Today you’re in for a TREAT! My friend and prior client, Christian Therapist Mary Ann Griffith from The Renewal Session is bringing some truth to the yard! She shares with us 4 steps to accelerate your faith and connect with God – in a changing world.
We talk about why you may feel ‘far from Him’ even though you’re doing bible studies, or following a ‘Christian checklist’. We talk about how we can make small changes to create ‘quick connect points’ with the Lord. Mary Ann shares so much wisdom around how intimacy with God multiplies and how we can begin to experience HIM on a higher level (in totally unexpected ways!).
We wrap up our conversation by sharing how you can create intentional intimacy and build upon it to keep accelerating your FAITH.
I pray this blesses you!
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
(00:01): Hey, sister! Welcome to another episode of the podcast! Today, I am so excited to bring on my dear sweet friend and prior client, Mary Ann Griffith, and she runs the Renewal Session Podcast and brand. And basically, she’s gonna blow your mind today.
(00:20): We talk about how to accelerate your faith in a different changing and evolving world when you feel like you’re not hearing from God, maybe you feel kind of stuck and you feel like no matter how many Bible studies that you try, you’re just not connecting.
(00:35): Well, Mary Ann or Mags as we like to call her, has this beautiful four-step system to help you transform your faith and not just accelerate it, but truly take it next level.
(00:50): And these are four really cool steps that you can implement right away in your life. They’re not gonna take a ton of time. And what they’re gonna do is open this floodgate to you and the Lord’s relationship. Just so good.
(01:03): So a little bit about Mary Ann. She is your friendly and super funny neighborhood therapist and friend, best friend.
(01:11): That’s super sarcastic, all rolled into one, but the best part about her is she always has this beautiful, new and unique way of looking at faith and looking at scripture and challenges the status quo of a traditional quote-unquote, you should do, and you should be type of Christian.
(01:32): And she helps open our minds and hearts to the real true relationship that God really wants for us. And that’s there for us, but maybe we don’t realize it is. So I know you guys are gonna love her just as much as me. Get ready to do the things.
(01:49): Now, before we get into today’s awesome conversation, are we friends? Are you and I talking about having amazing yoked-up God-centered friendships? Are you and I friends yet? And if not, let’s be friends. Let’s make this happen.
(02:05): I invite you to go to stefgasscommunity.com and join our Facebook group. It is so much more than a Facebook group. It is a sisterhood of Christian entrepreneurs building kingdom businesses, just like you. We don’t do spam in there. We don’t do weird creepy awkward sales posts.
(02:26): It is truly about building you up, lifting you up, driving community, and helping you all help each other. So I know you’re gonna love it. It is just such a beautiful space to grow and to be inspired, to ask the questions in a safe place.
(02:43): And have other people who are exactly like you running the same race as you be beside you, be on your side. You know what I’m saying? Go to stefgasscommunity.com.
(04:01): Hi, Mary Ann! I’m so excited that you’re hanging out with me.
(04:05): Oh, great to get to be here.
(04:07): At the beginning of this podcast, I was telling everybody a bit about you. I’m like how much fun you make face? Like you’re this like burst of sarcastic fun in your face energy. And I’m so here for it.
(04:22): I love that. I’m gonna make sure that everybody in my world hears those words to describe. They’re my faith experience. It’s gonna be fabulous.
(04:33): And you know, what I loved about you as we were working together through the program we did together, and then we did coaching together and I helped you create your course. And what was so fun about your course and the thing you’ve created Mary Ann is like this really unique perspective on growing your faith.
(04:54): And what I loved about the things you would teach me so much in our calls together, as you would talk about, it’s a changing world. Growing your faith doesn’t look like being hanging out doing a Bible study 24/7 anymore. And I was like, it doesn’t?
(05:14): There was just cool things that you brought up, even challenging me in cool ways to grow my faith. So that’s why I brought you here today and everyone, that’s what we’re gonna be talking about.
(05:23): And I’m really excited to go through these four major principles, but start us with, Mary Ann, who are you? What do you do? Give us a little backstory on you.
