Let me be straight with you all–
I have happily lived most of my life without any need whatsoever for a devotional.
Okay, well, that might be too broad a statement. Perhaps it is more accurate to say, I have happily lived most of my life without any perceived need for a devotional and that has worked out just fine for me. Yes, that’s better.
Anyway, that’s the pure and simple truth. I am one who is happy to reach for the Bible if I want to look something up. I frequently pull up the readings for the day. I definitey have a whole array of prayers in my arsenal and fall back at least weekly on the rosary.
I’m not anti-devotional in any way. It’s just not been a constant part of my life.
But you know what?
There are two very notable times when I really, really, REALLY felt I needed a daily devotional and, because of that, I both had and used one.
The first was when I was in college. College was kind of tough. Freed from my parents’ home where church was just a given, I had a whole boatload of freedom. My tiny liberal arts school was cool with you whether you were a bible-thumpin’ Jesus-lover or a flower-weaving pagan. I loved that about it, honestly, but I also felt a stronger need for focus on Scripture than perhaps ever before. And so, my Baptist roommate Lyza and I dug deep into a devotional for young Christian women (even though she didn’t think I was a “real Christian”) and that filled a huge need for me.
The second time I found myself desperately craving the direction and organization of a daily devotional was when I had really tiny kids. In a new state with a four-year-old, three-year-old, and six-month old, I was lonely, busy, and struggling to feel super connected to the church. The first thing I wrote on my Christmas list that year was a devotional book and I cried grateful tears when my parents got it for me. That book lived in my nightstand and I eagerly reached for its pages early each morning. I needed a voice to encourage me, to challenge me, and to somehow let me know that I wasn’t alone in this whole (sometimes lonely) journey.
I don’t recall the name of that devotional book I read when I had tinies, but I know it helped. I would encourage those of you in a season of parenting– whether it’s with babies, toddlers, or beyond– that is stretching and challenging you, to find a collection of daily devotions that helps you get that connected “oh yeah, I’m not alone” feeling.
Not sure where to find such a thing? Well, happily enough, there are lots of great options out there. You can probably find something that’ll work in a local bookstore or on Amazon. But, if you’d like a suggestion from me, I’d encourage you to check out Parenting Parables.
Parenting Parables is a collection of daily scripture, story, and reflection to help guide you through the challenging days of raising souls. It’s a big, demanding job and it’s one my friend Jessie well understands.
Through anecdotes from her own life and raw, honest experience-sharing, Jessie challenges us to consider what Jesus sees in us and asks of us. Her daily reflections are presented not as teacher-to-student, but as friend-t0-friend. The tone is that of a warm heart-to-heart, not a preachy request.
When all is said and done, only you know if you’re in a season where your heart is crying out for the support and structure of a daily devotional. Some of you will read this and you’ll just know that this is something that would be helpful. Others will think, “that’s cool, but I’m good.”
Important stuff you should know:
- The price is $2.99.
- Any profits made will be donated to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, a local food pantry and homeless ministry.
- Right now the book is only available as a PDF, but Jessie is working on getting it formatted for Kindle. In the meantime, you can put a PDF on your Kindle simply by plugging the Kindle into your computer and dragging the PDF file into the Kindle folder.