This time of year, we are all striving to meet resolutions. I did a survey of friends on what their New Year Resolutions were – they were all across the board, from “audition for something” to “do family history once a week” to “get a boyfriend” to “track my calories.”
Well, in case you didn’t already have enough goals, I am here to suggest just one more.
You may be tracking your daily dose of vegetables, sugar, exercise or calories, but are you tracking your daily dose of the Spirit? Just like we have to eat healthy food to nourish our bodies daily, we need daily spiritual nourishment.
We can’t rely on Sundays alone as the day that we feel the Spirit, because sometimes, that isn’t enough. Maybe there is a day at church where you are tired or unfocused and you don’t feel the Spirit. If that was the one day you were banking on, then you’re in trouble. By inviting the Spirit into to our lives every day, we are able to already be nourished and focus on others on Sundays instead of worrying about ourselves.
Sometimes it can seem hard to feel the Spirit, so here are a few ideas of things you can do throughout your week in order to make sure you feel it every day.
Read your scriptures and look for one valuable lesson.
Sometimes you can read your scriptures mindlessly and get nothing out of it. One idea to counteract that is to try to find one lesson out of it each time you read, whether it is a few verse or a few chapters. Once you find something that is meaningful to you, write about it. It doesn’t have to be long, but through finding something meaningful and putting into words why it is meaningful to you, you are going to invite the Spirit to speak to you.
Say a prayer outloud for a set amount of time.
I’m serious – set a timer and you HAVE to pray that entire time. Start with a short amount of time if you’d like, but I can guarantee you, once you start talking, you’ll be surprised how quickly time goes by. The whole goal with this is to get you to start talking to Heavenly Father like he is your friend. Just start chatting about your day, your worries, your friends, your schoolwork. It will likely amaze you how you start to feel as you talk. Another option for those who drive solo, is to force yourself to pray for your entire car ride somewhere, just sharing your thoughts with your Father in Heaven. I did this once for almost 30 minutes and it was enlightening.
Talk to a friend about something you learned.
Find a friend who is also spiritually minded and have a conversation with them sharing something that you learned in church or in your scripture study. By voicing your thoughts in a safe space with someone you trust, you get to bear your testimony in a low pressure situation. When you are bearing your testimony, the Spirit can speak to you easily. Sometimes it can be hard to share your thoughts in front of a crowd in sacrament meeting or a lesson, but with a trusted friend, the pressure is off and you can still experience the spiritual benefits of bearing your testimony!
Keep a journal about your spiritual experiences.
At the end of the day, reflect upon your experiences and when you felt the presence of the Lord. Sometimes, we just don’t remember what we felt without stopping to take note. If you know you are going to have to write down a time you felt the Spirit, you are likely to be a lot more observant and open to the Spirit’s voice. Also, if we show Heavenly Father that we are grateful for the spiritual experiences we receive and that we are listening, he is likely to give us more!
What other ideas do you have? What do you do each day to invite the Spirit into your life? Have you noticed a difference in your life when you are feeling the Spirit daily, as opposed to just every so often?