(05:33): So my name is Mary Ann Griffith. I have the Renewal Session Podcast. Full-time, I am this CEO of a nonprofit counseling agency that provides counseling for underserved, under-resourced people and I’m in the Chicago land area.
(05:52): But always I’ve wanted to be a teacher, speaker, and writer. And with COVID hitting, I wasn’t exactly sure how God was gonna make that calling come to fruition and then COVID hit and everything had to go virtual.
(06:09): And that opened up a whole nother opportunity in terms of understanding how to connect with people, not just in my area, but across the United States and even the world. And so once that happened, then it began to change what I began to look for training, God led me straight to you.
(06:34): So that was such a wonderful thing. I think I’ve taken every course and am completely bummed because I’m not gonna be able to come to your upcoming retreat. But it’s been a great experience. On a personal level, I grew up in the church. I’m married for 28 years, have two kids, two grown kids.
(06:55): And really the faith accelerator was born out of questions that my kids were asking me. Typically, when they were young, I did what I felt like most Christian moms were doing, where they were sending their kids to Bible school, vacation Bible school. Awana in some cases, camps, all of these different things.
(07:19): And we lived, our home was a very Christ-centered home, but as they got older, they struggled to find the relevance of their faith. They struggled to find ways to really connect with it that was unique to them.
(07:35): And so really that’s when I began to ask the questions, well, what are the unique ways that we can reach freedom in Christ where we can learn and grow and celebrate. And we’re not having to do it in this very like list checkoff way, which is, for the longest time, that’s how I lived.
(08:00): I lived with you get up in the morning, you grab your cup of coffee, you sit in your couch or your big comfy chair and you go through your Bible study and your time of prayer. And those things are wonderful. And I still participate in them.
(08:16): But when it came to really connecting with my kids, it made me really ask different sets of questions that just really intensified my own personal relationship with God.
(08:28): That’s all so cool. Isn’t it fun how God uses the people in your life to even grow your faith, Mary Ann? You’re over here doing this research for them and it ultimately grew your faith.
What were the questions they were asking around how is this faith relevant to me and how do I connect with it? Can you give us some examples of those questions?
(08:49): They were pretty, I think, generic-sounding questions, but they were much more personal in the sense that they were wrestling so hard. So the question itself was, mom, you love the Bible, you get so excited about it. I read it and I don’t get excited.
(09:12): I’m like, okay, now, how is this life-changing to me? How am I supposed to be connecting with God? And they would see me be really on fire. And can you believe this? Look what I just read. Isn’t this crazy? And they would be like, uh, no.
(09:33): Ah, okay. How does that pertain to me? What does that even mean?
(09:38): And they would often say to me, if I didn’t have someone like you in my life, I don’t know how I would connect with these things.
And so for them, it was a lot of like, they still attend church, they’re not of that generation of millennials that have kind of said, church isn’t relevant and we don’t go, but they go.
(10:01): And when they leave the church building, what they will say is I love worship. The sermon was okay. And I could be in that same service. I’d be like, was this not amazing?
But it’s because the word of God has come alive to me. Whereas for them, it’s still a book that they’re trying to figure out. What does this have to do with me?
(10:30): And as much as I have said to them through the years like sarcastically, you mentioned that I have a little sarcasm. So sarcastically, I would say to my kids, it’s so weird.
I went out the other day and I grabbed an autobiography of Brad Pitt and I read it and nothing applied to me and my daughter would be like, what are you saying that for?
(10:56): And I’m like, that’s how you read the Bible. You read the Bible like it’s going to tell you something about you. You read the Bible because it’s telling you something about God. I would not go to Brad Pitt’s autobiography to learn about myself.
(11:15): And so they would be like, fine, whatever. But that was really the question of like, this just doesn’t seem to apply to me. And it doesn’t seem to come alive to me. And I don’t really know how I’m supposed to grow, incorporate this in my personal growth.
(11:34): That’s so good because I know so many of the people listening to the show have that same feeling, but maybe they have any even said those words, Mary Ann. They’re on the other end going, Stefanie talks about scripture like it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
(11:50): And I’m over here, just staring at these words that seem like they’re not connecting. It doesn’t feel alive. It doesn’t feel like God’s coming closer to me. What’s wrong with me? I can imagine them feeling like something’s wrong with them. I’m not hearing from God in my prayer.
