A guest post by Lisa Lawmaster Hess

I stink at making time for God.

Oh sure, I attend Mass. I even sing in the choir and write for the church newsletter.

And I pray, of course – murmured moments of gratitude in the morning for all I’ve been given, sleepy supplications as I drift off each night, and whispered snippets scattered throughout the busyness of each day.

But when it comes to giving God his due in the form of dedicated time on a regular basis….let’s just say I’m grateful my salvation isn’t dependent on that particular aspect of my faith.

My husband sets aside time each morning to read his Bible and pray while the house is still quiet, before my daughter and I have acknowledged the start of a new day. But this habit eludes me, and much like exercising and getting to bed at a reasonable hour, it never quite comes to pass.

A few weeks ago, I was browsing at Barnes and Noble and I came across a devotional I’d seen promos for. It was bright pink and visually irresistible, with an equally inviting title – Be Still and Let Your Nail Polish Dry – so I picked it up to check it out. I flipped through it. I skimmed a few of the entries. And then, I took it home, along with a new basket I picked up in the hope of corralling the clutter that lives beside my spot on the sofa.

Once I got my new book home, I was determined to put it someplace where it would remind me daily of the new habit I intended to create.

When I corralled the clutter, I put the book in a new basket, alongside my other reading materials, so that when I was reaching for a sudoku, a Time magazine or an Entertainment Weekly, I’d have a more spiritual option.

It worked! My habit hasn’t become daily yet, but I’m making progress.

Keeping the book not only nearby, but in a place where I see it regularly, is part of the answer, but my new habit has much more to do with the book itself. Each entry includes a Bible verse, a story written by a real woman, whose struggles sound very familiar, and a concluding prayer. The Bible translation is one that is clear and not distracting, and I can take just a moment with my new devotional at any time when I can find one, then walk away feeling inspired and uplifted, or simply closer to the person I want to be for the rest of the day.

I still have a long way to go toward giving God His due, let alone becoming the person God wants me to be, but it feels good to take a step in the right direction.

Lisa Lawmaster Hess is a parent, elementary school counselor, and the author of the books Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce. She blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles.

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