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Three Tips for Staying Connected During Winter Break

Jan 04, 2019 12:36 AM EST

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Congratulations! You've gotten through finals and (hopefully) a successful school year! School's ended and you're on your way or have already made it back home. No more waking up for those early morning classes or staying up late cramming/studying for the next test. No, you're completely free until next year! How liberating! How you do plan to spend your break? Whether you're sleeping in and relaxing or trying to earn that extra buck to afford next semesters books, all of these are good and fine. But now that you may be away from that youth group you were so dedicated to while in school or that church home you found is far from where you are now.

Though you may have a break from school, have you (consciously or unconsciously) decided to take a break from your growing relationship with God? Or maybe you're wondering how you can keep it up to the standard it was before by yourself. Whatever it may be, we all realize how important it is for us to continue developing this relationship and our discipline and accountability. So here are a few tips that can help in continuing strong on your path of faith.

1. Morning and Evening Devotionals
Maybe it's something you already did while in school, but it's important to keep up, of course! Giving God the first of our first and our last. Sanctifying the day with prayer and communication with God is something that can uplift us and protect us from the attacks of that day. And God honors us, when we give Him our first. From Exodus to Leviticus is filled with the laws the Holy people were to follow and amongst these laws were many addressing giving God the first of something. It wasn't because God needed it, but it was to teach the Israelites and us a lesson in how to become closer to Him and how to live better lives for ourselves. By giving God our top priority, we allow Him to enter into our lives and work wonderfully.

Proverbs 3:9-10 "Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will over flow with new wine."

If you wish begin morning and evening devotionals, we suggest reading Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. It's a year devotional with both morning and evening devotions (depending on the edition). Filled with beautiful scenarios and poems, it challenges the reader to mediate on each subject brought up.

If you want to learn more about what the Word says about giving God our first, we suggest reading the Bible App devotionals Giving God Our First-Fruits and First Things First. There are also plenty of other devotionals offered through this app.

2. Keep in Contact with Your Youth Group/Church Family
If you found a great fellowship on campus or a new church family while in school, keep in touch with them over the break. This can help in keeping yourself accountable, by others keeping you accountable and you doing the same for someone else. Create group chats and discuss your struggles or just your day. Make standards for each other to follow, "Okay, let's all pray at least 10 minutes a day," or even using that meeting time to pray together. You can even start devotionals within your group chats. There are a plethora of ways to keep the youth fellowship or church group alive, thanks to the greatness of technology!

3. Find A Church Home FOR YOU
Maybe when you go home, on Sundays you just go back to your family church or the church that your parents are going to and that's great! But maybe, things feel a bit duller and it becomes routine rather than something you truly love doing. Maybe you need church on days other than Sundays. There are two options you can take:

1. Become more involved in your family church.
2. Find a different church that you can give involved in.

This third option is call 'Find A Church Home FOR YOU', because whether it's your family church or not, you have to be sure that you go to this church because you made an active decision to. Many times, it's easy for us to just go back home and get back into the routine we had while we lived there. Rather than doing that, let's make an effort to actively continue walking this path of faith. In order to move, we must take one step and then the step; we must be active. Just like how you found the church or fellowship you're apart of in school, we have to do the same thing here. And even when we graduate and move to different parts, we may have to do the same thing. College really prepares for all aspects of life after, right?

So these are just a few tips on how to continue growing your relationship with God. It doesn't stop to take a break or pause, but it can be built upon, especially since you have an ample amount of time to do this. Though it may be difficult to do and truly want to do at first, it really helps in the long run. It serves as preparation for next semester as well, believe it or not. However, the most important thing to remember is that all of these things without prayer is incomplete. Prayer is really the most important and true way to build your relationship, but it's these three tips mentioned above that should help you in your prayers. Sometimes to just begin praying suddenly can be difficult, so these tips serve as buffers to this. We hope that this article served as a great help to anyone reading and we may continue to give more tips and advice like this. Because there are plenty of other great things one can do to continue on with God during their breaks in school.