Embodiment ๐Ÿ’ช

Embodiment

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿ“–ย Read Psalm 139 in front of a mirror
  2. ๐Ÿฆต Pray over every part of your body, thanking God for what each has done for you
  3. ๐Ÿคธโ€โ™‚๏ธย Start each day with a few stretches
  4. ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธGo on prayer walks, asking God to speak to you through what you see, hear, smell and touch

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฟโ€โ™‚๏ธย Invite God into your workout routine by listening to worship music or praying during your sets
  2. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ Find a running buddy, and chat about your walk with God as you move
  3. ๐Ÿ™ Make your prayer life embodied by using labyrinths, prayer beads, or candles
  4. ๐ŸŒ™ย Commit to getting enough sleep every night

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐Ÿบ Start a hobby that gets your body involved, like pottery, painting, or gardening
  2. ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธย Create and practice a breath prayer to combat unhelpful thoughts
  3. ๐Ÿฅ˜ Invite friends over for a dinner party, and cook something delicious together!
  4. ๐Ÿ˜ Find a way to serve your community: volunteer at your local soup kitchen, YMCA, or thrift shop

Have any other ideas? Let us know!

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Need more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite pieces on embodiment.

Need more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite pieces on embodiment.


Simplicity ๐Ÿคฒ

Simplicity

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿ‘• Go through your closet and donate anything that you doesnโ€™t fit or that you donโ€™t wear anymore
  2. โ˜•๏ธ Make your coffee at home for a week instead of going to the cafe
  3. โŒ Cancel one subscription that you could go without
  4. ๐Ÿ›‘ Install an ad-blocker on your browser

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿ—“ Look at your weekly schedule, and try to remove something that isnโ€™t life-giving or helpful to you or others
  2. ๐Ÿ“– Spend this entire month reading and meditating on only one Bible passageย 
  3. ๐Ÿ’ธ Create a budget, and identify the areas in which youโ€™re most tempted to overspend
  4. โœ๐Ÿผ Spend extended time journaling about what you desire in this season of your life, and ask God to reveal to you his desire for you

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐Ÿ“ฑ Turn your smartphone into a โ€œdumb phoneโ€ by setting time limits, blocking content, turning it to black and white, and deleting unnecessary apps
  2. ๐Ÿ“ฆ Choose a period of time, like a month, or a whole year, to participate in a โ€œbuy nothingโ€ challenge! Try to only purchase consumables, like food, hygiene products, fuel, etc.
  3. ๐Ÿ’ฐ Use the money youโ€™ve freed up from these other practices and give to a cause or family in need
  4. ๐Ÿ“† Try The Minimalistโ€™s 30-Day Minimalism Game

Have any other ideas? Let us know!

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Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces on simplicity here.

Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces on waiting here.


Creation Care ๐ŸŒฒ

Creation Care

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿฅค Go without straws for the month!
  2. ๐Ÿ› Avoid single-use plastics, like grocery bags, and opt for reusable alternatives
  3. ๐Ÿ—‘ Commit to picking up trash whenever you see it around your neighborhood
  4. ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธGo on prayer walks through your neighborhood, noticing what people, places, and creation are in need of help

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿ“– Integrate this Song of Creation into your rhythm of prayer
  2. ๐ŸŒณ Set aside a local park to be a special place for quiet time with God
  3. ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธWalk or bike to work, a friendโ€™s house, or your local cafe, instead of driving
  4. ๐Ÿ‘• Buy clothes second-hand!

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐ŸŒฑ Plant a garden!
  2. ๐Ÿฅ• Join a CSA in your area to support local farmers (and get delicious produce!)
  3. ๐Ÿฆ‰ Donate to, or volunteer at, your local nature center
  4. ๐Ÿ• Foster a pet from an animal shelter

Have any other ideas? Let us know!

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Need more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite pieces on creation care.

Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces on waiting here.


