three ways for cultivating with grace

Welcome to the new year! Something about a fresh start and a new calendar feels so inviting, doesn’t it? Like fresh mercies and grace lies all around us waiting to be gathered.

As we step into the new, we must carry with us what we learned before.

For me the lack of discipline and the fog that set in over the course of a hard year, did not pan out well. As I step into the new year, my desire is to step in with fresh habits to fan that will lead me closer to the heart of Christ.

Resolutions do nothing for me since I am great at starting and terrible at finishing. But habits, practices that can be cultivated over the year are much different.

We often cringe at the thought of “spiritual disciplines.” But the reality is that our lives are made up of what makes up our days and those days are made up of what we practice and cultivate over the minutes and hours of the day.

So what practices are you seeking to cultivate in the new year?

When we turn the calendar at the end of the year, I want to know Jesus better than I do today and think more like Him and act more like Him. I have a LONG way to go! But it starts with today, no, it starts with right now. In this hour, how can I know Him better in this moment?

Spiritual practices are not meant to be rigid, legalistic check lists. They are to be grace-filled practices that cultivate our relationship with our First Love.

How will you begin to cultivate that relationship in the coming year?

Three ideas that help me:

  1. Choose a memory passage to anchor my mind to. Then I write the verse on a spiral of index cards or an unlined mini moleskin to keep with me and continually draw my thoughts back to His Truth.
  2. Keep a prayer calendar with verses I am praying over others so that when I sit down to pray, I do not wonder what words to say. I begin with praying His Word over others and I know I can’t go wrong!
  3. Have a Bible reading plan in place to go back to daily and soak my mind in His Word. My favorite reading plan is the chronological reading plan. (I recently released a Bible Reading Journal to help with this, if you’re interested CLICK BOOK COVER👇 .)

If you do not yet know Jesus as Savior, click here. If you do have a relationship with Jesus, I encourage you to begin today to cultivate it first and foremost by spending time in His Word. It is life giving and life changing!


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15 thoughts on “three ways for cultivating with grace

  1. Thank you for the wonderful free How to Study your Bible that should help a lot as we go through this year. Of reading our Bible and journaling our thoughts prayers questions Bible verses etc.

  2. Mariel, I so appreciate your thoughts for preparing our hearts for this new year. Time in God’s word is always a win. And the things you desire: to know Jesus better, to act and think more like Him are things I aspire to, but I haven’t put it into words the way you did. I like your practical tips for growing good habits!

  3. These are good and each a strong way to stay diligent throughout the year. Thank you. A woman at the church I go to asked on our church Facebook page for anyone’s favorite verse. Then she added them to her weekly calendar and will be praying for the person who listed the verse over that week. Many of us like that idea and some adopted it as well.

  4. Worship music draws me closer to the Lord. Oftentimes while reading the word with my devotional, a song will come to mind that deepens the experience. I have so many playlists of worship music to pull up at the ready.

  5. I was recently gifted a journal to use as I read through the Bible. S far this year, I am enjoying reading and studying this way. This sounds like a wonderful resource sure to bless many.

    1. that is certainly a gift! it’s the gift that keeps giving as you press in to know Him better! thank you for the encouragement!

  6. I appreciate this reminder, Mariel, “Spiritual practices are not meant to be rigid, legalistic check lists. They are to be grace-filled practices that cultivate our relationship with our First Love.” Thanks for sharing!

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