I stood there, shoulders hunched over the kitchen counter, mesmerized by music streaming out of my MacBook.
Like the creek near my house that runs dry this time of year, my days grew dusty with the monotony of routine. I fell into a spell of staying up too late, like a little kid who whines at bedtime. The time I spend as a night owl wasn’t all too productive either.
It’s kind of dead time, really — similar to emptying quarters playing skee ball. You walk up with excitement in pockets full of quarters and walk away with your brain numb trying break the highest score.
The everyday work was starting to feel coin operated. Even the play.
I was exhausted.
Too tired to type another word, I checked out a site my hairdresser recommended to me.
Pandora. It’s internet radio, customized with songs selected by me.
I punched in Yo-Yo Ma and instantly a new station was created. A special sauce algorithm lined up music it figured I’d like best based on the artist I selected.
I liked it. A lot.
The research that enabled Pandora to analyze the musical identity of a song — the characteristics of “what each individual song sounds like” — was named The Music Genome Project.
It got me thinking.
Is there a “Faith Genome”?
What are the common and differing traits of this faith?
How does God use faith to shape an individual’s identity?
There are some things in life that can’t change or won’t change for awhile.
What can change is my faith.
Whitespace Plus Three
The Greek word genome (γίνομαι) means I become, I am born, to come into being.
Rather than focusing on why my life went monotone, I decided to brainstorm ways to nurture my faith and pick three to practice on.
It was very important not to come up with a goal or number. No performance metric allowed. I wanted to practice nurturing faith, not self-effort.
I began by first taking some long overdue Whitespace one Saturday morning. I drove to a nearby park in the mountains and hiked in until I found a quiet spot. With my backpack as a barrier against damp leaves, I sat down and started to pray through a Psalm.
Then, out came my notebook and a brain dump of ideas started flowing, without evaluating any of it.
After a while, my writing drip dropped to a halt.
Inner thoughts get interesting once they’re written. Turns out I was more high strung than I realized — wanting to get somewhere other than “here”. There were things I wanted to do that were getting into the way of who I wanted to be.
My Personal Faith Genome Project got easier once I noticed this.
I settled on some criteria. I wanted do things that nurtured my faith based on how much they encouraged me:
To Be Dependent on God (“more aware of my dependence” is probably accurate).
To Be Humble.
To Focus on what Jesus thought of me, more than others.
I’ve made some changes. They’re so small, I hesitate to even mention them here. But, the surprise is that the change in me has been big.
God breathed new life into me. I’m still doing the same needed everyday things, but I’m sensing God doing them with me. I hear more of His thoughts throughout the day and I share more of mine, especially the ones I didn’t think He wanted to hear.
I’m more aware of my shortcomings, but freer to invite God into them.
Life sounds a lot different. There is harmony.
I hope to discover more about this faith genome God placed in me — and make my life as individually His as possible.
I know you’re here to join me and share in the experience together.
Faith. Live streaming.
And that makes me happy.
Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
~ Psalms 25:4-5
What’s your personal “Faith Genome Project”?
How does God use faith to shape your individual identity?
Share a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
No, they’re not sponsoring this post. LOL. But, God has used music there to bless me so much this past few weeks, I hope you enjoy it’s benefits as well. If you’re already on Pandora and want to hear what I’m enjoying, let me know. Maybe I can share some selections.]
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I love this!
God’s ability to create us all unique never fails to astound me.
.-= HisFireFly´s last blog ..Wet Monday – Here =-.
God’s way of keeping this world endlessly interesting!
I loved this post. God sent me this today and I am going to work on this. For me? It is not the end of the growing season. 🙂 I shared this on my facebook page to remind me.
A good gardener will do what it takes to help a vine bear fruit. What fruit does God want? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
From Max Lucado
My son introduced me to Pandora. I enjoy it as well.
Love you, Patty Ann
Thanks for sharing with your Facebook friends, Patty Ann! Great addition with Max’s thoughts.. Thank you!
Love this reminder, that faith grows when we water the seeds of it by investing in and nurturing it 🙂
.-= Maria Reyes-McDavis´s last blog ..Stop Chasing Rainbows =-.
Thanks, Maria! Appreciated your visit today.
Bonnie, you are always so…practical! Never stagnant! I *love* that about you. Once again, thank you for spurring me on in a good direction.
I think the same about you, Monica… 🙂
Nice writing! Reminds me of this week when I was feeling discouraged/stressed. I decided to just shut the door, and let God know all about it. He brought the life back into the mundane, and washed away all the worry. He’s so good at that. He’s the author of our souls and knows what makes us feel alive again.