Fasting ๐Ÿฝ

Fasting

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿ“ต Pick one night a week to go without screen time
  2. ๐Ÿฟ Fast from snacks on weekdays
  3. ๐Ÿ  Fast from a meal with friends, and gather for a time of prayer instead
  4. ๐Ÿ™ Make a habit of praying the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿ” On weekdays, cut something you enjoy from your dietโ€” like meat, dessert, or junk food!
  2. ๐Ÿชž Pick a day that you donโ€™t have a first date or an interview, and โ€œfastโ€ from using a mirror!
  3. ๐Ÿฝ Pick one day a week to fast during breakfast and lunch, and spend that time in prayer instead
  4. ๐ŸŽฎ Identify something that acts as a โ€œcrutchโ€ in your life, like a show, a video game, or alcohol, and go without it for the month

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐ŸŽป Fast from all recorded music for the month, and find some live music to see instead
  2. ๐Ÿ’ธ Adjust your budget for the month! Skip expensive coffee, and give to a charity in your community
  3. ๐Ÿ’ญ Identify something for which you need Godโ€™s guidance. Take an intentional day or two to fast and pray, asking God to speak to your situation
  4. ๐Ÿฅ˜ After practicing one of these practices during the week, host a Sunday feast with friends!

Have any other ideas? Let us know!

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Need more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite pieces on fasting.

Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces on waiting here.


Confession โœ๏ธ

Confession

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿค” Consider when you most often stretch the truth, and commit to only telling the truth in those situations.
  2. ๐Ÿ” Ask God for guidance to find a friend you can be 100% honest with.ย 
  3. ๐Ÿ“– Read some stories of confession and forgiveness in scripture, like Luke 18:9-14 and John 8:2-11.
  4. ๐Ÿ“ Begin a prayer journal to house your raw, unedited conversations with God.ย 

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿ™ Incorporate this traditional prayer of confession into your devotional time.
  2. ๐Ÿ“– Slowly pray through Psalm 51.
  3. โœ๏ธ Identify any guilt or shame you carry. Take time to journal about these things, asking God to heal these wounds.
  4. โ˜•๏ธ Meet with your trusted friend to talk about the things you identified.

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐Ÿ’ญ Learn Psalm 103:8-12 by heart, and recite it daily. ย 
  2. ย ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ Abide in the parables of Luke 15, asking God to help you internalize his merciful character.
  3. โœ๏ธ Meet a pastor, priest, or spiritual director to ask for advice on overcoming any obstacles in your life with God.
  4. โ“ Practice spiritual friendship with your trusted friend, asking each other, “What in you needs to be celebrated, forgiven, and healed?”

Have other ideas? Let us know!

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Need more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite pieces on truth-telling.

Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces on waiting here.


Friendship ๐Ÿ‘‹

Friendship

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿƒ Host a game night!
  2. ๐Ÿ“ž Think of someone in your life you havenโ€™t talked to in a while, and give them a call, just to catch up.
  3. ๐ŸŽ Surprise a friend with a random act of kindness.
  4. ๐Ÿคฃ Make room in your life for laughter with friends. Watch a comedy special, or get together, and tell embarrassing stories!

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿ“– Spend time reading about some of the great friendshipsย  in scripture (Jonathan and David, Naomi and Ruth, Jesus, Mary and Martha).
  2. ๐Ÿช• Host a worship night.
  3. ๐Ÿ‘‹ Take the initiative, and try to make a new friend at your workplace, local coffee shop, or church!
  4. ๐Ÿœ Start a weekly gathering with friends. Make dinner, have good conversation, and enjoy quality time!

Level 3: Master

  1. โ“ Decide with a friend to practice Spiritual Friendship for the month, meeting weekly to ask each other the questions at the end of the video above.
  2. ๐Ÿค” Think of someone in your life who may need a friend or mentor, and ask God to show you if you should meet this need.
  3. ๐Ÿ Plan a trip (or staycation) with some of your close friends!
  4. โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿฉน Consider if thereโ€™s anyone in your life for you to forgive, or be reconciled to, and seek reconciliation (Matthew 5:23-24).ย 

Have other ideas? Let us know!

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Need more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite pieces on friendship.


Waiting โณ

Waiting

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿ“บ Commit to not binge-watching! Enjoy just one episode of your favorite show at a time.
  2. ๐Ÿงถ Take up a slow, time-consuming hobby. Think: knitting, puzzles, writing, etc.!
  3. ๐Ÿšฆ Stop taking shortcuts! Don’t try to find the shortest line at a red light or check-out lane.
  4. ๐Ÿณ Ditch fast food, and commit to making your own, slow, meals.

