In this episode:
In a season where we long for peace and hope, one of the best ways to find it is in time spent with God. But how can we keep up the habits when distractions and busyness interfere? Author Stephenie Hovland gives helpful tips and shares a link to a free downloadable resource!
(Article contains affiliate links. This means that when you click a link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission from that purchase.)
This week, we welcome my guest Stephenie Hovland. In this episode, we talked about reinventing spiritual growth habits in the midst of the hustle of everyday life.
We’re living in uncertain times and more than ever, we need to have some spiritual roots. But when everything is upside-down and our routines change, it’s hard to create consistent habits for our personal spiritual growth. I’m talking about the things we do every day to connect with God.
This is an important discussion, because many of my listeners have experienced some sort of upheaval in the last few months, and maybe their habits have gone all wacky.
Stephenie said, “Despite having access to devotionals and Bibles on the internet 24/7, listening to inspirational podcasts, and having more access to spiritual experts and leaders than ever before, we still feel disconnected to God.” Isn't that true? We have a lot of information available to us, but often we can’t seem to have any kind of regular, dedicated spiritual routine. In the audio, we discussed how busyness affects us. We also talked about expectations and setting up a high standard that is hard to meet.
Stephenie said as soon as she figures out what meets her spiritual needs, something often comes up to change it. So she’s constantly changing up her schedule, her routine, her devotion books, anything that keeps her connected to God. She tries new things and returns to the old.
With the Internet so full of free spiritual resources such as Bible apps and devotions, are people really having issues staying connected to God?
Based on conversations with friends, I know they are having trouble with consistency.
Let’s talk about some solutions for how to make it work. In the episode, Stephenie shared how she is positively affected when she creates habits that allow for time for personal devotions. Sometimes it’s a short read from the type of book she calls “short and shallow.” When she doesn’t have time for a deeper study, a short devotional reading still provides encouragement. She often leaves books open around the house so she can’t miss them and has several devotional books available and in progress. She has creative ways to set the tone with candles and music too. We also discussed how to make sure we choose devotionals that are biblically based and not just positive thinking. Check out the audio for our full discussion.
Stephenie talked about HYGGE. If you aren't familiar with the term, hygge (pronounced HOO-gah) is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable familiarity associated with feelings of wellness and contentment. It's associated with the idea of charm, happiness, content, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness. Appropriately, it originated with the Scandinavians, who are familiar with long winters! I think of it is an atmosphere that feels like a warm hug.
For this episode, Stephenie has created a custom resource for us. In this tip sheet, she shares some of the ways to make spiritual growth habits special. She says, “Studies have shown that we tend to repeat and enjoy activities if they use most of our senses.” In the tip sheet, Stephenie gives a lot of creative examples of how to involve all of our senses in daily devotions.
Stephenie Hovland has published several devotionals, children’s books, and educational materials, and speaks about staying connected to God. She hopes to help others tend the fire of the faith-filled life God has given them. Stephenie lives in Wisconsin with her pastor husband, Greg. They enjoy seeing their two adult daughters grow in their faith, families, and careers.
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Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.
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This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. I sell my ebook via Amazon but I’m also a part of their “Associates” (i.e. affiliate) program which pays a commission on books and any other Amazon products people purchase via my links.