As I sat rocking my baby to sleep, I fell into my usual practice of thinking, praying… and getting distracted from my prayers with the next days’ schedule. As I sat there I started thinking of how, as a busy wife, mom and woman, I can easily forget to stop and spend time reading my bible and being present with God.
The word mindfulness came to me. It was a reminder to slow down and check in with myself to see if God requires something of me. To see if He is impressing a thought, action or idea on my heart. I needed to be reminded of how important it is for me to spend time in His presence and pay attention as I walk with Him.
God talks about setting our minds on Him and keeping perspective:
“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10 (NLT)
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 (NLT)
I need to do better in my personal walk with Christ. I need to be more aware of how He wants me to be transformed. I need to be mindful of Him “day and night”.
While counselling people, I often use a form of the practice of mindfulness. It’s a growing treatment style. There are workshops on how to live a life fully mindful. There are some criticisms of the practice because of its association with Eastern religious roots, but I’m not talking about Eastern meditation.
As defined by The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California: “Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment through a gentle, nurturing lens.”
I use this basic concept when trying to help individuals become better at labelling and acknowledging their emotions.
As I consider this definition, I am reminded of how God is with me in my thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environments. He wants me to be more aware and ‘in the moment’ in my walk with Him.
In my experience, to practice mindfulness you need to have self check-ins throughout the day. Setting of actual notifications to take stock of your emotional state is a helpful strategy. I try to ‘practice what I preach’, and being mindful has been helpful in my day to day walk with Christ. It helps me discern when God is trying to direct me or guide me.
I am grateful God can still speak to us, even when our minds are far from Him, but we will hear Him much better if we are listening.