Everyday Faith


Part of pursuing our dreams is learning how to use our time wisely, living consciously, especially when we have families that count on us and jobs that take up the better part of our day.

It’s very easy to let hours and then days flow by, being busy with the daily requirements of life and letting our dreams fall by the wayside.

To combat this, I’ve begun living consciously. By this, I think about how I spend my time and frame my choices in a more positive and constructive way. Today I began thinking and then acting upon what I call the elements of a good day. I’ve come up with the following:

  1. Doing what I love: We all have work commitments, those things we have to do every day to put groceries in the fridge. However, I’ve discovered that if I can carve out a dedicated space to do something I love each day, then the “work stuff” seems much more pleasant. (Count yourself lucky if your work also happens to be something you love!) I started today by writing 1,000 words in my novel-in-progress. Usually I wait until the end of the day to start writing, but by then, more often than not, I’m tired and either write half-heartedly or make an excuse not to write at all. By writing first thing in the morning, I felt great when I’d reached my goal and was ready to take on the rest of my tasks for the day.
  2. Get Moving: This is not about losing weight or getting into shape, although those are great side-effects; this is about getting outside. My favorite exercise has always been a long walk. Now that I live in the mountains, getting outside has the added benefit of being a treat to the eyes, the soul, and the mind. I feel refreshed when I’m walking along and see the far off perspective of Mount Evans, the cerulean blue sky, and hear the sound of the wind in the pines. Sounds cliché, but the biggest benefit is that getting outside also helps me to get outside myself and get perspective on the larger picture.
  3. Make Contact: Last night I spent a lovely evening with friends at a dinner party. We laughed, shared the tasks of putting dinner on the table, and enjoyed lively conversation. I used to believe that I craved solitude and could easily live in a secluded cabin in the woods. What I’ve discovered is that balance is essential in all things. Yes, I do need time alone, but it’s a necessary and rejuvenating break to spend time with friends and family. These relationships enrich my life in ways I never expected, and they make me a kinder, gentler person.
  4. Vitamins and Colorful Food: I suppose this is one of those things that you appreciate as you get older. Or in my case, it’s one of those things that I’ve grown to appreciate as I’ve developed my appreciation of cooking. I have become more aware of the quality of the ingredients I use. I’m now a proponent of shopping in the perimeter aisles of the grocery store, where the fresh foods are, and cooking from scratch as much as possible. Home prepared meals from non-processed, fresh ingredients are better for me and actually taste better.
  5. Relax the Mind: Each day I try to make time for reading and listening to music, or listening to music as I read, or listening to a book in the car as I drive around doing errands (I’ve listened to everything from inspirational books by Joel Osteen to the latest bestseller, all checked out from the library).
  6. Got God?: I’ve saved this one for last, but it’s actually the best way to start the day. I have found that if I spend as little as 15 minutes reading the Bible and praying, my day is off to a better start. There are so many resources for daily devotions.

This year I’m reading through the New Testament, and I have a pocket-version of a New Testament daily Bible. It takes about 5 minutes to read that day’s passage from the New Testament, and then I spend another 5 to 10 minutes speaking with God. I have come to firmly believe that this daily time of Bible reading and prayer is the key to a closer relationship with God.

Every morning I also receive one or two different devotionals in my email inbox. These brief inspiring messages help me to remember that it’s actually not all about me and that there is a “Higher Power” with a greater purpose at work.

How many of these “essential elements” are you incorporating into your day? Which new element can you add this week to bring more health and balance into your life?

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.

Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.

Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.

His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.

Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

~Philippians 4:4-10


This essay was originally published in God Loves Your Dream, a book of inspirational essays. Get your copy on

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