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There are so many different things out there to consume in this digital world we live in.  As humans, made for connection, we naturally search.  Consider the amount of time we spend scrolling through social media on our phones?  Consider our channel surfing from one news station to another.  In the searching we can find new ideas, challenging perspectives, and even some other not-so-pleasant invitations that may make us feel like we're in a game of tug-o-war.  There are days where I feel the mental gymnastics simply are not worth it.  I have found over time that there are some really simple and practical ways we can stay rooted in our faith and fix His word in our minds and hearts, to paraphrase Deuteronomy 11:18. 

My dad used to tell us kids that if we could live in the world for six days, we could give the seventh to Jesus and stop giving mom a hard time on the way to church.  I don't know that it was all that convincing as a teen but it does make me think of my own spiritual growth as an adult.  I think dad was saying, you need spiritual food.  Imagine eating just once a week.  It would not be enough to fully sustain our mind and body so that we could function properly!  The good news is that God loves us so much more and, when we decide to draw nearer to Him, we are more nourished and sustained - mind, body, and soul than we could ever ask for in a never ending basket of Olive Garden breadsticks (and I really love carbs!). Here are some things that have been so incredibly helpful to me in my day to day.  

APP for your Phone:
Lectio 365:  Put first things first - Prayer!  When you feel like you don't have time or you don't know what to say, this app guides you through a daily prayer and devotion with scripture reading.  There is a morning prayer and an evening prayer.  I put my headphones on in the morning and listen while the house is still quiet.  At night turn it on when you turn out your lights to go to sleep.  It is less than 10 minutes long.  

When I am having a particularly hard day I like to put on a podcast.  There are so many to choose from.  I listen to a variety that range from challenging and insightful to fun and light-hearted.  Either way, my mind is learning while I'm drowning out the noise and coming back into focus.  Sometimes I'll send an episode to a friend and ask them to listen, too.  
Human Hope with Carlos Whittaker - This podcast is mostly fun and lighthearted.  Its people sharing stories of hope and talking about hard things in a non-threatening environment.  I’m always left feeling better than I came.
Pardon The Mess with Cynthia Yanof - For parents!  This is a Christian parenting podcast and the name says it all.  It is so encouraging for parents at any stage of life.  Topics range from parenting to discipling your kids and how to pray for them.  It is incredibly relatable and full of grace.
Rhythms For Life with Gabe & Rebekah Lyons - So many great things about this.  It's a husband and wife duo, a pastor, author and speaker that talk about the healthy God given rhythms in our lives and how to live them well.  Rest is one of them!
Theology in The Raw with Preston Sprinkle- This one keeps me on my toes and makes me think.  There are in depth conversations on a range of topics. Some of the topics had me digging deep and wrestling a bit, but in a good way.  It's presented in a way that doesn't make you feel like you need a big degree to understand it.

Books (printed or audio version):
Pro-tip:  Audiobooks are great to listen to on your commute.  When I am home I put my phone in my pocket and listen while I fold laundry or take a walk.  Best invention yet.  It makes me feel a little extra productive.
I gravitate toward non-fiction but I am remembering how good it feels to get lost in the awe and wonder of a good fictional story -  one that makes you feel like you're a character in it and you just can't bear to put it down.  Head to your local library or check out some of the free options you can download to your phone or tablet.  Here are a few I've enjoyed recently and that have been incredibly helpful, in both my personal life and professional, as well.

Don't forget scripture.  Grab your Bible and have a journal or a notepad nearby.  I like to underline or circle words that stand out.  I go back into my journal and write down what I learned in the passages I chose to read.  I ask questions like, what does this tell me about God and what am I learning about myself?

Remember, the aim is not perfection, it's to point you back to Jesus and being present in relationship with Him.  I hope you'll incorporate one or more of these into your routine and feel free to share your thoughts when you do in the comment section below.

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