(12:07): I’m not hearing from God in this quiet time where Stefanie or Mary Ann talk about getting downloads. What’s wrong with me? And so what I wanna talk about today is that nothing is wrong with you.
(12:17): What probably is happening is you’re disconnecting with the way that you’re accelerating in your faith. And so Mary Ann, let’s start taking them through maybe your four-step process. That really begins, number one, with something you call, notice your patterns, talk to us about this step.
(12:36): So this is a concept that kind of came out of just what I do as a therapist and starting to really attune to how people say things, how people move in and out of their world, what keeps them engaged, and what keeps them disconnected, all of those things.
(12:54): So I began to ask those kinds of questions in particular with my kids, I began to ask, okay, just tell me how you live your life. Tell me what you get really excited about. What are the things that make you tune out. How long can you stay really engaged in something before you’re like, eh, not so interesting.
(13:18): Tell me what times of days work for you. What kinds of environments work for you now? This is a perfect example of the difference between my kids. I have a daughter who’s 25 and I have a son who’s 21. My daughter, she’s all about mood.
(13:38): Mood is gonna set it for her. She wants the smells, the lights down low, the best cutest notebook with the best writing pen. She wants the vibe, this vibe is incredibly important to her. So if she was to wake up in the morning and has to be at work at eight or seven 30, whatever time it is.
(14:05): She gets there being that kind of person at six in the morning and then having to hustle to get out the door and then having to get to work. There’s no saying power to that because she likes me. Right. So we began to talk about what does it look like to set a space for you and God?
(14:27): And so she was like, oh, this is so much fun. She went out and got candles that she loved and a notebook that she loved. And she said it was so much easier to sit down and get still. So for her, it was all about environment.
(14:48): So good.
(14:49): My son, it’s all about energy. He loves to be inspired. He loves the person that’s presenting information to him to be like entertaining, interesting. And he wants it to be immediately life applicable.
So, if you handed my son a candle, and a notebook and a pen, he would be like, what would I do?
(15:19): If that is how you told him to connect with God, it’s not happening. But if you said, Hey, Jack, I found this great guy on YouTube and he’s incredible. And he’s got this church out in, I don’t know, pick a place.
And he’s so fabulous. You should check it. And it was 10 minutes long. He checked those all day long.
(15:45): So, that was what I had to start realizing is like, why would I give them suggestions to grow their faith that are not in keeping with how they personally are inspired or motivated.
(16:01): That is so good, Mary Ann. And so for ourselves as a personal application, do this work. What are you excited about? When are you tuning out? What times of days? What environment? Are you a vibe person, an energy person, an environment person maybe, do you learn best in group settings?
(16:19): Are you lit up in group settings? Are you lit up alone? Like I know for me, God got me through the energy of worship in a service. That was the like, oh my, I am undone.
(16:35): And then through that moment, I learned that, oh, I’m not only an energy person, because now I’m undone and I’m open. Now, I’m also a vibe person in the morning and now I’m also. And so it was like, He’s kept adding.
(16:49): Exactly. And that’s the accelerating part of it. It’s like, once you find your quick connect point and you feel really connected to God and you’re really like alive in your faith, then it allows you to want to go, okay, well maybe I would try out God here.
(17:12): My son, he’s a runner, not a walker. So if I said, you should go on a walk and look at nature. My son would be like, why? Now if I said, get on a bike and ride, go riding. He could do that.
And then if I said, and you know what, why don’t you stop along the way at different points that scream beautiful to you and just pray. And then you can take your bike and go.
(17:43): You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to be this guy that lays prostrate on the floor, crying out to God. Though, you will be at some point in your life because what happens is intimacy with God multiplies.
(17:58): So good.
(17:59): I think the other thing I wanna say, and then we can move on to the other points that we’re gonna talk about is just this idea of, and I hear this so much, where there’s an intimidation factor that comes into going into a Bible study or talking with other Christians in a group.
(18:20): Because there are some people that are naturally wired to know book, chapter, verse. They can read it one time and they can quote it. They can tell you the backstory on every single person that’s ever been in scripture. They’re the king of Bible trivia.
