For all of us, all around the world, this has been one unbelievable, unimaginable year.
The daily tensions, headlines and continuous flow of words feeds the up and down roller coaster of this time in history.
We all feel it. We all sense the building questions and pressing uncertainty of what else this year could throw our way. We are bracing moment by moment for the shaking, changing, rolling and grieving. Our strength is ebbing and because of that, deep renewal is desperately needed when we rise and when we go to sleep.
Renewal spiritually, physically, relationally and mentally must happen or we’ll break and bend under the weight of it all.
Yet, as I prayed over these words, I could look back to other seasons in my life. Seasons that seemed simpler or less stressful or less uncertain. I could see moments when the normal day-to-day, the regular schedule of life and the reliable change from one month to another was just an expected part of daily life.
In comparing the seasons, I realized that, although this year does feel different, I need renewal regardless of the day, the stress level, the tension or emotion.
I need to stay grounded in faith, turn my eyes on Jesus, focus on His Word, remember His promises and live with eternity in mind no matter what is happening around me.
On the seemingly simpler days of the past or on the possibly more difficult days to come, I must have a foundation that remains firm.
I don’t need this foundation of daily renewal more right now than I did before. The truth is that we need it every single day, no matter what.
How do we do that? How do we build a strong foundation of renewal that will keep us standing firm even when the world moves and shifts around us?
What simple things could we do each day to keep our foundation strong and bring renewal to our soul?
1} Remember spiritual principles. The Bible is full of things to remember. Put on the full armor of God. Ephesians 5:10-20 should be read, memorized, quoted and remembered in your home regularly. Every piece of the armor is important to building a foundation of renewal. Every day, the armor and what it stands for will renew your heart, build your strength and embolden your faith. Walk in the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us of what should be seen in our lives and helps us focus on ways to renew our commitment to those things. The Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord’s Prayer… so many of these things can get lost in the shuffle. But they are the very things that will guide, renew, help and protect.
2} Have short phrases and prayers for the day. Write out what God is speaking to you and what you are learning. Put those thoughts into short phrases or prayers that you can remember throughout the day. Let these phrases and prayers flow through you as you face whatever comes. Let the words encourage, renew and uplift you.
3} Worship on repeat. Natalie Grant has a new song called “My Weapon” and one of the lyrics says, “Your presence is my greatest weapon.” When we worship, when we stand in His presence, we have what we need for that moment, that day, that time. Find a list of songs that you can play, sing, listen to and put on repeat in your home for daily renewal.
4} Print or write verses to place around your home. God’s Word is the most powerful thing we have to fully renew our minds, bodies, hearts and homes. Build a foundation of verses to stand on. Verses filled with hope, promises, and encouragement.
5} Think on these things. As you gather your phrases, prayers, verses, and worship songs, think on them. All through the day, keep renewing your mind and your heart by thinking on things that are true, good, lovely, right and pure.
6} Hold on to a picture. One year for the Velvet Ashes retreat, we were given a picture of a woman holding a child. I still have that picture on my desk and remember the beautiful description of how that represents how God loves us. I remember a season of great anxiety for my daughter and how the picture of a lion and a lamb was incredibly comforting to her at bedtime. She knew the Lion, our Lord, was sitting watch while she, the lamb, slept. These visual reminders can be a powerful tool as we renew our minds and keep building a foundation of renewal in our days.
No matter what season we are in or what comes at us during a single day, Jesus is the answer for renewal. These things that we pray, worship, read, picture or hold on to become the foundation of renewal that is needed in our lives.
These foundational principles are the things that we can grab onto and cling tightly to when everything else is shifting and changing. They are the things we must build on, teach our children, incorporate into our home and make a consistent part of our days.
What do you do to build a foundation of renewal in your life? What words, phrases, prayers, verses or pictures help you renew your heart and mind? What is helping you stand firm and renew in this season?
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