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A good friend of mine has a spiritual practice of drinking her morning coffee on her back deck. No matter the weather, she sits aside at least a few minutes every morning to “sit with God,” as she calls it.  On cold winter days, she wraps herself in a blanket and keeps it brief.  On warmer days, she lingers to watch the birds and listen to the sound of the wind in the trees.

This is such a simple yet impactful spiritual practice.  Simple, but not necessarily easy.  It requires a slowing down, an attentiveness, and a reconnection to God’s creation.  As difficult as this might be in the busy-ness of our lives, it is very important for our spiritual well-being.  Making space and time for silence and stillness helps us to be open to the Holy Spirit moving in the world around us and stirring within our hearts.  Physical stillness isn’t the best option for everyone - for some people, physical activity is required to still their mind.  In those cases, taking a walk, doing tai chi, or practicing yoga can also be effective ways to create quiet space and time in your spiritual life.

This Pentecost we were reminded by John’s Gospel that the Holy Spirit was sent to be alongside us as a helper, an encourager, a teacher, and a guide.  During this season after Pentecost, I encourage you to try out some spiritual practices.  Try a few different ways of being receptive to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and see what happens!  Here are just a few ideas to try:

  • Sit or lay down under a tree and watch the wind dance in the leaves (this is my personal favorite) - scripture writers often use wind as a way of talking about the Holy Spirit, because it captures the invisible, uncontrollable, yet powerful aspects of God’s Spirit.
  • Pay attention to your breath - focus your attention to the rhythm of your breathing in and breathing out. “Breath of God” is another way the Spirit is sometimes described.  Our breath connects us to God’s life-giving Spirit.
  • Tai Chi - come try it out on Wednesdays at 12:30 at Holy Cross.
  • Sit in prayer while watching a campfire, or the flame of a candle - in the book of Acts the Holy Spirit shows up like tongues of fire.
  • Centering prayer - this can be done alone or in community. A centering prayer group meets at Holy Cross every Monday at 1pm.
  • Silence - turn off all distractions, close your eyes, and just listen for encouragement, guidance, wisdom…or whatever the Spirit may be whispering.
  • Make a gratitude list - this is a way of paying attention to all the good and beautiful things God is doing in the world. The more we practice paying attention, the better able we are to see the Holy Spirit at work.
  • Meet with a spiritual director - this is something new I have started this past year and it has been wonderful. Want to learn more about spiritual direction?  Check out the Nebraska synod’s “Seeking the spirit within” program at:
  • Take your morning coffee on the patio or deck… spend a few minutes “sitting with God.”

Take some time to try one of these practices (or try out a few different ones!) and let me know how it goes.  Or let me know if you have other spiritual practices that help you to be open to the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life.  
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