Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Feeding the Spirit

I find it so easy to incorporate more Scripture into my day now that I have a baby! Here is my plan of attack, aka helpful hints (I hope).
NURSING TIME: Let's say that on-average I feed her six times a day. For the first session, I sing songs to start the day off with our eyes on Jesus and put on the Armor of God for our whole family. During the next four sessions, I read aloud a chapter from the book of Philippians (there are four chapters) everyday. It takes me about three months to memorize the chapter by reading it aloud everyday. I started with one chapter a day until I had it down pat. Then, I would start the next chapter and still quote (no papers) the one I know by memory at the following session. It takes about five minutes to quote a chapter. I read a book the rest of the time. I cruise through books this way! Let me tell you, reading while nursing is an art! I'm just now getting the hang of it.
PLAYTIME: I sing to her a plethora of upbeat songs. Also, we make our way through a daily devotional that I read aloud while she eats the pages ;) I teach her simple life skills (cause/effect stuff), as well as what she sees or feels (textures).
NAP TIME: While I settle her down for naps, I sing one of my homemade lullabies :) Before bedtime, I sing hymns and other worship songs.
DIAPER TIME: For the first diaper change, I quote the same verses to her every day. During subsequent diaper changes, I "teach" her about her name and some basics, like spelling, counting, colors, body parts, shapes, time, animals (I know she's too young to learn this stuff, but hey, why not?) Here are the verses:
Psalm 34:8 ~ Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Psalm 43:5 ~ Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!

Psalm 73:28 ~ But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Matthew 6:33 ~ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

John 3:16 ~ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 4:14 ~ Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.

John 14:6 ~ I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Galatians 2:20 ~ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 5:6 ~ The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Galatians 5:22-23 ~ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:6 ~ And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

GOALS: While I randomly pray aloud with her during different times of the day, I need better guidelines. I would like to set aside specific times when we can pray for family, for friends, for the Persecuted Church, for missionaries we support, and for other things like our church, our nation, our leaders, the unreached, the world, etc. I do better when I pray for one topic at a time. Another goal for me would be to add one more verse to the group above to quote to her everyday. Hopefully, I could add a new verse each week this way.
I want to add that this is merely a structure. I do not follow this routine perfectly everyday. I miss some things, get sidetracked, don't feel like talking, desire silence, something else comes up... However, this structure is important! Why? Because it gives me a plan to go by when there are no unexpected interruptions. When all is well, when normal remains. And instead of being at a loss for words and trying to think of something to say or do, I can feed her spirit Words of Life! This is not a rigid form. The key is flexibility. Let the Holy Spirit lead the way. But, when I don't get it all "done" (or even half of it!), I just breathe a thankful sigh and praise God for His overwhelming grace poured out on me through Jesus!
For me, I do not let this "count" as my time with Father (devotional time or quiet time). I still need time alone with Daddy. Time to read His Word, time to pray quietly, time to repent, time to worship, time to listen, time to study, and time to let Him fill me with Himself!
There is something I have to guard against with all this Scripture memorization. I continually have to pray that I don't just recite this from my head. I want the Words to be memorized by my heart as well! Because that is where transformation happens! However, this is the right path. Randy Alcorn says, "What ends up in the heart comes in through the head."
I know this is grotesquely long, but one more very significant note. No, I am not all serious with Aolani. Throughout it all, I make weird noises and funny faces, act like a complete goofball, and slather her with kisses! I give her way too much affection and pour on the love like Paula Dean does with butter!
Are you feeding the Spirit in you?