Hey everyone, I hope you’ all had a great day! And if you did not, then I pray that tomorrow and so on may be filled with unexpected blessings that will make you smile. On my last post, I’ve mentioned to you all that I would write a blog post about the things I do to stay spiritually hydrated. And 5 months later…here it is! Now, for those that are wondering why I’ve been hiatus, the answer is simple. Life. Things doesn’t always go as planned and that’s okay! Some people that I know and even those I follow on social media makes it seems so easy when it comes to getting it together. I’m talking about going to school and work full time, being a full-time parent, working on their dreams, traveling the world, fit, working out, stress free, dress code always on point, you name it! Meanwhile, I ‘m over here doing a self-talk like “Okay Dahana, there’s no excuse…the pity party is over (*Pops the imaginary balloons, dismisses violinist, kicks cake to the floor.)”. So what you’ve been feeling sick, so what you’re working the night shift and getting off the next day, so what you’re going to school and you have papers and quizzes that are due back to back, So what to all the countless errands you do. SO WHAT.” I felt there wasn’t a need to commiserate with myself over the things I was going through.
Society has a way of demoralizing the act of taking care of ourselves. This goes back to one of my very first post about self care. At times, we can be so hard on ourselves and get lost into the world expectations of how we should live – that we tend to lose sight of the basics in life that’s essential to our physical and mental care. As I get older (I’m pushing close to 30 for crying out loud!) I started to embrace and acknowledged the importance of living in the “spirit” rather than the “flesh.” I am a firm believer that in order to have a life of joy, PEACE, and happiness – God must be in the center of it all. I don’t know about you all, but when I go throughout my day without opening/reading my bible or not praying – everything just seems off. I don’t think straight, I worry a lot, my anxiety starts to kick in, poor dieting, I’m tuned into the world (consuming too much time on social media and listening to secular music heavily). The toxicity is all around me when my spiritual life is upside down. Over a year ago, I’ve gotten into the habit of being spiritual…making that time to connect with God. Of course, I fall off from time to time, and I am learning that this spiritual journey is lifelong and that being consistent requires much discipline and sacrifice. Without further ado, here is a list of the things that I utilize and do to stay spiritually hydrated. They’re not in chronological order from most important to least, as each items listed here does go hand to hand with one another.
1. Talk to God/Pray: The Lord knows our heart. Whatever that’s bothering me, I always talk to Him about it primarily through prayer so that He may comfort me. I thank the Lord daily for the little things in life such as being healthy, breathing, waking up to see another beautiful day, having a roof on top of my head and food on the table, my family, etc. – because, those are one of one of my many biggest blessings that I sometimes take for granted. Communicating with God is vital for me when it comes to knowing not only Him but, myself. It also aids me in wide range of areas such as decision making in my personal and professional life in which it allows God to invite the Holy Spirit to intercede. Seeking His advice has helped me to be more mindful and careful on important steps in my life. It brings clarity and awareness of my character as a Christian.
2. Bible Study: *Singing* “Jesus loves me yes I know, for the Bible tells me so.” I’ve learned throughout my spiritual journey that nobody truly can tell you who God is but you. I’ve realized that getting to know Him is a personal journey. Yes, it’s also good to know about Him through other sources (Pastors, friends, family, loved ones, etc.), however, it’s up to me to know Him through a relationship and studying His Word. Reading and studying the Bible reveals the truth of the Gospel, preparation, Salvation, the meaning of life, the foundation of knowing who the Lord is, what His plans are for His children, what He has created, what He has done for us, His promise, and much more. It is the epitome for instructions and inspirations in life from the book of Psalms, Proverbs, Jesus’ parables and the story of Job, David, Paul, Peter, Abraham, to many more powerful stories in the Bible. Those stories indicate critical evidence of the miracles of God, His faithfulness and trustworthiness. This provides me an understanding that He truly does love me and is always here. When I read His Word, it activates my Faith for righteousness; it keeps my focus on heavenly things – that I may be an obedient Servant of Christ. Most importantly, it enables me to recognize and avoid false prophets/teachers while resisting temptation. The Bible can help with so many things as it provides a clear understanding of my purpose in life.
3. Attend church: I praise Him everywhere I go. The sanctuary on the other hand, was originally designed to be a community of believers in Christ that creates a space for service and worship/reverence. It provides me the opportunity to connect and fellowship with others and study the Word of God together which forms unity and love.
4. Listening/Singing spiritual and Hymn songs: What’s so good about spiritual and hymn songs and why does it matter? I think my boyfriend Margelin explained this well when he preached a sermon about Music last month. He quoted a passage from Ellen G White book “Desires of Ages” that reads:
“Often, Jesus expressed the gladness of His heart by singing psalms and heavenly songs. Often, the dwellers in Nazareth heard His voice raised in praise and thanksgiving to God. He held communion with heaven in song; and as His companions complained of weariness from labor, they were cheered by the sweet melody from His lips. His praise seemed to banish the evil angels, and, like incense, fill the place with fragrance. The minds of His hearers were carried away from their earthly exile, to the heavenly home.”
Margelin continues saying how music powerful force can break down barriers which can enter the hearts of us listeners as it shapes our values. It’s also a form of communication to God. He also talks about ways music can minister (1 Chronicles 6:3,32), drive evil spirit away (1 Samuel 16:23), and to praise God (Ephesians 5:1). So, when I listen to spiritual and hymn songs, it uplifts my spirit in harmony – enabling me to be in a positive state of mind.
Here are some of my favorite hymns and spiritual songs:
5. Read spiritual books/study lessons: Reading spiritual/study lesson books are major key component for my spiritual walk. I remember when it was a struggle for me to read and understand the Bible in its symbolic and English old format. I would go through it and not retain anything that I’ve read. I knew that if I continue this route, it would harm my spiritual journey. One night, I prayed for the Lord to give me wisdom to comprehend the Bible. That’s when He answered my prayer and immediately, I was able to dissect the meanings and words in the Bible while using study lessons and spiritual books for guidance and clarity. Here is a list of books that I’ve read and is currently reading that has helped me to grow spiritually:
6. Act of Benevolence: It does the soul good when we give our time to help make the world a better place. I feel good when I do an act of kindness whether it’s buying my coworker lunch on a random day, volunteering at a community center to help those in need, giving a few compliments here and there just because, and more. I do these little things not only because it’s the right thing to do or that it feels good, but because the world needs more of it.
7. Rest: I observe the Sabbath (From Friday evening to Saturday evening), which symbolizes resting from all works, to honor God, and the remembrance of Christ’s work (Exodus 20:11) that was made possible through faith (see Hebrews 12:2). I love the Sabbath. This is the perfect time for me to re-energize and relax from the long week of running errands, working and going to school.
I would love to hear from you all! Send me an email and let’s chat. Until then, be bless.
Dahana St Jean