Leanne grew up in Oregon, but also considers Idaho home. She is known for asking deep questions, taking lots of photographs, and a really distinct laugh. She feels called to sharing stories through many different forms and advocating for those without voices. Read more by Leanne!
One of my favourite things about God is that He wants to do life with us. I am learning this idea in a brand new way this year! Since the beginning of 2017, I have been working with the Media team at Youth With a Mission in Perth, Australia. Oddly enough, although this is a volunteer missions position, it is the closest thing to a “day job” I have ever experienced in my adult life. I’m in the office from morning until dinner, working on different media & communication related projects: web articles, social media posts, photography, and more. As I’ve been working in the media office, I’ve had to re-learn God’s “with-ness” in practical tasks. I’ve also been able to relate even more to those called to the workplace. I know how the day-to-day can overtake relationship and interaction with God. The beautiful thing is that God can meet us exactly where we are. Here are six ways I’ve been able to invite God into my work day!
“He wakes me up in the morning,
Wakes me up, opens my ears
to listen as one ready to take orders.”
Isaiah 50:5 MSG
1. Start the day off with God
I know this isn’t part of the workday yet, but hear me out! In my experience, the next five ideas work much better when I’ve already met with God for the day. When I start my day by spending time with God, I am full. Full of thoughts that are good and true, full of love for myself and others, and full of energy and motivation. Practically, this can look very different for different people, and even during different seasons of life! Listening to music, reading, praying, journalling, waiting on God, and more can all be part of daily checking in with God.
2. Ask God for words for the day
While you’re preparing for the day with God, bring up your work day. Ask Him if there is any direction or anything to be aware of in the day ahead. He may speak to you through words, pictures, scriptures, or feelings. In the Media office, we spend a few minutes every morning praying together to ask God for guidance for the day. Then, we each share what we sensed. There have been so many “everyday miracles,” like being prepared for something we never could have seen coming otherwise, or getting inspiration for a project that we couldn’t have thought up on our own!
3. Go with a grateful heart
The engagement and conversation with God doesn’t stop when you get to the office. A good way to stay focused on Him throughout the day is to practice and maintain an attitude of thankfulness. At work, it’s easy to notice the things that annoy us. It’s easy to dwell on the negatives of the projects we are working on. When we are grateful, it becomes much easier to think positively. Personally, I think the true power of thankfulness comes not just in being thankful FOR things. It comes with being thankful TOWARDS the One who has provided all of those good things! In my day-to-day, I’m incredibly grateful for the individuals I get to work with and the fact that God brought us all together in this season. I’m thankful for my skills and passions, given by God to glorify Him. I’m thankful for little things, too, and so grateful that I get to see God’s character displayed in them!
4. Be open to being relational
Another thing I’ve stumbled upon being in the office all day is that it’s quite easy to be self-focused. I have MY tasks and MY projects to get done. Others can even be seen as hindrances or distractions from what I need to be doing. The truth is, our God is a very relational God, and it’s a joy to be able to reflect that! I know from experience that the closer I get to God, the closer I want to be to people. The more I involve God in my working day, the more I desire to involve others in my day, too. A good way to do this without getting too sidetracked by conversation is to ask God if there is anybody He would like you to interact with throughout the day. Perhaps God wants to show love to someone else through you, or teach you more about Himself through a relationship! My work day is filled with so much more joy when it is scattered with conversation, laughter, and good old human connection!
5. Invite God into your planning, brainstorming, and creating processes
As good as we are at making plans, coming up with ideas, and putting our ideas into action, God is even better! When I look around the world and remember it was created out of nothing, I can’t help but think that God is such an incredible Maker. He isn’t just a thing of old that put the world into motion, but His Spirit of creativity, wisdom, and imagination is alive in us today! Whatever you do practically for your work, chances are that God has some experience with it. By inviting God into the normal processes of your day, you are opening your work up to becoming far more than you might think it could be. When you’re stuck on a problem, why not ask the all-knowing God if He has any input? The more we practice inviting God into all areas of our life and hearing from Him, the more natural it becomes… and the more amazing the results!
6. Listen to music that connects you to God
I’m going to end with a simple yet powerful idea: listen to music that makes you feel close to God. If you’re able to play your own music in your office or often work with headphones in, think about the music you are choosing. Perhaps traditional worship music isn’t your favourite, and that’s just fine. There are so many inspiring musicians out there – many who love Jesus, even if they aren’t necessarily making worship music. If you can’t find any music that makes your soul feel alive, try a few of my favourites: Josh Garrels, Of Dirt & Grace by Hillsong United, & John Mark McMillan.
“The Master, God, has given me
a well-taught tongue,
So I know how to encourage tired people.”
Isaiah 50:4 MSG
For those of you who are called to an office type of job, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do! As I waited on God for inspiration for this blog post, He gave me the verse above from Isaiah 50, in the Message translation. He has placed you where you are for a reason, and you can be a light to tired people in your workplace. Our light shines even brighter and more naturally when we go straight to the source on a regular basis! The more you invite God to participate in your work, the more you will experience the “with-ness” God intended when He created us.
God has called me to work with the Media team here at YWAM for the time being. God is working in mighty ways through this role, and is preparing me for an even greater vision through it! I’d love to keep you up to speed with what God is doing in my life and in the world. Click here to sign up to receive updates by email.