10 Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now
I was listening to a podcast episode recently by one of my favorites, Emily P. Freeman, on her The Next Right Thing podcast where she shared a list of 10 things that are saving her life right now.
The idea for this kind of list didn’t originate with Emily, and she shares in her podcast that the question of what’s saving our lives right now actually comes from Priest and author, Barbara Brown Taylor.
In Barbara’s memoir, Leaving Church, she shares that she once was asked to speak at a church in response to the question, “what’s saving your life right now?”
She makes the point that it’s extremely easy to list all of the things throughout the day that are “killing” us; the stress of our jobs, the car that won’t start when we need it to, or the kids that just won’t listen.
But how often do we take a moment to pause throughout the day and pay attention to the things that are giving us life?
I’ve seen many writers and bloggers share their list of things that are saving them in this season of their life, inspired as I am, by Barbara’s invitation to name them.
So, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and sharing with you today 10 things that are bringing me life in this season because I believe this to be a very important practice.
It teaches us how to behold the beauty of a day rather than just its ugliness — and that, my friend, cultivates joy and peace — two things that I want large quantities of.
I pray that as you read my list of things that are bringing me life in this season, it would inspire you, too, to name what’s bringing you life in your own season.
1. 5-10 minutes of centering prayer in the morning
I shared in a recent weekly newsletter that my spiritual director asked me in our last session how I can practice inclusion in this season of my life. What can I add to my life that would be life-giving? After some thought and a little prayer, I felt the Lord calling me to begin each morning with 5-10 minutes of centering prayer.
Centering prayer is a Christian spiritual practice that is all about receiving the presence of the Holy Spirit with you. I’m going to dive deeper into this topic in an upcoming blog post about centering prayer. But, essentially, you sit in a comfortable space (usually alone), close your eyes, and extend open hands in a receiving posture.
As your eyes are closed, you focus on one keyword or keyphrase and try not to think about anything else. You’re simply there to rest in the knowledge that you are in the presence of God as you trust that His Spirit is tending to your soul on a very deep and intimate level.
Centering prayer is all about receiving and resting in the presence and love of God without having to work for your worth, and it has been very soul-reviving for me in this season.
2. The breath prayer, “Your love, Lord — I receive.”
When I first started practicing centering prayer, this phrase came to me from a place deep within and I know it’s from the Lord. I’ve been in a place lately where I’ve had to walk in and out of many different rooms, and it’s been overwhelming. But God has graciously and gently reminded me that I am His Beloved — I am loved by Him and that’s the truest thing about me, no matter what room I’m in.
Resting in this breath prayer lately has helped ground me in the love of God and has quite literally at times felt like a lifeline.
3. My gratitude list
I shared with you that I’ve been beginning each morning in this season with 5-10 minutes of centering prayer as a way to practice inclusion in my life. Well, another way I’m practicing adding life-giving things to my life right now is by keeping a gratitude list.
After I finish my centering prayer, I get out my journal that I specifically use for my thoughts and experiences during centering prayer and my gratitude list — and I record at least 5 things that I want to give thanks to God for.
Psalm 100:4-5 says,
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
Do you notice how the thanksgiving and praise come before the acknowledgment that God is good? Intentionally giving praise to God each morning has been reminding me of His goodness and faithfulness.
4. Organic dandelion root tea
A lot of people I know think that dandelion root tea tastes bitter, but for some reason, I have been loving it lately! I’m not a coffee drinker, and not because I don’t love it, but because of how it affects my autoimmune issues. So I was forced to become a tea drinker a few years back and I’m always looking for teas that are both good tasting and good for my body.
I think it’s a good coffee substitute because it kind of looks like black coffee when you brew it, giving you that cozy effect, but you don’t get the crazy effects of all caffeine in coffee.
And dandelion root tea has so many health benefits! Or, so I’ve read. It may help with digestive issues (hello, me!) and detox your liver among some other cool things! Do your research, but I am loving it as a part of my morning routine.
If you want to check it out, here’s the brand I use and you can grab it on Amazon (or your local grocery store): Traditional Medicinals
5. My Growth Book by Growth Roots Co.
If you’ve been around a while, you’ve probably heard me rave about the Growth Book Notes journal recently! My mom gifted me this journal at the beginning of 2022 and I am obsessed. First off, when you order your Growth Book and it comes in the mail, it comes with a tiny card with a handwritten date on it telling you when the journal was prayed over!
I love that part because it makes the journal feel like a very personal thing and not just another journal you picked up at TJ Maxx or on Amazon (nothing wrong with those, I have tons! But I’m just saying).
The whole point of the journal is to record your spiritual growth throughout the year and features monthly check-ins, space for journaling, space to record God’s faithfulness, prayer requests, and more. I actually wrote a blog post this year on my favorite guided journals, so you can read more about my review on this journal here: My Guided Journal Recommendations.
I love it because it’s completely centered around your walk with God and is a great tool for spiritual growth.