(18:35): And then there’s the other person who doesn’t wanna speak up because they’re like, I’m not as smart. I don’t know as much, all of these things.
So by really developing your own personal ways of connecting with God and saying, God, give me, the ability to memorize verses that you have for me in this season.
(19:02): Not, I need to know how to recite the whole book of Philippians. I did a Bible study one time that said, we are going to learn how to memorize the entire book of Philippians, and entire book of James. And I was overwhelmed.
(19:19): I’m the kinda person that’s like, Hey, everybody should own a concordance. And a concordance is where you just look up one of the words in the verse.
So it’s like, I know it kind of says something like this and I’ve got the one word in the verse and then I just go to that concordance and it tells me what the verse is. And then I look super smart.
(19:41): Totally. And I have the Bible tabs. So they’re like go to first Peter. And I’m like, okay, new Testament, first Peter. And then I look super smart, but I got my Bible tabs. Like I’m not memorizing every single book knowing exactly where it is and that’s OK.
(19:56): And here’s another little trick I taught my kids. Listen, if you are in a Bible class and somebody says, consider it joy, my friends, I don’t know the rest of that verse. I said, highlight it, get a highlighter, highlight it in your Bible.
(20:14): And guess what? Next time you go to your Bible, you might not know exactly where to find the verse, but you can find a highlight. You can go to where you highlighted something.
So my Bible is full of highlights and underlines and all of these things because it’s a quick reference for me.
(20:35): It’s not about, oh, I’m just that person who highlights their Bible cuz they’re so inspired. Though I am inspired, I highlight it a lot of times just to relocate it.
(20:46): That’s really good. And those things help give you confidence when you’re still learning. And here’s the thing we’re always still learning and there’s always gonna be somebody that’s a better theologian than you.
(20:59): We’re not here, I don’t believe most of you are here to be a theolog maybe some of you, but what you’re really here to do is accelerate your faith. And so find your quick connect.
So we talked about, notice your patterns. What are you gonna do as far as what the way that you quick connect with God so that you can create this intimacy?
(21:20): And what I love that you wrote that I circled, highlighted, and starred was intimacy with God multiplies. So once you’ve opened that door, it’s a freight train. Now, that we’ve learned this, we move to step two of your process, which is to work in shorter times. What does this mean and why is this step here?
(21:39): Well, so the step is there because we are consistently struggling with attention deficit. We live in a culture where everything’s a soundbite, everything’s a quick, Hey, look at this kind of thing. And so we’re becoming progressively more distracted.
(21:57): So rather than work against that at the beginning, what I say is work in smaller time chunks, because it allows you to do something more immersive. So, for instance, for me, I kill it at 30 minutes. That’s my sweet spot.
(22:21): Because it takes me a while to get into it. And then it takes me a while to not get distracted. So 30 minutes really is probably a solid 12 minutes deep of that immersive type of stuff. But I say, I’m gonna give myself 30 minutes. And what I found is I enjoy 30 minutes. I enjoy 40 minutes.
(22:50): I enjoy two minutes, as long as I’m allowing myself to be intentional and more connected during that time with God. So like one time you and I were talking and I used the example of sometimes my time with God is literally three minutes and 36 seconds because that’s how long that worship song lasts.
(23:15): But what I do is I don’t touch my phone, I don’t multitask, a lot of people myself included will have some form of Christian radio on, in the background, in their cars. I still do that. When I’m trying to be intimate with God, I’m going to do that three minutes and 36 seconds alone with him.
(23:42): And the posture of intimacy, like I’m going to meditate on these words, I’m going to raise my hands and worship. I’m going to take a prayerful position, whatever it looks like, but I’m giving it my all in that three minutes and 36 seconds.
I still go and I get in the car and I sing that same song maybe two to three times over the course of a few days in my car. But I’m intentionally doing it over here with God.
(24:15): And that’s the difference. I think of this analogy, it popped into my head of like your spouse or your kids, we’re home with them all day long. We’re super busy and the same premise goes here. If you were like, I wanna create an intentional intimate moment with my husband.
