As I have been pondering the importance of the digital detox, I am reminded how significant the impact we as adults have on young minds.
Whether we are willing to admit it or not, the things we do unintentionally are often as big an impact on our kids as those things we go about to teach them intentionally. We have all seen our own bad habits shine through our kids. So what am I teaching my kids in my down time? Here are 21 big and small things (In no particular order) that I am working to build into my life this year as I work to become intentional about giving myself margin, detoxing and creating space for God to be involved in “all my ways”. (Prov 3:5-6)
Disclaimer: A little tidbit before the list. If you don’t intentionally put yourself in a frame of mind to draw strength, rest and peace from these activities, you won’t. It just becomes another thing you do in the mad panic of the day. Be fully present and fully intentional about connecting with God and quieting your mind and heart in these brief or prolonged moments.
1) Take A Deep Breath: Take a moment now – don’t skip ahead to the next thing – and take 3-5 slow deep breaths. In through your nose, and out through your mouth. Close your eyes and think about God as you do. It’s amazing how refreshing this little pause can be, when we invite God into it.
2) Face The Sunshine: Next time as you are rushing about outside, take a moment, turn your face towards the sunshine and close your eyes. Allow the warmth to envelope you and imagine God’s love surrounding you. Stay there as long as you like.
3) Do Nothing For 2 Minutes: Go to http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/ for a nice view, the sound of waves and a timer.
4) Take A Short – Or Long – Walk Somewhere Green: There is something about nature that is so good for our spirits and our soul (mind, will and emotions) not to mention our physical bodies. The exercise gets oxygen into our brain, the natural environment often helps us connect with our creator and it often will allow us some time to mull, to listen to God’s voice and to gain perspective on the circumstances in our lives.
5) Dip Your Toes In Water: Whether it’s the bathtub, a puddle, a river or a lake take the time to enjoy the sensation and allow it to refresh you. It doesn’t have to be long, however, you will need to choose to allow yourself to be enveloped by the serenity of it to enjoy it.
6) Walk In Bare Feet On The Grass: There is something oddly freeing about this!
7) Turn Off Your Cell Phone: Go Dark as I like to call it. Don’t answer calls, texts, or emails. Don’t check in on your social media. Start small, maybe 15 minutes and build it up to an hour, 1/2 a day, a full day, 2 days or even a week. Give yourself permission to be free.
8) Swing On A Swing: The wind in your hair and the splendid memories from when you were a kid, make this very worth it.
9) Stare At The Clouds: Find a nice park, lay down on your back on the grass and stare at the clouds. What is God saying to you through them? What do they remind you of. This is where you can have fun with God and your imagination.
10) Have Coffee (Or Beverage Of Choice) On Your Porch: Or outside under a tree, it’s not the porch that’s important. It’s the intentional change of location that opens opportunity for God to speak to us.
11) Book A God & Me Retreat: Doesn’t have to be expensive, could be a few hours or a few days. Whatever you do, wherever you go and for however long you are gone the point is to put a block of time on your calendar on a regular basis where you and God can spend time together.
12) Enjoy Werther’s Wonderland: Yup, get a Werther’s hard candy, melt it in your mouth (no crunching aloud) close your eyes and day dream until the candy is gone. What do you wonder about God? What would heaven be like? Let your imagination run away to Werther’s Wonderland.
13) Play An Instrument: Even if you don’t know, there is something really neat about making sounds with an instrument.
14) Climb A Tree: The vantage point is also a great way to allow God to give you a higher perspective on your life.
15) Dance: Yes, you heard me right. Pick a song, crank it loud and dance (like no one is watching.)
16) Cuddle An Animal: God’s creatures tell us about who he is, find one, pet them, cuddle them and allow them to teach you something about God’s amazing character. If you don’t have one to cuddle, at least go watch a creature outside in the wild for as long as you can.
17) Silence: Sit and be silent in any place. Let your senses take over and invite God to draw your eye, or your ear or your nose to something unique in that moment.
18) Paint It Out: Get a blank canvas and some dollar store paints, paint whatever comes to your mind when you think about God. It doesn’t matter what the final product looks like, because it’s just between you and God right?
19) Take A 20 Minute Nap: This is a favourite way to recharge. Invite the God of peace and comfort to show you something more about himself as you settle into your rest, it’s amazing where our minds go when we set them on a God trajectory.
20) Face the Wind: The Holy Spirit is like the wind, we can only see him by the affects that he has in our lives. Put your face to the wind and invite the Holy Spirit to blow on you and ignite new things in your life.
21) Take In A Sunset: I couldn’t leave this one out, because sunsets are probably the most significant for me in my life. I have had more encounters with God watching the majesty of a sunset, then probably any other single activity. It’s God and I’s “thing”.
What is your “thing” to do with God?
How many of you can you include your kids in, so they learn to incorporate these moments into their lives too?
The present is where God is, and his messages and voice can come to us in so many ways if we will just PAUSE to catch them.