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿฝ Practice delayed gratification by fasting one day a week or one meal a day.
  2. ๐Ÿ“– Make a habit of reading the Nativity stories in scripture (Matthew 1-2 & Luke 1-2).
  3. ๐Ÿ™ Try praying some traditional Advent prayers.
  4. ๐Ÿ“ฑ Schedule time in your day to check social media, and wait until then to open the apps.

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐Ÿ•ฏ Host friends or family for dinner on the 4 Sundays of Advent, asking the question, “How is Jesus drawing near to you?”
  2. โœ๏ธ Identify something you’re waiting on God for. Make a habit of journaling about this, asking God to show you why it matters to you.
  3. ๐Ÿคฒ Simplify your morning prayer time. Instead of adding more scripture reading or journaling, rest in some breath prayer, or wait on God in silence.
  4. ๐Ÿคซย Enjoy four hours of silence and solitude with your phone off and no distractions.

Need more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite pieces on waiting.

Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces on waiting here.


Bible Reading ๐Ÿ“–

Bible Reading

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ Pray the words of scripture with breath prayers when life starts to feel heavy
  2. ๐Ÿค“ Read a small book of the Bible youโ€™ve never read before (like Ruth, Jonah, Titus, or Jude)ย 
  3. ๐Ÿค” Pick a familiar passage, like Psalm 23 or Romans 8, and read it in a translation thatโ€™s unfamiliar to you (like the NRSV or The Message)
  4. ๐Ÿ“š Use a lectionary to guide your devotional life

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿ™ Ask God to reveal a meaningful passage (1-5 verses), and commit to memorize itย 
  2. ๐Ÿ‘‚ Pray through scripture with the practice of Lectio Divina, on your own or listen online!
  3. โค๏ธ Challenge yourself to encourage a friend, family member, or even a stranger with scripture thatโ€™s meaningful to you
  4. ๐Ÿ  Pick a chapter or book and start a Bible study with friends or family

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐Ÿ“† Try a โ€œread the Bible in a yearโ€ plan
  2. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ Dive into some tough parts of scripture (imprecatory Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Deuteronomy), and chat about it with a trusted pastor or spiritual director
  3. ๐Ÿ” Use a concordance to do a word study on something God brings to your attention when reading
  4. ๐Ÿง  Prayerfully choose a longer portion of scripture to memorize over the course of a year

Have other ideas? Let us know!

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Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces on gratitude here.


Silence ๐Ÿคซ

Silence

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿ”‡ Pick a day of the week to turn off music, podcasts, and audiobooks while driving or at home.
  2. ๐Ÿคซ Try “silent prayer,” simply sitting in silence with God, for 10 minutes.
  3. ๐Ÿ“บ Identify the thing in your life that most distracts you, and give it up for the month. It could be social media, an app, Netflix, or something else!
  4. ๐Ÿค Ask God to show you where your speech gets you into trouble. You might find that you struggle with gossip, dishonesty, or complaining.

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿ› Start waking up 20 minutes before the rest of your household. Enjoy some time of peace.
  2. ๐Ÿคซ Try “silent prayer,” simply sitting in silence with God, for 20 minutes.
  3. ๐Ÿ‘‚ For a day, commit to listening to understand rather than to respond. Don’t interrupt or finish anyone’s sentences.
  4. ๐Ÿ’ญ For a week, try to notice when your “inner commentary” starts to run wild. This might look like ruminating on something that upset you or talking out loud to yourself about something that’s stressful. Quiet these thoughts by offering them to God in prayer.

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐ŸŒ™ Try a practice called the night watch: wake up between 3am-6am, find a quiet place outside, and share an hour of silence with God under the stars.
  2. ๐Ÿ˜ถ Take a vow of silence for a day, going about your daily business, and noticing when you most want to speak.
  3. โ›ช๏ธ Visit a church sometime when there’s no service. Hang out in the sanctuary to waste some time with God.
  4. ๐Ÿ• Find a monastery or retreat center in your area, and visit for a weekend silent retreat.

