5 Essential Habits for Slowing Down {Slowing Down: Week 1}

If your life has grown too hectic to clearly hear God's voice, begin today creating these 5 essential habits for slowing down for spiritual growth. #WomenLivingWell #homemaking #slowingdown #makingyourhomeahaven

For God alone my soul waits in silence.
Psalm 62:1

{Cue the Confetti!!!}

It’s time to begin the 12th Annual Making Your Home a Haven Bible Study!  This week’s spiritual focus is Silence and Solitude

Join me for Week 1’s video as we discuss 5 Essential Habits to Spiritual Growth —then pull out your journals and begin!

Week 1 – Slowing Down with Silence and Solitude

Silence and solitude open the door to communion with God. 

If we want to grow spiritually, we have to love a life of prayer and reading God’s word.  We have to go in deeper with God and commune with him. We have to practice the presence of God.

Behind the noise of life – there is silence.  Silence is the background to life.   

Jesus’ Example:

  • Jesus inaugurated His ministry by spending forty days alone in the desert. (Matthew 4:1-11)
  • Before Jesus chose the twelve disciples, He spent the entire night alone. (Luke 6:12)
  • When the disciples had finished a long day with the crowds, Jesus instructed them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)
  • Following the healing of the leper, Jesus withdrew alone to the wilderness to pray. (Luke 5:16)

If Jesus needed silence and solitude to commune with God, then certainly we do too! 

So, let’s get practical and make a plan. 

  1. Plan Where: Plan your solitary place.  
    I encourage you to create a place that is inviting and that is ready and waiting for you, free of distractions. This may be at your kitchen table, your favorite recliner, a place outdoors, in your car or even a coffee shop.

  2. Plan How: Plan how you will spend your quiet time.
    All you really need is your Bible but you may want to create a basket or bag of quiet time goodies that includes a journal, notecards, pens, highlighters, or colored pencils.  Maybe you’ll want to follow a Bible Reading Plan, purchase a Bible Study book, do your own word study, read a Proverb or Psalm a day or work on Bible memorization.

  3. Plan When: Plan what time you will meet with God daily.
    The best way to stay disciplined with your daily quiet time is to plan a time to meet with God and try to stick to each day, as best as you can.  Once you begin to repeat your plan over and over, soon you will birth a habit and it will be much easier to practice silence and solitude with the Lord.

The reality is we live in a busy and noisy culture where it is hard to simply sit still at the feet of Jesus.  Have you felt it?  Have you felt the battle for your attention? 

God loves you so much! He died on the cross, so we could be forgiven of all of our sins.  He wants to meet with us and hear from us and speak to us, but we must slow down so we can listen.

So, it’s time!  It’s time to take 15 minutes a day to get alone and be silent and be grateful, pray, meditate and commune with the Lord and then go forward with the day, delighting in the good gifts God has given us to enjoy.  Let’s get started.

Week 1 Challenge

Go buy an extra-large candle and light your candle every day in your home.  Each time the glimmer of the candle catches your eye, slow down, pray and give thanks.

I will be starting mine in the morning but you can start yours at dinner time or whenever is convenient for you.  I will be placing mine in the kitchen – the main hub of my home.  Let’s make our homes feel like a warm hug and a sweet haven all month long!

You see when we do not take the time to tend to our own souls – we have nothing left to give to others.  So many times I have found myself busy and running on empty and then I snap – in a moment of frustration and weariness I say or do things that I would never do if I was more rested and connected with the Lord.

And so this month – let’s be intentional!

Begin your gratitude list now.

Pull out a pen and paper and begin.  As you set your pen to the paper – wait on the Lord.  Seek God and ask him to show you all the ways he has shown himself to you lately.

Give thanks to God for both the big and small blessings in your life.

They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
(Psalm 136:1)

Here is this week’s Bible Reading Plan

This Week’s Verses of the Day:

(Leaders: You can use these images in your groups by using right click and “save as” or screen shot them.)






Printable Bible Bookmark

Printable Bible Coloring Bookmark

Signature GMG SOAK Bible Study Method

Don’t Miss the Daily Check-Ins on Facebook and Instagram!

Join us EVERY weekday morning ANYTIME after 7:00amEST on Facebook
to discuss the day’s reading assignment.

Share pictures of your candles, flowers, playlists and favorite places to rest on Instagram by using the hashtags: #MakingYourHomeAHaven and #WomenLivingWell.

***Unlike my other Bible Studies, this series will only have Monday blog posts.  For daily encouragement during this challenge follow me out on –> Instagram and facebook .  I’ll be there every day cheering you on!

It’s time to begin!

It’s time to focus on slowing down – because…

What we focus on – grows.

