reality bites

July has been a zoo of a month. Individually, the days have not been so bad. But as a collective whole, July ate my calendar for breakfast.

August is the return to routine (sort of, I've got another week of vacation in there and some random weirdness) and that means I can tweak the routine a little bit. And tweak I wish to do, particularly in one certain part of life.

I am an awful devoter. I think that is because I find reading devotions tantamount to rereading the back of a 1950s evangelism track over and over again. I know there are good ones out there, but I don't have the patience with the bad ones to find them.

Beyond my terrible devoting skills, I am awful about reading scripture. Its odd, I talk about books like they are a snack, but I can't seem to sit down and read scripture. At the same time, I kind of get why reading scripture over and over is hard for me. I've only re-read two books ever (other than children's books, mind you): Franny and Zooey (Salinger) and The Stranger (Camus). I don't like to re-read.

It hasn't always been that way. For nearly a year, I cross-referenced various epistles slowly, writing every verse out. But then I started working on Hosea and my load at work increased and I got distracted and/or bored and I quit.

Now things like my internet addiction call me early in the morning and I forget to meditate on the Word of God.

What can a girl do? I'm not even sure the intention is fully laid-out.

There's hope on the horizon. I just have to find it. Or let it find me? Or does anyone have a hope to share? Or...?


Cory said...

I have a similar internet addiction that often draws me away from my time with God, so I try to mesh the two by visiting either of these two sites.

Sacred Space


alaina said...

Cory, I've used sacred space before... without much success (the temptation of EVERYTHING IS ONE CLICK AWAY is too much).
But I've not used d365... thanks for the tip, I'll check it out.

brnh said...

I just joined E-DiBS through my parents' home church that sends me 7-10 minute videos via email every weekday. It's better (cheaper) for the church to get a membership that the whole congregation can use.

And then I have the ESV bible blog in my reader. Though the problem I'm discovering with that is that I have to work really really hard not to skim. But it looks like they have devotionals too.

Maybe someday I'll be sanctified enough to set apart specific time, but currently Bible reading and devotion must be worked into things I already do everyday or they'll get skipped.

hannah said...

I'm struggling with the same problem as you.

One of things i've started reading ( on my blog roll) is 97secondswithgod.blogspot.com.

They are by the person that writes stuff christians like and I find them to be interesting and brief.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alaina,

I'm a friend of Jeremy Zachs...I linked you through his page.

Here's my thing with devotions. I simply have given up on feeling bad about not doing them. I mean, don't get me wrong - the word of God is amazing and all of that, and I agree that we should know it.

BUT - I am also a believer in the idea that God created all of us differently and we experience God and connect with Him differently. For me? Nature. Hands down. Hiking, walking, being at the beach with an Ipod...nothing makes me feel closer. And if God is really a relational God, then I think what he really wants from us is our devoted friendship, intention and time. I make time to spend time with God listening to music, going on hikes in Laguna Canyon, praying or whatever. And to be honest, I've learned more and grown more now that I've given up on trying to rise early and cross reference the Old Testament.

Maybe there are those out there that disagree. But maybe try it. Find out how you connect to God. Lean into that for your main Devotion...and glean from the word ...elsewhere


alaina said...

hey jenni!
thanks for visiting. jeremy's a great cyberpal. (hi jeremy)
i totally get the giving up on daily devotions. I give up too.
but i also want DESIRE to be in the Word of God. Hiking would be good if I did it and running would be great if the humidity index didn't make it unbearable. Oh, I'm not a kinesthetic learner. bonafide. definitely not.
So...I don't know. I'm thinking something contemplative is on the horizon. something a-technological and a-movement. hm. anyone out there doing contemplative readings on their own without sacred spaces, etc. fostering it? (I appreciate SS but cannot do it myself (GOOGLE HOMEPAGE IS ONE CLICK AWAY FROM EVERYTHING ON MY COMPUTER!!! yes, I just yelled that. really loudly. only in my head. not at you.))

Anonymous said...

I read your post and read through the comments. I struggle with the same thing-who doesn't? A couple of months ago a friend told me about a devotional book she uses and really likes. It's the Message Remix: Solo. I am very wary about the Message "products" but she bought it for me and so I decided to give it a chance. The book is based on lectio divina and I really like it. Now I wake up every day wanting to open it up and read and meditate. If you like Sacred Space it might be worth checking out if you haven't. It took me a couple weeks to really get hooked so to speak, but now it's something I miss when I don't do it. Hope that gives you something new to check out.

alaina said...

PW, I am going to have to check that out. I like LD and I like MR and apparently abbreviations.

Susan Steege said...

Alaina-I received so much help in this area from a book called "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality" by Peter Scazzero. He writes eloquently about the irony of being a church worker who is helping others take in the Word and not doing it very well himself. Preach it, brother. He encourages some contemplative practices, so you might find some you like, there. Even though the saints who figured out some of the contemplative practices didn't have an internet addiction to contend with, it feels to me like they did struggle with wandering minds and thoughts and the practices helped them take the Word inside. For me it has been baby steps. Trying a practice for 2-3 minutes at a time and see how it goes. My favs are the Jesus Prayer and Lectio Divina.
I absolutely LOVE your blog. Love your mind. Love your writing. Thanks.

alaina said...

Thanks Susan. The last book you recommended to me was a goldie. I think I am going to have to take your word on this one. I have dabbled in the contemplative. Shoot, I drug my kids through lectio divina everyday for a week on servant event this summer with great success. I need discipline. My aunt just gave me a finger labyrinth. I think I am going to have put that to some use.
Also, thanks for the encouragement. From you, it brings me great joy.