I think the opposite of Stay Present must be Lose Touch. Every summer, it seems the one I lose touch with the most is Christ.
When I was a student, I would pine for the “spiritual highs” of church camps, missions trips, and Christian concert festivals. However, after experiencing intense encounters with God every other week, praying by myself at home seemed dull and mundane. The rollercoaster of intimacy was hard on my faith in the long run.
When I became a wife, and later a mama, I had to let go of selfish summers and learn to share my time and expectations. Pushing God to the side became my first reaction as I labored to make sure everyone had a super fun summer.
For the last few Septembers, I have felt a sense of loss as summer ended. I would dust off my Bible, confess my flakiness to the Lord, then get back into routine.
I want this summer to be different.
This is more than just regimenting my quiet time as a task on my chores list. When I imagine what it means to stay present in prayer, I see myself as a smitten girlfriend restless to be around her beau. I realize it wont always feel that way, but I think activating my imagination helps. Pairing prayer with an activity makes a difference too!
I remember one summer when staying present wasn’t so elusive.
I spent every morning that summer hiking a mountain trail near my home. There was a deep peace in my prayers between the trees. I worshipped; sometimes I even sang out loud. I talked to God and hiked quietly, listening for the still small voice of truth. Perching myself on a boulder at the top, I would read my Bible, journal my prayers, and breathe in God’s presence.
This practicing presence with the Lord (another way to define prayer) filled me. With a full heart, it was natural to pour out. Not only did I feel more patient and grace-giving toward others, but I had energy and enthusiasm to share my faith. My time with the Lord also stirred my spiritual hunger. A morsel of Bible reading was better than a CLIF Bar after my morning prayer hikes.
God’s Word calls us to persist in prayer (Ephesians 6:18). Jesus set the example by regularly slipping away to solitary places to pray (Mark 1:35). My prayer for you is that this summer, you would be noticeably filled in your time with Christ.
Thanks for reading Chapter 1 of my new e-book Stay Present Summer. There are LOADS of extras in the book, including
- tips for staying screen free,
- Bible readings,
- memory verses,
- journal prompts,
- activities you can enjoy with your kids (or roomies!)
- and more!
Download Stay Present Summer: 7 Ways to Claim Confidence and Contentment This Season here: Get my Free E-book!