A lot has changed since I finished my five-month Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With a Mission (YWAM). Everything from my relationship with God, to my friendships, to the way I brush my teeth.
The first two things you could have perhaps guessed would improve during my DTS, but you, like me, probably didn’t expect DTS to change the way I brush my teeth.
That’s right... DTS upgraded my teeth brushing routine.
Now, just a disclaimer; before DTS I was brushing my teeth well twice (or more) a day... But, as I found out, there was room for improvement, and funnily enough, I wasn’t the only student who discovered this, and no, it was not one of our lecture topics!
It’s in the detail
The reason why I share this funny, albeit a bit awkward, minute detail that changed during my DTS, is to highlight that when you put God in the centre of your life, every aspect of the way you live, even the seemingly inconsequential stuff, starts to revolve around and honour Him.
So, my whole lifestyle changed, and has continued to do so since returning home. The first, and most pivotal aspect which I changed in my routine was to schedule in a Quiet Time (i.e. time spent with the Lord and in the Word) every morning.
Before DTS I didn’t have much routine in my relationship with God and would oftentimes forget to cultivate this relationship. Now, having that stable consistency in my time with the Lord I have noticed that I have been naturally inclined to change other parts of the way I live.
I have become tidier and more organised. As a result, I feel less overwhelmed and have been less chaotic. This simply started when I arrived home, having lived out of what I could fit in a suitcase for six months and thought, I don’t want any of this stuff!
I have since purged many of my clothes and an entire set of draws, the contents of which have gone to Op-shops, or into storage.
I can tell you that I let out a big sigh when that was over!
Using my time better
I make better use of my time! I have been pretty flat out working, organising and preparing for when I go back to YWAM since I have been home, but have also proactively made time for rest. In doing this, I have seriously decreased the amount of time that I used to waste watching movies or on social media.
You might be surprised to know that for almost the entirety of my DTS I stopped watching Netflix and Youtube. I also deleted Instagram from my phone which I haven’t redownloaded since.
[Me deleting Instagram is actually an incredible God initiated story in and of itself!]
Finally, I have recently changed the way I eat. And by changed, I mean my diet got a complete overhaul.
I was inspired by a Ted Talks video (which I totally believe God put into my Youtube suggestions) called ‘sugar is not a treat.’ The video explains the negative effects of sugars on the body.
Sugar, especially refined sugar, causes your blood glucose levels to spike and fall. This, when we habitually eat sugary foods or foods largely made up of simple carbohydrates (white rice, pasta, white bread etc.) causes us to start feeling tired, emotional and overwhelmed, have a hard time thinking and can cause serious damage to our body and brain.
Learning this again watching ‘Sugar is not a treat,’ woke me up to the fact that my chocolate, vegemite on toast and burrito diet was probably the cause of a lot of my exhaustion and times of emotionally “crashing”.
Change for the better
Something had to change, and with the help of the Holy Spirit I more or less entirely cut out sugar and simple carbohydrates from my diet, leaving my sugary treats to be just that—treats.
I can certainly testify that I have a much more consistent mood as well as more energy and drive in my days.
More than I have ever realised before, reflecting God in the way I live out the practical elements of my life is an act of worship and is vitally important.
God is so interested in every part of our daily lives! Not just the stuff that “seems spiritual!” He designed the physical world, including our bodies, for us to live in and knows how it functions best. It just takes a little time and will-power to shake off the passivity that can sometimes sneak in and change our lifestyle.
So, my spiritual relationship with God flowed into my physical routine which in turn effected my thinking and emotions. And guess what, it has all flowed back into positively affecting my relationship with God!
Doesn’t it often work like that? The spirit, soul and body, all affect one another. If one is lacking, it can drag the others down. It can be tricky to navigate but aren’t we so lucky to have the Holy Spirit to guide us!
So, let’s make a move together and level up every part of the way we live.
Lucy Miles can often be found singing or dancing her way through any one particular moment. Such joyous expression is brought forth from her love of the Lord, learning and people. She currently lives in Australia and has applied for a Ministry and Leadership Development School with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Switzerland and is excited to see where life will take her.