6. Spiritual direction
I adore my spiritual director, her name is Deb, and she is such a treasure in my life! Spiritual direction is when you meet with a certified spiritual director who acts as your spiritual companion and guides you on your spiritual journey. They are there to listen to both you and the Holy Spirit and point out the ways in which God may be moving and speaking in your life.
I wrote a full blog post on what spiritual direction is and you can read it here: A Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Direction.
Deb has taught me so much in the little over a year that we’ve been meeting. She’s taught me the importance of slowing down and being still; of pausing and noticing the whisperings of God in my life. She’s also taught me the importance of silence and the benefit of being alone sometimes.
I have seen so much growth in my spiritual walk and have experienced a deeper intimacy with the Lord, and spiritual direction will forever be on my list of what’s saving my life right now.
7. Essential oils
So, I haven’t always been what some would call an “oily” person, which sounds goofy, but I think it refers to someone who really loves using essential oils. But now I can proudly say that I am one of those people and it just kind of happened by accident. One of my very good friends got me into essential oils a few years ago, but they kind of took a backseat in my life until recently.
I find that I’m very drawn to oils that have a more earthy scent, like frankincense or cedarwood. Or, I also find that I’m very drawn right now to oils that smell like they can put you to sleep like lavender or bergamot.
Essential oils are on my list of what’s saving my life right now because there’s been something incredibly soothing to me about the process of filling up my diffuser with water and then getting to choose which oils I want to diffuse that day. I’ve found it to be my own spiritual practice most days and I love how essential oils have the power to truly transform your mood.
I do have a Young Living affiliate link if you want to sign up and get started on your own oily journey. I’ve actually never shared this link before, but I feel like this is the perfect place to do so: My Young Living Link.
And just a disclaimer, while I believe Young Living’s quality of oils is exquisite and find them to be a very trustworthy brand, I understand that there are other essential oil brands out there that are just as high quality but maybe not as expensive. I shop around with my oils to try and find the best price without sacrificing quality, and I’ve found that DoTerra and Eden’s Garden are just as wonderful.
8. Hot yoga
So, I love to exercise. It’s a great stress reliever for me and a way to keep my mind, body, and soul healthy. But yoga has never really been my go-to exercise practice, until this year.
My husband’s word for the year is “challenge”, and a part of that is about pushing himself outside of his comfort zone and trying new things that he usually wouldn’t try. One of those things that he decided he wanted to try this year but wouldn’t normally is hot yoga! And he invited me along for the ride.
Hot yoga, for those who aren’t familiar with the term, is when you gather with a group of people in a class setting in a room that is usually above 90 degrees and you do yoga together. Because of the heat, there’s a lot of sweating.
I know it kind of sounds awful, but it’s actually incredibly life-giving, or at least, it has been for me anyway. There’s something especially healing about being in a room surrounded by people, all of us moving and stretching to the rhythm of our own breath.
It’s been a slower pace of working out than I’m used to, as my husband and I are both CrossFit fans, and my body has been loving it. It’s taught me that trying new things might just put you on the path toward something you didn’t know you needed.
And not only has hot yoga been one of the things saving my life right now, but the routine my husband and I have placed around it has also been saving my life. We typically go to our hot yoga sessions on Saturday mornings and then head to Smoothie King for a post-yoga treat. It’s one of the things I look forward to most every week.
9. American Idol
Yes, I’m referring to the reality tv show hosted by Ryan Seacrest where random people all over the United States are judged by Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry, then given golden tickets because their singing is otherworldly so they can join a nationwide singing competition to hopefully become the next American Idol.
This might sound so silly, but my husband, Max, and I don’t ever watch it live — even though you’re supposed to so you can vote for your favorite contestants. It airs live right now every Sunday and Monday, but we like to wait until the day after so we can cheat and watch it without the commercials on Hulu.
We look forward to it every week! We make dinner, sit down on the couch, Max says grace, and then we watch, judge, critique, clap, and cheer for our favorites together. I love spending that time with him as we talk about each contestant and eat our dinner.
It’s the simple things, friend.
10. Walking with Max and the dogs
Since the weather has been finally getting warmer here in Indiana, we’ve been able to take a lot of walks — which I love to do! I work from home, so I’m usually inside all day long until work is over at 4 pm. Getting outside with Max and the dogs as we walk a few laps around our neighborhood is so good for my homebody soul.
I’ve been trying to remember to leave my phone at home while we walk so I can be present in the conversation with Max as we download our day, and present to the freedom of being outside in the fresh air and warm sun.
Taking walks settles my anxious mind from the stresses of the day and brings me peace, so I think it’s something I need to be prioritizing in this season of my life.
What’s Saving Your Life Right Now?
Now that I’ve shared with you what’s saving my life right now, I would love to hear what’s saving yours!
As I mentioned earlier, I think this is an important practice that we should get more in the habit of doing. It opens our eyes to things that really are life-giving and I think there’s power in naming those things.
So, leave a comment down below, friend, and name one thing that’s saving your life right now. I can’t wait to hear what it is!
As always, may you remember that grace carriers you, always.