Personally I’m not a believer, however I have a lot of respect for friends and family who have faith in God. Here is a guest post for those who want to deepen their connection. I find a lot of the points, such as practising gratitude are of use to everyone, regardless of belief.
Whether you feel His presence or not, God is always with you and He is always in control. You may have heard this a thousand times before. But with everything going on in your life, taking care of a family, a career, home and anything else that comes along, this message seems to get pushed to the background.
One of the best ways to reset your religious connection is to attend an upcoming retreat. However, not everyone can make room in their busy schedule to go away for a few days, even to get closer to God.
Below are 5 ways to stay connected to God, even when you are knee-deep in daily life:
- Be Grateful
You can probably rattle off a hundred things that you are worried about or need to attend to right now off the top of your head. But can you name 10 things you are grateful for in the same amount of time?
Being grateful goes beyond having a roof over your head, healthy children, a loving and supportive spouse and a good job. Being grateful extends to the little things that you may not count as a blessing, but they are in many ways.
You can be grateful for dirty dishes because that means your family had food on the table for a good meal. Many families cannot count this as among their daily blessings. They may only be happy for one meal a day.
You can be grateful for laundry day because this means your family has other clothes to wear. Countless families do not have enough clean clothes to last an entire week.
- Change Your Thoughts into Prayers
Throughout the day, you may be thinking about things that need to be completed on your to-do list, or what you are going to do about this or that when the time comes. These may be things that won’t happen for months or even years down the road.
If you change these thoughts into prayers, you are getting yourself closer to God. Take advantage of the times you are thinking into the future and turn them into small prayers of thanks and needs.
When you bring your needs to God, He listens and is continuously working on them. You may not see the work He puts into changing your life, and you may not get what you think you want. But you always get what you need.
You may pray for a promotion or a new house, but it is always up to God if you really need these items or not. If you stay prayerful, you will find the answers and they may be completely different than what you thought.
- Strivefor More “ThankYous”
When things go right, send up a little “thank you” to God. This allows you to continue to be in contact with the Lord, as well as grateful for His continued work on your life.
When you find a good parking spot, when the spaghetti sauce turns out perfectly, when your children are playing nicely together, when your puppy potties outside instead of in the corner, be thankful. These are the everyday little things that God is doing right and many individuals go on without noticing them.
If God is a priority in your life, then you should thank Him and keep in front of your thoughts at all time. Of course, there are going to be times you are in a meeting or with others and you may not want to shout “Thank you, Lord!” but you can do it silently, to yourself.
- Stay Silent and Listen
All too often, we are busy making requests of God and not listening to what He has to tell us. The only way to know for sure what the Lord wants for you and your family is to stay silent and listen to His word.
And know that His word is not always clear and coming to you on a Sunday morning. God’s plan for you and your family may come to you in an unusual way and in the words of others. If you are silent and listen, you will know when God is speaking to you, even if it is not a clear word or message.
God does work in mysterious ways, and if you are busy talking or worrying about things, you will miss His message. It may be hard to be silent, especially if you’ve always been a talkative type, but practising listening instead of talking can help you in all your relationships, not just the one with God.
This may be the most difficult part of being a child of God. You need to surrender everything and all things, and not just the good things, over to God. When you say, “Please take this Lord!” or “I surrender this to you Lord!” you will find the peace your mind is searching for.
When you are searching for help, think about or look at the children in your life. When they can’t do something, they fight for their independence and then eventually, give up and allow a grownup to assist them. You are like this to God. You are His child and when you get frustrated at trying something over and over again, not making any progress is when God is watching.
When you let go and let God handle things, you will be calmer and have more peace with yourself and others. After a while of getting frustrated first, you can skip this step and go directly to asking the Lord to take care of things.
By making God a priority in your life, in your every waking thought, you are becoming closer to Him. You will find you are a different individual when you are with God, even when you are with your family or strangers. Allowing God to be in charge is the only way to make it through life with fewer scars and more smiles.