(24:33): And you go in there and you notice that he’s whatever, cooking dinner and you sit there at the island and you’re texting at the same time. It’s like, how is your day and you’re texting, not gonna happen. Versus you set your phone down, you come over, you put your hand on his back and you say, how is that meeting?
(24:49): And you literally listen and look in his eyes for three minutes while he’s stirring dinner. That’s enough in that moment, in your busy with your kids to go, I created this time and space of, I circled two words that you said, intentional intimacy with him.
(25:08): So, if you need that visual to go, how do I carve out three minutes of intentional intimacy with God? That’s okay. And that’s enough. Sometimes that’s all we have. And I think He’s here for that.
(25:20): He’d rather have your three minutes than your distracted 30 minutes that you think you have to carve, like, oh, I have to make it 30, but I’m not in it. I don’t feel like it today, but I’m gonna force it. And I’m gonna look at my phone at the same time.
(25:35): Well, and there’s a huge confession for me in this that I have been in a longstanding ladies Bible class, different kinds of organizations that offer daily Bible study. So, you’ll go and perhaps you’ll do, I don’t wanna name a particular person, but a Bible study.
(25:56): And it’ll be broken down by days so day one, day two, whatever. I am notorious for going, oh no, I have Bible study tomorrow. I better do this.
And I jam the five days worth of Bible study into that one night because I need to not look like a person who didn’t do their homework. So I was notorious for that.
(26:23): Instead of saying to myself, I’m just going to look at one question. I’m gonna read one verse. I’m not going to worry about whether or not I get done with all five days.
Because I would rather get it right on one question, one verse, one day of that study than to only have done it so that I could sit in a group of people and gain a sense of approval because I’ve completed my five days.
(26:55): I’m so with you there, and I’ve done the Bible studies before where it’s so much, and I do it all. I have not digested anything that I actually did, versus some of the cool ones I found now where they will take one verse and we’re on one verse for like three days.
(27:15): And I’m like, oh my God, like there’s wisdom in every sentence. And so it’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality, which kind of is bringing us into step three. So let’s segue there, which is focus. So we have work in shorter times or whatever fits you and works for you.
(27:35): And then step three, focus on one spiritual discipline each day. And that’s something that you had brought up and you had some really cool, and you’ve mentioned a couple of them, but really cool, different examples of different spiritual disciplines we can try to find the ones that accelerate our faith the most. Let’s talk about that.
(27:54): So, the idea behind that really is that by focusing on one you are not doing it in a form of distraction or checklist cuz a lot of times I would do these checklists or spiritual disciplines because I thought it would make me a good Christian woman and and you know, God doesn’t come void.
(28:22): So of course, any time you spend with him, time that you put yourself in a position to be a listening and a receiver of God, you’re gonna get something from that. But what was happening was he made me to connect with him in very powerful, unique ways. And he wants me to experience those.
(28:44): So for me, like I mentioned earlier, worship music is a huge part of how I get into a posture of praising God. Years ago there was a thing called acronyms for prayer. So it was the word ACTS and the first one was adoration, confession, Thanksgiving and supplication, I think is what they were.
(29:13): And I did never do adoration right. I always felt like I was rushing through it. But I can kill it at a worship song. I can really get in touch with God in that. And so some days I won’t even open my Bible. But instead, what I will do is I will spend that day as a day of praise and worship. All day long.
(29:41): Or maybe the next day I will think about all the ways in which God has blessed me in my family. Like what has God released me from? As we’re recording this, I’m visiting my extended family.
And there have been some obvious ways in which I have seen God move me from the way my family of origin worked to who I am today.
(30:11): So I spent one whole afternoon on a walk here, just reflecting on what God has released me from and brought me into something new. And I that’s all I did.
Believe it or not, thank goodness for Bible apps and all of those things, I left on the trip and I brought everything, but my Bible.
(30:35): But that time of appreciation and gratitude with God to just say, look what you have done for me. I don’t live the same way I lived growing up. So that even is a spiritual discipline because that allows me to cry out to God in Thanksgiving.
(30:52): Yes. In adoration in a different way than what you think it has to be.
