25 simple scriptural truths that will set you free!
Words Of Wisdom From Women Just Like You
Prioritizing and simplifying faith in our lives as busy wives and mamas can be a real challenge, and our Simplicity Sessions contributors totally get that! Here is what they had to say about how they prioritize faith and spiritual growth in their everyday lives.
"Put first things first, and everything else will be easier and more peaceful. I definitely feel tempted to shorten my time with the Lord when I'm in a busy season, but time with him is what I need more than ever in those seasons. It takes trust on my part to choose time with him over accomplishing another task, but it renews and strengthens me in a way that nothing else can. Theologian Martin Luther is famous for saying, 'I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer." - Diana Kerr, Certified Professional Life Coach & Christian Writer
"I am in a busy season right now and this one is hard for me! Since I don't have a lot of solo time to read and study, I find ways to incorporate spiritual growth into my daily routine - either through podcasts, worship music or ongoing prayer. Attending church weekly helps to keep me grounded and growing as well." - Robin Long, Pilates & Barre Instructor & Founder of The Balanced Life Online
"In busy seasons (like right now!) I take two approaches for Scripture intake depending on what works best: 1) Read a book of the Bible wide. Don't get down in the weeds, just read fast for context. If it's a busy season this looks like listening to the Bible app in the car or while doing laundry. 2) I'll read one verse in the morning, jot some notes or questions to think on throughout the day instead of doing an in depth study or answering things in a long QT. I will think and pray on them throughout my day and I just love how God reveals stuff to me as I keep meditating long after my morning time is over. For prayer, I stay organized with our prayer journals! In busy seasons I do most of my praying in the car while my girls listen to Disney stories on CD." - Valerie Woerner, Founder of Val Marie Paper & Author of The Finishing School
"What helped me was waking up before my kids, sitting with my journal and a comfy blanket out in the living room, and adding that goal to my daily to-do list. When life gets crazy, maybe the baby kept me up all night, then I’ll try to find some quiet time during naptime or maybe even pop my headphones in while I wash dishes and listen to a podcast or an audiobook with a great message. Spiritual growth can still happen in a busy season, even amongst the daily chaos of raising small kids...it’s just about making time for it." - Sami Womack, Budgeting Coach & Founder of A Sunny Side Up Life
"My biggest lesson I've learned isn't something new or grand. But it's the thing I come back to the most when I feel like life is busy. Get with God in the morning and prioritize that time. It sets your mind right for the day ahead, refreshes your soul, and breathes life into the busy season you're in. Whenever I try and get things done in the morning and push my quiet time to later in the day I get less done and feel more rushed. It's crucial to the peace of my mind and day." - Dr. Meghan Birt, Chiropractor & Founder of the Just Enjoy Health Podcast
"Creating mindful pockets of time to focus on spiritual growth is really important. This might be time for meditation, prayer, journaling or whatever it is that speaks to your soul. I find the easiest way to do this for myself is to create a pattern so that it becomes a seamless part of the rhythm of my day. I begin with 10 minutes of focused spirituality in the morning before I even begin my day and then again during the last ten minutes to help close my day. Because this is a repetition each day, I no longer have to think about finding the time - the space is already there for me." - Tonya Dalton, Founder + CEO of inkWELL Press, Co-Host of the Productivity Paradox Podcast
"Rhythms are everything here! Sitting down in the morning with my Bible and prayer journal has to happen, otherwise it won't during the rest of the day. Also, praying as I go about my day. God doesn't need me to be perfect and sitting still all the time." - Allie Casazza, Blogger, Author, Speaker & Co-Host of The Purposeful Home Podcast