Happy Wednesday, friends! I’m sharing a resource from Peter Scazzero, author of “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.” Below is an excerpt from his workbook/study guide for his book. Remember, that we are always here to help you navigate your own faith journey.

>From Emotional Healthy Spirituality Course, Session 8
To get started in beginning to craft our own rule of life, it is important we see the Big Picture. The following is a suggested list of twelve elements to consider as you begin to develop your personal Rule of Life. The challenge before you is for you to pick one or two and grow in that. Let me briefly take you through them one by one:

1. Scripture. You may want to begin praying the Psalms. Or reading the Bible through in a year, or begin meditating on Scripture each day.
2. Silence and Solitude. You may want to grow in taking 2-5 minutes a day to be in stillness before the Lord, or take a 3 hr retreat once a month.
3. Daily Office (Prayer). You may want to begin a second midday prayer time between 11 and 2 each day over the next few months; Get Pete’s Daily Office Devotional.
4. Study. You may want to take a course at our church or nearby Bible school or commit yourself to read a Christian book every two months.
5. Sabbath. You may want to begin setting apart a 24 hr period to Sabbath to the Lord. This may be your year project, staring with a ½ day and then building up.
6. Simplicity. Maybe you want to remove distractions by downsizing your commitments or to begin giving a percentage of your income – 5% or moving to a tithe of 10%.
7. Play and Recreation. This may include finding activities that breathe life in you. Some of you may take up a hobby like hiking, cooking, art, music.
8. Service and Mission. It may be time for you to step out and begin using your time, or talents to serve others.
9. Care for the Physical Body. This could be getting 8 hours sleep or exercising, or shifting your diet.
10. Emotional Health. You may want to join a small group that deals with issues of mature relationships, or find a mentor, or begin journaling around losses you have not grieved well. You may want to find a counselor for a season.
11. Family. This area concerns itself with growing in your marriage, parenting, etc. Maybe you want to get training so that you begin relating differently to your parents or siblings.
12. Community (companions for the journey). You may want to find a spiritual director or an accountability group, or again, a mentor.

Some of you will want to add new elements (e.g., hospitality) and/or delete others. The choice is yours.

Developing an intentional Rule of Life takes trial and error, and time. You will need to learn a great deal about yourself. For example, what kinds of spiritual practices bring you closer to God? Which drive you away from him? How can you discern the right combination for your particular Rule of Life? You may also want to learn more about each of the twelve areas I just listed.

Give yourself lots of time for the slow development of what works best for you. As you examine your life, you may notice many areas that need work. The best approach is to start with only one or two elements for the first few months. Then, after you experience some success with those, you will want to add another building block to your Rule. Or you may want to stay with the same element to work on over a long period of time.

Be willing to make mistakes, try again, and learn new things.

And be careful to avoid any traces of legalism. You want to be careful that this treasure is of a spiritual discipline, like all that we do, does not became a “Have to” rather than a “want to” out of love for Christ. If it feels like a heavy yoke for you or anyone in the group, throw it off. Jesus’ yoke is easy and light. His yoke and call to us fits our uniqueness, perfectly.