(30:57): Exactly. And so I started doing that, the other thing I started to do is, in counseling, one of the things we talk about is neurobiology. And I tell people a lot that the more you think on something, the more your neural pathways thick in and the more you get stuck in that loop.
(31:21): But if you wanna get out of a loop, then you have to start to think on other things, which is what scripture says to us, think on these things. So, I just made a point to say, okay, I am going to think about things that God brings in front of me are clearly Him.
(31:45): So, that might be a verse. And I’ve already demonstrated in talking to you that I’d have to use my concordance to look up all these different. It might be a verse that I would look up and all I would do is stop and think about, okay, God, here is what perseverance has looked like.
(32:09): And here is how you have developed character in me through my perseverance, that’s a spiritual discipline because I am changing the neural pathways of my mind. And I am becoming more like Him and less the world.
(32:26): Those are all such great examples. I love that so much. Like thinking about what can I do today and maybe what do you feel called to do today? And I always start to, sometimes with just a prayer on that, like holy spirit lead me in whatever that connection with God is today.
(32:44): And sometimes it is my Bible study, my coffee, and my comfy brown couch. And like we’ve talked about once we find the, what do we call it? The quick-connect point, it’s like a floodgate burst. And we all of a sudden have all of these connection points, but some days it’s like, I’m just in constant prayer.
(33:03): I am talking all day long about whatever I’m like, okay Lord, I just got triggered by that thing. Can you work through that with me? I am just such a human right now. And so it’s like maybe that whole day is just like full out just conversation.
(33:18): And then maybe the next day, like you said, is I went on a mountain bike ride and I see God literally in the trees and just in awe of his beauty and thanking him for that. So finding different ways to, yeah, go ahead.
(33:33): Oh, I was just gonna say a hundred percent. And sometimes I think it’s Christians, we don’t maybe explain how to deal with the darker times of our lives with God. And I’m gonna give a very personal, real-time example of this.
(33:52): Again, I mentioned I’m with my extended family this week and there’s been a little bit of conflict, partially due to the fact that a major ice storm hit the area and there’s been no power.
Well, when that happened, that meant some of the other family members in the area had to come and stay at the house that I’m at.
(34:17): And I literally thought, of course, God, of course, this would happen. Because when I want to just avoid something and harbor something in my heart or not address something like I’m just here for a short period of time, let’s just not deal with it and move on.
(34:39): Of course, there’s gonna be an ice storm and I’m gonna have to deal with it right away. But what happened was that God said, okay, there’s gonna be an ice storm and you’re gonna be stuck in a house with some of these people that aren’t your easiest people to get along with. And what did He do?
(34:58): He revealed so much to me about how He has shown up and my personal resilience to walk through things. And so even though the circumstances were not pleasing to me, God reminded me of what he has done before in my life.
(35:19): And how all of this intentional intimacy with him is gonna pay off in this moment, where I’m gonna have the ability to be resilient. Because it’s not that the situation necessarily is gonna change, but that I’m gonna have the resilience to manage it.
(35:39): Exactly. Your perspective has been totally shifted even in the hard times. What all of this does when you accelerate your faith, you have an absolute, it’s like you are refined by Him.
You’re held up by Him. He becomes that counselor, that friend, that mediator, that voice of reason, He becomes everything through that faith acceleration process.
(36:12): And it’s what you so desperately desire, but maybe you’ve been going about it in the wrong channels or doing what other people do instead of checking your patterns. Instead of working in the times that work for you, instead of focusing on the spiritual disciplines that light you up.
(36:27): And then the last one is live with intention. So how do we bring this full circle for them of this fourth step?
(36:37): So, the fourth step is intention requires attention. And a lot of times for myself in the past, I would be so focused on getting my own personal checklist, or maybe somebody gave it to me through the generations, but my own personal checklist done that I didn’t include on it, really listening, quieting myself and being still.
(37:08): And what I have found is that if I allow myself to wait on God and really listen, He always answers. He’s never not answered. My issue is that I’ve either predetermined what I think the answer should be, or I haven’t waited long enough or I thought it was gonna come like a lightning bolt. I was upset about it.
(37:39): So, I’ve learned that when I have a conversation with my husband, I have to create a space for him to respond.