Keep up the good work!
.-= Alex Marestaing´s last blog ..the art of hanging out =-.
“He brought the life back into the mundane, and washed away all the worry. He’s so good at that. ” Beautifully put. He proves it time and again. Thanks, Alex!
I love Pandora and love this post. There is such power in choosing faith. Just like we choose an artist and the a whole new station is created. We humbly choose faith and a whole new lifestyle opens up. Goals won’t achieve rest for us, we have to choose faith to find it.
Great thoughts! I’ll be mulling this over for a long while. Thank you, Bonnie.
.-= jasonS´s last blog ..Light Friday Hit List- 8-27-10 =-.
A whole new lifestyle is what I want. Not just thinking about it. The living it is the one step at a time. Love the thoughts you added here, Jason!
Love, love this. Whitespace is so important. And I’ve taken to turning off white noise when I can. Cultivating silence so I can just listen–and maybe even hear.
.-= Sandra Heska King´s last blog ..All Because of a Root =-.
Ooooh… turning off white noise. Now, THAT is good. Great actually. What’s that sayin’? Birds of a feather… 🙂 Love it, Sandra!
This post is one I’ll have to take time to think over. This week was the first week of school and I was quite glad that I’d have time alone to work on me and doing things for ME instead of everyone else.
Time to throw it all down and let God pick me up.
.-= Rachel @ the science of music´s last blog ..What I’ve been up to =-.
I bet. School for us doesn’t start until after Labor Day. 😉
Thanks for letting me know you replied. Sometimes you leave comments and it feels like they are dangling in space. Anyway, the blessing ceremony for our children went very well. We were rained out but the pastor did an awesome job. She allowed us time to bless each child and had friends speak blessings into each child. It was beautiful! Thanks again for the visit. (I wrote about it on my blog, it is under Raising Blessings.) I have visited your site before and enjoy it.
.-= Myrtle´s last blog ..Home Sweet School with Wallies =-.
Great to hear! It’s an amazing moment to implant your blessing into those special lives. So precious. Thanks, Myrtle!
This just opened me up…wide! Thank you for sharing this. It is so refreshing…so beautiful…so sweet…and so powerful.
This just got put in my “posts to chew on” folder. I will definitely be thinking through my “faith genome” in the weeks to come. Thanks for sharing!
I love the idea of turning off the noise in favor of whitespace noise. Of just being alone without distractions to connect with God. I need to think and ponder what you have shared, and as we have talked about right now there is so much that has to have my focus, during this storm, that this is something to look forward to and learn how to make time for.
Thank you Bonnie!
.-= Katie´s last blog ..From Bonnie =-.
I think he is trying to get me to work. Period. In so many ways I feel the push back in to the work place…whether, it will be through or with him …or what I just don’t know. I hadn’t been to church for 6 weeks since my hubbies illness this summer but, the girls and I went today.
The sermon was on being a good disciple. Using our gifts for God…I thought that to be interesting…like I was suppose to hear THAT sermon…I am very excited to see what this season of “back to school” and “back to a routine” brings for my family and me.
Love your posts girl!
I am in such a period of transition. And frankly, I hate change. But I know that it has to be better than where I am now. But it takes faith for me to step out when I don’t know the plan fully. I want to grow in my faith and not always feel such fear. God will not desert me and He is so faithful. I know that in my head but I really want it to settle once and for all …in my heart.
Thank you Bonnie for always getting me to think and evaluate my walk of faith.
Blessings and love,
.-= Debbie´s last blog ..Im Still Praising the Lord =-.
My life is in transition…from working professional to retiree…sort of. Right now…I feel kind of stuck. I took a little time this afternoon to wind down from the last few weeks. I was anxious and didn’t know why. My writing group meets tonight. That gets me a little anxious, but I think some of it is that my son and his wife are now far away. I miss them being only an hour and half away. There seems to be a wide gulf between us. Time is passing and relationships are changing. There’s excitement in the changes and a bit of anxiety. I’m letting go of the anxiety little by little and grabbing the excitement by the tail. There’s planning to do for a visit to see them in a few months. The passports came a couple of weeks ago. In the midst of it, I find there is the letting go and then the beautiful gifts to unwrap also. Actually…now that I think about it, there’s really no reason for the anxiety…just the joy of new adventures to come.
I came here for a morning devotional. I am going through a transitional period in my life, with God shouting at me to let go of misconceptions, hurts and anger; and to embrace Him, His love, and His forgiveness fully. Thanks!