It has been too long! I have been aching to get back to blogging! Blog post ideas come to me nearly daily. So much to share – so little time. The big thing I’ve been aching to do is share the more complete Quinn. I have previously only share niched parts of my life, but am now feeling really energized to share more of the whole picture, which may bring more spiritual discussions into this site (such as today’s post). I pray you find this valuable.
In this year’s quest to create a “House of Order,” more than ever before I’m really working on being more centered in whatever I’m doing. If I’m not supposed to be doing it, I don’t want to be. So I’ve hesitated to dive back into blogging and even taking on more branding clients because I want to be sure it’s in alignment. Time is our most precious commodity. With my 5 amazing kiddos on the line, I need to make sure that any time spent away from them is where I am supposed to be and that it’s bringing back a worthy return on the investment.
All of this has led me to take mornings very seriously. All my life I’ve heard about daily scripture study and prayer, but I never felt like I really implemented it effectively until learning about having a morning “power hour.”
The concept goes that if you spend an hour getting clear and focused so your True Self (Spirit) is awake, then it’s easier the rest of the day to remain in alignment. I’ve tried many of the recommended schedules, but feel like I’ve finally found a strategy that works for me:
- Journal for a bit about the previous day. I used to be someone who tried to capture every single thing that happened in my life through journaling. It was exhausting. Then I tried using journals as just a place to dump any emotional processing (emotional vomit). That definitely serves, but I also like my journals to support me in getting clear and focused. So, if I’m trying to figure something out from the previous day (i.e. “why did I respond that way” or “why did that happen?”) I write a bit about it and dump on it and then process my way into seeing the message or lesson in the experience. Other times when I feel I have had a fantastic previous day, I’ll write about fun moments and memories and the entry is full of gratitude. Regardless, I love how I can just worry about capturing a snippet from the previous day. Feels really doable.
- Focused Scripture study. I study the scriptures from my LDS quad (Old & New Testaments, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price combined into one book) which includes scripture references in all of the footers. I love the little scripture chases you can go on when using the footnotes! However, I used to get disappointed whenever a TG (Topical Guide) reference was given because instead of giving me a clear answer, it would simply send me to another list of scriptures to go through. Now, I’m LOVING the Topical Guide because I’m able to really dive deeply into any subject of interest at the moment and see more diverse things than ever before. A really amazing Topical Guide scripture study is “Abundant Life” which is referenced in the well-known scripture “counsel with the Lord in all thy doings and He shall direct thee for good..” (Alma 37:37). Check it out. As I’m reading, I pause to write down in my journal any scriptures that really made an impression on me. In this way, I feel like I am more able to internalize and “feast” upon them. We remember things so much better when we write them down. “Feast upon the words of Christ, for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3). This makes me stay really focused each day in scripture study.
- Journal the desires of my heart. Our desires are a BIG deal. They lead to our choices which lead us to happiness and freedom or unhappiness and bondage. I’ve learned first hand how the Lord can apply grace to our hearts to help our desires align with Him. After being sick of experiencing pain from my choices (thinking I knew better than God lots of the time or believing that He didn’t really want the same things at all for me as I was dreaming of) I have been seeking for the Lord to continue to change my heart to be like His. After reading scriptures, it generally stirs my heart to desire righteous things that will bring me great, lasting joy. So – again in the attempt to internalize this process so much more – I write down what my heart is desiring most. Usually this is only a few sentences, but they make a HUGE difference each day to bring clarity to help me live in alignment with God’s will that day. I also write down desires of things I feel our family needs or any other desires. When we are clear about what we truly desire, it becomes much easier to receive what we desire (I’m amazed at how quickly it may come after simply writing it down in my journal).
- Quick prayer with intent and focus. The goal here is to invite God to lead and guide you for that day. I am intently seeking through prayer to be led by the Spirit to know what God would have me learn and do today.
- Seek to know/hear what God would have me learn or do today. This part is a lot like a “free-write” exercise in which you just write down any words that come to your mind. I am amazed at the beautiful words spoken to my soul in these moments. Being able to hear more clearly is like a muscle that needs strengthened. Practice makes it come much faster. The goal is to get more in tune with what God is wanting to say to you. God is not silent. The heavens are not closed. It’s merely a matter of improving our ability to hear. This journaling exercise is such a support to that. The other goal is to get better at discerning (a gift you can pray for and seek!) which words are from you or from distration and which are from the Spirit. In my experience, God wants us seek us diligently and so He strengthens our abilities to connect with Him the more we seek Him.
- End with focused, humble prayer. Now, after having gone through the previous 3 steps, my mind and heart feel much more prepared to seek my Heavenly Father in humble prayer. I am full of so much more clarity of what I’m really desiring and am generally full of great gratitude for His abundance of blessings. I visualize that God is literally standing in front of me and that He is hearing every word I speak in prayer which makes my prayers so much more meaningful. This final prayer really anchors the hour of learning and supports in application of what you have learned because you can discuss it with your Heavenly Father.
This whole process can be really simple, but absolutely powerful. If you’re looking for a way to boost your day and help you get more connected with your Creator so you can create more intentionally. It’s a beautiful thing!
Today, I felt inspired to work on this website and finally implement many of the beautiful things I’ve been seeing to create here for awhile, but simply haven’t had the time. What a blessing! It’s good to be back!