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Tell us about your best spiritual habit

By Michelle Lehnardt

Ask anyone, “Do you want to be a good person or a bad person?” and pretty much everyone will answer “Good!”

Hey, we all want to be virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy, but sometimes we need a few new ideas; a bit of inspiration.

In the spirit of the New Year, I thought we could share some of our best spiritual habits and how they’ve blessed our lives. Just choose one and please describe in detail in the comments. Emily M. recently wrote beautifully about Family History: One Hour a Week and I’ve often thought about the Hildie’s habit of writing kind notes to people at church (maybe you can expand on that in the comments Hildie?).

I hope you’ll all contribute something. Obviously, we can’t all pick up 30 new habits. But maybe we can each learn something that helps us this year. I’d especially love to hear your ideas on getting to the temple more often, preparing for lessons and balancing the busyness of life with the need for contemplation.

And not to be pushy– but I can’t wait to share my best habit with you. I’d like to shout it from the rooftops– START A PRAYER JOURNAL!

You know how you promise to pray for people? Well, years ago, I started writing down a list of people I was praying for and kept it next to my bed. Every single day, I read each of those names and talk to God about the needs of my family and friends, the kids in my Sunday School class, friends-of-friends, people mentioned in testimonies at church, strangers who I read about in the paper…

My prayers aren’t long or beautiful, but just the daily awareness of the many needs and struggles around me lends perspective to my own problems and keeps my friends and family in my heart. Without my prayer journal, I might forget that Andrea’s husband is struggling with cancer, but naming every member of her family in my prayers keeps them in my thoughts. I often feel inadequate when I hear of someone who is suffering. But I can always pray for someone. And sometimes that’s all I can do. I also write a quote at the top of my prayer list that guides my day. For months now it’s been these words from Mother Teresa, “Spread love wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without feeling happier.”

Thanks to my sister’s wise advice, I tied my prayer journal to my scripture study. I would never let my loved ones down by skipping my prayers and I won’t let myself down by missing the answers that might come in the scriptures. Now, I don’t feel ready for the day without my prayers and scriptures.

My sister also recommended writing down trivial prayers too. Do you know how fun it is to pray that you’ll find the perfect birthday present and put a check mark next to it? Or to pray about your friend’s job interview and hear they did wonderfully well? Many of our biggest prayers will not be answered the way we’d like, but I’m convinced our Heavenly Father wants to answer our prayers on a daily basis. It’s the same way that we’re not going to take our kids to Disneyland for their birthdays, but we’d love to make their favorite dinner.

I’ve said enough and I want to hear from you, what’s your best spiritual habit? Can you share a small change that developed your relationship with God and added joy to your life?

About Michelle Lehnardt

(Blog Team) I'm the kind of mom who drives through mud puddles, throws pumpkins off the roof and lets the kids move the ping-pong table into the kitchen for the summer. Despite (or probably, because of) my immaturity, my five sons and one daughter are happy, thriving, funny people. I'll climb a mountain with you, jump into a freezing lake hand-in-hand or just sit with you while you cry. I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ will heal the earth. Founder of buildyourteenager.com, scenesfromthewild.net and rubygirl.org.

8 thoughts on “Tell us about your best spiritual habit”

  1. Thanks for sharing this! Mine this year has been the resolution to notice the hand of the Lord in my life every day–and write that down (I'm using Google Keep for my notes). It's been impressive and soul-stirring.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. I am going to work on not murmuring. I came to this conclusion when I read about Sariah murmuring against Lehi. I am also going to try to implement a part of my blessing which tells me to constantly have a spirit of helpfulness.

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  3. I'm not sure why this made a difference for me, but temple attendance became a lot easier when I switched my goal from "monthly" to "twelve times a year." I have had a similar goal for five years now and have gained a greater testimony of the temple through more consistent attendance.

    I love the idea of a prayer journal; prayer is something I've struggled with but I bet that would help me, too!

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your experience of using a prayer journal. Really powerful.

    This phrase from the 23rd Psalm has been in my heart lately: "He leadeth me beside the still waters." I have been trying to figure out what these "still waters" are in my life. It's a continuous journey to carve out the space and time to drink from them. In an effort to unwind the tight knot of anxiety that is ever present with me, I have found a meditation practice irreplaceable. Just sitting for 5-10 minutes (often longer) in a simple "follow your breath" meditation really quiets and calms my mind. After doing that, I find it so much easier to pray and be still. We live in a time of perpetual motion, an ever present swirl of activity. I have found out the hard way that I need time every day to be quiet, put the phone on "do not disturb", lay the demands of life aside, and linger by the still waters.

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  5. I'm going to try the prayer journal. Thanks!
    Something I've done since I've had teenagers is to spend 30-60 minutes at the same designated time every Sunday working together on Personal Progress and Duty to God. This habit has led to important life and gospel discussions that go beyond earning the awards.

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  6. About a year and a half ago, I bought a pretty notebook that I take to church. I take notes during Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, Relief Society, and whatever meetings I'm in. I also use it for notes for my personal study (scriptures, conference, etc). It helps me focus, and I love being able to re-read thoughts jotted down right at the moment of inspiration.

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