I also have to trust that if my husband and I have a conversation that he will circle back with me, that he’s not forgotten what we talked about and that he will continue to bring this to light and will continue, this is an ongoing thing, not a lightning bolt thing one and done.
(38:09): So if I can remember that with my husband, then I remember that with God. Listen to Him and trust that this is not a one-way conversation. He’s not interested in me just showing up and laying everything out in front of him and begging him. I don’t beg.
(38:31): When I have a conversation about true growth with anybody in my life, I never begged them. Now I’m always talking. So I started to realize, yeah, I’m gonna have to stop and I’m gonna have to listen and I’m gonna have to get quiet. And I’ll be honest.
(38:51): That’s been the hardest part because I am a moving and shaking and talking and getting excited kind of person. So being still is a real practice for me because it requires not only stillness but then the discipline to listen. And sometimes listening is hard when it’s not immediate feedback.
(39:14): Cause you just think you’re just like sitting there. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve sat somewhere and be like, I’m listening to God. Nothing, I got nothing.
(39:25): But what that is, it’s like, that’s the challenge of after you have these other three steps and you’ve implemented those other three, that’s the challenge of taking your discipline or your obedience just that much farther, which is even more of an accelerator.
(39:42): I’m the same way as you I’m like thinking, doing, Bible study, do the thing and then finally was like, what if I just listen, just for five minutes or even two minutes, I’m just gonna be quiet and through that, which is hard for me too.
I’ve started getting like prayer downloads or a prophetic word for someone or things that were like, whoa, like, I didn’t know this was for me. I didn’t know you had this for me. And God was like, I was just waiting on you. Shut up, girl. I have so much for you, but you gotta be quiet to allow it in.
(40:16): And the other thing is don’t judge it because one of the things that I was telling my daughter because she’s the one that likes the notebooks and the pens. So I will say to her, okay, if you’re gonna pray, you write out your part of your prayer and then you leave a space for God.
(40:36): If in that still moment, you hear anything in your mind, anything, I don’t care what it is. Write it down, write it down. Cause you don’t know if it’s God or not.
Now, we’ll know if it’s opposite of what His word says about Him. We’ll know those types of things, but write it down. Don’t judge it. You have no idea how God’s going to tell you something.
(41:00): And I did this practice, I bought a spiral notebook, it was 120 pages. And I did it for 120 pages and God showed up and by the time I got done, I went back and I wrote out every verse that God had reminded me of in it. Stef, it was so scary, He said, get on your armor because you are going to be under attack.
(41:26): And literally, a week after that happened, my husband had the widowmaker heart attack, my daughter’s best friend died. We were all in COVID.
And I was like, I cannot believe that for, I do not know how long, let’s just say three months, four months before of writing out prayers that God had said you were gonna be under attack. But if I hadn’t written it out, I never would’ve caught it.
(41:49): You would’ve known. That’s so good. This has been incredible Mary Ann. So to recap for you all, and then we’ll find out how you can go listen to more of her goodness. I’m telling you, guys, she’s so fun to hang out with.
Four steps to accelerate your faith and hear from God differently, in a renewed way, and in this crazy-changing busy world that we’re in.
(42:10): One, notice your patterns. Work in shorter time, find what works for you. Three is focus on one spiritual discipline each day, change it up, play with it. See what lifts you up and lights you up.
And number four is live with intention. So this has been such a big blessing. Mary Ann. Where can everybody find your show and connect with you?
(42:31): So The Renewal Session Podcast is up on Apple, Google, whatever they call, Google tunes. What is this called? I don’t even know. I just put it into Podbean and then goes out into the world.
And then, my website is also therenewalsession.com and that’s where all of the upcoming information about the course and getting people connected and signed up for that, as well.
(43:02): Yes. And she has a course coming out that extends on the faith accelerator, four steps we’ve gone through like a full immersion experience.
So I highly recommend that if you guys loved what we talked about today, go check that out, because it’s just a deeper dive and you get Mary Ann and you get her incredible background and all her resources to help you accelerate in that space.
(43:23): Thank you.
(43:23): God bless you, friend. Thank you so much.