And complaining makes us weak -but living a life of gratitude and joy – will make us strong!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Walk with the King,

Chime In: ***Share with us in the comment section some of the things you are grateful for today.

Just look around the room where you are sitting right now.  I am positive there are more than 10 ordinary things we could easily give thanks to God for. Share them with us!

I’m so glad you are joining us!
You can use any notebook you have
but if you want the optional journal, it is available

exclusively on Amazon here.

If you’d like to purchase a printable-digital copy
(so you have it right away) at half the price
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  1. Grateful for healing. My spouse has been in ICU with covid for 7 days, we are trusting in complete healing. I also have it & I’m confined to the house. Trusting in my healing also.

    1. I pray to not only learn a new healthy habit of slowing down with God but being more intentional in slowing down over all- mind body and soul. Question: For the days I work in the office and don’t have that candle reminder, what do you suggest?

      1. I know flowers come later, but maybe a small bouquet so when you smell the flowers you are reminded to pray. Or maybe you can buy a candle warmer so you can still have the scent without the flame?

      2. Use a battery operated candle that has the flicker of a real candle. Place flowers around it to make it your own, and it does work. I use them all over my home in place of scented candles which bother my husband due to cancer. God Bless.

  2. I am grateful for a hot cup of coffee and the comfort of my snoring dogs:-) while I write out my scripture

  3. I am grateful for a warm cup of coffee and being able to have access to the Word of God at my fingertips through technology. It is something I often take for granted.

  4. I am grateful for the freedom to openly praise my Father with other women. I know that is a blessing I have taken for granted so many times.

  5. I am thankful for my God waking me early this morning for quiet time with Him while my children are snoozing 💤

  6. I’m so grateful that I get this Bible study on my birthday 🎂 I’ve been craving a Bible study to get deeper into God’s Word abs HE planned it perfectly as a Birthday present to me.
    Thank you soooo much Courtney for creating these Bible studies over the years 💖

  7. I am grateful that God’s plans surpass anything we can even imagine. 💓
    I am grateful for His comfort and knowing everything we face has passed through His hands first. 💓
    I am grateful to hear Him in the midst of daily life. 💓

    1. Hi Becky – I love how you put this…

      “I am grateful for His comfort and knowing everything we face has passed through His hands first.”

      Really made me stop and think about things from that perspective. ❤️

  8. This morning I am grateful for “synchronicity” I’ve been makings big effort to get intentional quiet time for myself daily the past few months, getting up before sun rise to meditate and pray and write in my gratitude journal, and sometimes you feel like God is winking at you, or cheering you on, and this Bible study about slowing down, gratitude journaling, and spiritual self care certainly feels like a wink from god 💗 so excited for this Bible study and I will definitely be continuing these habits. 👏🏻

  9. God works in my life: exactly the words I needed to hear and read today came from this bible study. In a time in my life where it is hard to slow down and where I feel stressed and overwhelmed I just realised that God is the answer. That spending time reading the bible will give me strenght and energy. Thanks for this reminder!
    Greetings from the Netherlands.

  10. I have just recently had surgery. The recovery is a long slow process. I am thankful I gave a loving husband who takes care of me and watches after me. It is hard for him trying to work full time and then care for me. But God has also supplied neighbors and family that have been helping while he works. I am thankful God has shown me that this time of recovery and slower pace is a time I need to learn to focus on drawing deeper into God’s word and prayer time. I am so glad my husband’s cousin sent me this link and shared with me.

  11. I am thankful for the freedom we have here in America to worship our Lord. I pray that as Christians we do not take it for granted.

  12. I’m grateful for this study and purposely taking the time to slow down and spend quiet time with God. Lord, I need you. Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me.

  13. Technology that allowed me to work remote the last year 1/2.

    I was able to spend 4th grade with my grandson last year with remote school.

    All my family is healthy and safe.

    My lord and savior that has protected us.

  14. I am grateful for God that no matter how far I stray He reminds me to come back to His love where I belong. That he never gives up on me.

  15. I am thankful for this bible study. It could not have started at a better time. I am grateful for my husband and my children. I am grateful to be able to work less and spend more time with my family and taking care of my home. I am thankful for my church, my friends, and my home.

  16. I’m grateful for my family and I’m grateful die my life. 2yrs ago I develop Arteries disease and lost my left leg. I’m grateful for my blessing.

  17. I am thankful for God’s love, His grace and for being with me unconditionally. I am thankful for prayer warriors because they cover us in them. I pray that we also take time to pray for for this group, ask of us because we’re all here searching to connect deeper with God, and everyone is going through something. We’re in a community here and covering us and our family in prayer is great thing to incorporate in this daily study time. Prayers for every single one attending this study and God bless!

  18. I am praying for well being, safety and protection, happiness for everyone in this study and around the world. I am also praying for a kinder and more peaceful world.

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