A cup of coffee with God
I usually don't make New Year's resolutions, but I always self-reflect on what parts of me that I need to focus on for the new year. Usually, like many, it's to eat healthier or exercise more, which are not a bad way to start a new year, but is this sustainable and is it what I really need to help me be closer to God? And, if this is the resolution I am going to make, what am I going to do to be sure I can sustain this new habit?
God does not want us to stay the same. He definitely loves us the way we are, oh how He loves us, but he does not want us to stay the way we are. He wants us to continually grow in the grace and love that he has for us. As the Apostle Paul says in the book of Romans, we are "predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son", which means we are to constantly strive to be like Him. He wants us to be just like Jesus. This may sound daunting and maybe even a little scary. It may seem like this is even more impossible than losing weight or eating right. The great thing about this little resolution is that God walks with us through it all. I had a trainer that worked with me for a total of 5 years either one-on-one or in a small group setting. She helped me get my body into good shape and to eat more healthy. By doing this I have been able to maintain this lifestyle even without her. She was there as my accountability and support. God is there just like this, only he is there every minute of every day to support, uplift, and cheer you on. His grace is just like that. If we are to put all of our trust in Him for help in every area of our lives, he will help us reach that goal. Keep in mind, though, that He is not going to do it without us putting in some work and effort, just like you would have to if you were exercising or eating well.
This year I will be working on giving God my waking thoughts. I picked this because I want it to become the habit I have developed, no matter what the circumstances might be. I want to change my habits from first going to Him rather than first going to worry. First going to Him rather than first going to Facebook. First going to Him rather than first going to gossip. First going to Him in praise before going to him in need. In order for this to happen there are some changes I need to make in my daily routine. I really thought a lot about what this might look like in my daily life. I have a time in my day that I chose to spend with God. It is my time to journal, read, reflect, pray and listen. It is my coffee time with God. My husband has coffee waiting for me when my eyes open and my comfy chair in my sunroom is waiting with my Bible, book, journal, and special pen. I have set this up so that when I sit down to spend time with Him it is ready. I don't have to search for anything, don't have to procrastinate because I can't find my glasses, or my pen is out of ink (I have a bag full). I have created a space that is comfortable for my time with God and I have even asked my husband to not share Facebook stories, ask me questions, or even give me a morning kiss until I am finished with this time. He complies because He knows that this time is important to me. So, what did I need to do to give my waking thoughts to God? In Max Lucado's book, Just Like Jesus, he suggests practicing the presence of God in order to grow familiar with the voice of God. One of the ways to practice the presence of God is to give him your waking thoughts. This means "before you face the day, face the Father. Before you step out of bed, step into his presence. " (pg 63) This is my desire for this year. To make this a brand new habit I new I had to put something into place for me to remember this the first thing when I woke up. So, what is the first thing I do each morning the minute I wake up? Reach for my phone. I do this because it is on Do Not Disturb all night I want to check to see that I have not received calls or text messages that might be important. My decision, then, was to put a scripture on the face of my phone so that the first thing I looked at was the scripture, then I would be reminded that before I did anything else, I was to focus my thoughts on the Almighty. The scripture I chose was Psalm 5:3, "In the morning I lay my requests before you". Now, once I see that, I am able to have a little chat with God before my head leaves the pillow. It is mostly a simple offer to God of the very first part of my day. Sometimes it is in praise for having a good night sleep and waking up alive. Sometimes it is a request for my day if I have something important or stressful happening. Sometimes it's a simple thank you or even just HELP!!!
My favorite time of the day is my morning cup of coffee with God. I believe He has his latte and is sitting back waiting for me to join him. Now, even before that coffee time, I am prepped and He is prepped with the very first waking thoughts. Him and I both know what the day will be like. Because we are faced with so much each and every day, why would we not want to begin the first waking second with the God who can and most importantly will, help us through it all or be there with us when we celebrate?
Working out and eating healthy have become a habit, having coffee with God each morning is a long time habit, now, giving my first thoughts to God will become a habit that will give me the opportunity to have God support me in all I might need. What will you choose to be the gift of grace you give yourself this new year? In what ways can you make one small change that will help you be more like Jesus as intended. Will it be giving your waking thoughts to god? Will it be giving praise to God all day long? Might you try sitting still and listening to what God has to say to you today? None of this has to take long. None has to be eloquent and in long flourishing sentences. God just wants to hear from you and to speak to you. He does not require essays if you write in a journal. He just wants to know that He is important enough to give even 5 minutes a day to. Then once this has become your habit you can add to it in so many ways and you will be rewarded
I would love to hear what you are working on and be able to pray with you and for you to accomplish this goal that will certainly change your life. Now, grab your cup of coffee, sit down and give 5 minutes to God and ask him how you can be more like him during this next year, then make the changes and get started.