They say it takes 30 days to establish a new habit. So, at the beginning of each month, I am going to set a goal or challenge for myself. I’ll keep it up for 30 days or the length of the month. At the end of the month, I will report back and let you know how it went. I would love it if you would join me in any of these challenges that you are also interested in and share your experiences in the comments of the related posts.
For March, I am going to do 30 days of devotions. For those unfamiliar with devotions, it is kind of like daily Bible study. Devotionals can be found for free at most churches and contain a scripture, a prayer, and a related story. The one I will be using is The Upper Room.
You can also follow a devotional plan online or via your smart phone. Yes, people, there is an app for that.
In fact, after our move last October, we still haven’t been able to find our Bible. We found our New Testament books, but when I need to read from the Old Testament, out comes my trusty iPhone. Most Bible apps also have a devotional plan and there are devotional apps as well.
So…why devotions? The last two years have been full of life changing events. In our family, both immediate and extended, we have experienced a new marriage, birth, death, unemployment, an interstate move, re-employment, and pregnancy complications. That’s an incredibly busy and stressful two years. While I’m not a devout person, I do believe very strongly in God and consider myself a Christian. My desire to do devotions every day comes from a need to quiet my mind and let go of that which I can’t control. During these last two years, I have sporadically read the devotional and I have found on the days that I did, I was much better prepared to deal with any stress the day sent my way. I was nicer to my husband, more patient with my students and my daughter, and happier in general.
Devotions have also helped me to be grateful and humble on the days when my blessings were abundant. They have prompted me to be more forgiving, to reach out to those in need and to be thankful for that which I do have, rather than coveting what I feel that I lack.
It is my hope that by taking this on as a 30 day challenge, reading a daily devotional will turn into a habit beyond the 30 days. I also hope that I will feel calmer and less stressed overall as a result of making this a daily practice rather than a “when I feel like it” practice.