Have other ideas? Let us know!

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Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces on silence here.


Prayer ๐Ÿ™

Prayer

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿง˜๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ Try “breath prayer” with some phrases from scripture: “Be still…and know that I am God,” or, “Speak, Lord…for your servant is listening.”
  2. ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Make a habit of taking morning prayer walks, talking to God about the day ahead before you do anything else.
  3. ๐Ÿ““ Keep a prayer journal for the month, writing out your requests, and reviewing them at the end of the month.
  4. ๐Ÿ“– Try out these short, daily prayers from the Book of Common Prayer.

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ๐Ÿšฟ Pick a mundane activity, like doing the dishes or taking a shower, and consider that to be a mini “prayer time” in your day.
  2. ๐Ÿซ‚ Each week this month, ask someone how you can pray for them, and commit to it!
  3. ๐Ÿ™ Pray through scripture through the practice of Lectio Divina.
  4. ๐ŸŒ™ Make a nightly practice of praying “The Examen.”

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐Ÿคซ Try “silent prayer,” simply sitting in silence with God, for 10 minutes.
  2. ๐Ÿ˜ Organize a prayer group, gathering together to practice one of these practices, or simply to pray for each other’s needs.
  3. โœ๐Ÿพ Write your own “Psalm,” an honest prayer to God of thanksgiving, confession, adoration, lamentation, or all of the above!
  4. ๐Ÿ’ญ Try “Imaginative prayer,” a way of meeting God in scripture through our imagination. Here’s a guided audio experience of the prayer.

Have other ideas? Let us know!

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Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces about rest.


Rest ๐Ÿ›

Rest

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  1. ๐Ÿ“ต Turn off unnecessary notifications
  2. ๐Ÿ‘ค Set a time limit for social media, and stick to it
  3. ๐Ÿš— Commit to driving the speed limit
  4. ๐Ÿ›’ Choose the longest line at the store, and people watch

Level 2: Apprentice

  1. ย ๐Ÿ› Revamp your evening routine so you can always get enough sleep
  2. ๐Ÿ“ฑ Give your phone a bedtime, and don’t “wake it up” until you’ve had some time with God
  3. ๐Ÿ˜ด Be like Jesus: take naps!
  4. ๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Make a habit of taking leisurely walks, without a screen or podcast

Level 3: Master

  1. ๐Ÿ“… Find a day of the week to consistently practice Sabbath
  2. ๐Ÿšซ Eliminate something from your schedule, and take that time to be with God
  3. ๐Ÿ–ฅ Disable your social media accounts for the month
  4. ๐Ÿ• Go on a weekend retreat

Have other ideas? Let us know!

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Stay tuned! Throughout the month we'll be collecting our favorite pieces about rest.


Celebration ๐ŸŽ‰

Celebration

Some ideas to get you started

Level 1: Novice

  • ๐Ÿฅ˜ Invite your friends over, and try a new recipe together
  • ๐Ÿ“ Celebrate a friend or coworker by leaving them an encouraging note
  • ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿพ Notice the way the children in your life play, and learn to have fun with them!
  • ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป Danceโ€ฆ? We wonโ€™t tell your old youth pastorย 

Level 2: Apprentice

  • ๐Ÿ˜‚ Find a way to laugh! Go to a comedy event, or tell embarrassing stories with friendsย 
  • ๐ŸŽญ Look up some lesser-known holidays to celebrate (Walk-on-Stilts Day, anyone?)
  • ๐ŸŽท Find a way to playโ€” an instrument, a game of frisbee, in the ocean, anywhere!
  • โœ๐Ÿผ Reflect and journal about an accomplishment youโ€™re proud of, or something God did in your life

Level 3: Master

  • ๐Ÿฅณ Plan a friendโ€™s birthday party, and go over the top!ย 
  • ๐Ÿ›ถ Take a day off to do something you enjoyย 
  • ๐ŸŽฉ Save up for dinner at a nice restaurant, and go all out!ย 
  • ๐ŸŽป Go to a concert or dance performance, and notice the emotions and beauty

Have other ideas? Let us know!

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