GPS | Week of January 24, 2021
Weekly Grow-Pray-Study Guide
This week we are focusing on tending our souls with sacred pauses, sabbath rest,
and drawing near to God. In cased you missed it, view Sunday's worship below.
Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength.
Self-Care for a Happier & Healthier New Year
READ | Scripture Readings
You are encouraged to use the spiritual practice of Lectio Divina as you read this week's scripture passages.

Try reading each scripture through 3 times, aloud if possible. (You may want to choose one scripture a day)
  • Pause when a word or phrase seems to “jump out” or “shimmer” as you read.
  • Why does that word or phrase seem to stand out?
  • What is God saying to you in this moment? What action is God calling you to?

Genesis 2:2-3
 2 On the sixth day God completed all the work that he had done, and on the seventh day God rested from all the work that he had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all the work of creation.

Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8
Only in God do I find rest;
  my salvation comes from him.
2 Only God is my rock and my salvation—
  my stronghold!—I won’t be shaken anymore.
5 Oh, I must find rest in God only,
  because my hope comes from him!
6 Only God is my rock and my salvation—
  my stronghold!—I will not be shaken.
7 My deliverance and glory depend on God.
  God is my strong rock.
  My refuge is in God.
8 All you people: Trust in him at all times!
  Pour out your hearts before him!
  God is our refuge!

Galatians 5:22-25
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the self with its passions and its desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit. 

Matthew 11:28-30
28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
REFLECT | Reflection Questions
These questions can be used as personal reflection questions, prompts for journaling, or as discussion questions with a friend or small group.
  • What spiritual practices have you tried and found helpful in tending your soul? What are some new practices you may want to try? How can you incorporate these as sacred pauses as you go about your daily tasks?

  • Research suggests that silence can lower blood pressure, relieve stress, boost creativity, and even allow our bodies to develop new brain cells. How much silence do you experience in a typical day? In what ways do you wait for God in silence?

  • Theologian Walter Brueggemann notes, “We used to sing the hymn ‘Take Time to Be Holy.’ But perhaps we should be singing, ‘Take time to be human.’ Or finally, ‘Take time.’ Sabbath is taking time . . . time to be holy . . . time to be human.” What would a sabbath day - a day set apart for rest - look like for you?

  • In times of loss and difficulty, our souls need lament as a form of self-care. When you need to lament, do you turn to the Psalms, a 'sad' food group, venting to a friend, listening to sad music, something else? How do you express lament to God?

  • In what ways has God transformed lament into joy for you? If you are in a season of lament, how do you hold on to hope? Try letting scripture guide your lament to move from complaint to thanksgiving and confidence in God. Read one of the many psalms of personal lament: Psalms 5, 13, 31, 51, 77, 86, 140.

  • Some forms of self-care feel better once they’re over. We don’t enjoy them in the moment, but we’re glad that we’ve done them. What forms of self-care fall into that category for you?

  • What place does joy have in your self-care? Do you do something you enjoy every day? Why or why not?
PRACTICE | Danish lifestyle of hygge
Pronounced "hoo-ga," this Danish concept cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. Just as healthy self-care needs self-discipline, there’s a place for self-comfort—all in moderation, of course. Instead of unbridled consumption, hygge is tempered by simplicity, a sense of fairness, and the needs of others.
Here are some things that are considered hygge:

  • Create a cozy atmosphere. No matter what time of year it is, light some candles, string some warm lights, or light a fire (in the fireplace, or in your firepit.) Add cushions or cozy blankets to create nooks of comfort.

  • Get comfy. When you are at home, feel free to wear your most comfortable sweatpants, leggings, sweaters, wooly socks, (even if you'd never be caught dead wearing them in public) and zero fuss with hair or makeup.

  • Take your time. When you are practicing hygge, you are off the clock. Let a pot of soup or chili simmer for hours while you read a book, put together a puzzle or watch a movie. Savor time spent in conversation with others, or doing something you love - scrapbooking, biking, or star-gazing.

  • Indulge mindfully as you drink your coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Slow down to really taste and enjoy your favorite comfort foods or homemade sweets.

Here are some things that are NOT hygge:

  • Staring at your phone all day. Or computer, or TV screens. While it may be relaxing to Netflix and chill, it should not replace time with family and friends (even virtually), or time doing other activities you love.

  • Hibernating indoors. OK, yes, we're in a pandemic and told we are "safer at home." But that doesn't mean you can't leave your house to go for a walk in the woods, take a scenic drive, or gather virtually with family & friends. In other words, don't isolate.

  • Strict rules. Such as completing chores that must always be done on a certain schedule, turning down a second helping of mashed potatoes or that second slice of cake, or tossing things that don't "spark your joy."

  • Buying things just to be on trend. A hygge lifestyle is one of simplicity and comfort. It's about appreciating the little things, and being content with what you already own. There's no need to go out and try to purchase a hygge lifestyle - in fact, that's the opposite of hygge.
PRAY | Joys & Concerns
If you would like to be part of a new Care Ministry, to follow up on prayer requests, and to reach out to those in our faith community who may be lonely, ill or feeling disconnected, sign up on our website & Pastor Melody will contact you with more information: www.polkcityumc.org/service-opportunities
  • Prayers of sympathy and comfort to Julie Caster, Alissa Mangae, and Abigail and Hannah Mangae on the loss of their father/grandfather/great-grandfather Lyman Rule on January 25th. Lyman's life will be celebrated on Monday, February 1st at the Bethel United Methodist Church in Zearing, Iowa. (details here)

  • Deanna Deason requests prayers for Gwendolyn Beatty and her family and the family of Donald Scott, who passed away with congestive heart failure. They are Deanna's landlords in Mesa, where Deanna is currently staying.

  • Continued prayers for Diane Hammond who is being treated for severe Congestive Heart Failure and severe mitral valve damage; and for Steve Hammond who had a hard fall on the ice last week and cracked a few ribs; this week he has some fluid in his lung. If you would be willing to provide a meal for the Hammond family, sign up here: https://signup.com/go/nmEkncS (there are still a couple of spots open)

  • Continued prayers for JJ Johnson (who suffered a stroke) that he keeps healing and that each day he can get more movement in his left leg and arm. He will be able to come home on Friday, but will continue with several more weeks of out-patient therapy. If you would be willing to provide a meal for the Johnson family, sign up here: https://signup.com/go/ZUvEUxO (there are still a couple of spots open)

  • Diane Hammond requests prayers for her sister-in-law Lisa as her cancer journey enters its third year, and for the burdens that she and Diane's brother carry; prayers also for Diane's friend Margaret who is transitioning to hospice care.

  • Brooke Jetmund requests prayers for her family as they wait out a Covid diagnosis.

  • Linda Pennington gives prayer of thanks for her brother Ron's heart valve procedure at Mayo. Amazingly, all went well and he is home now. She asks for continuing healing prayers for both of her brothers that are on the mend: Bill for repair of an aortic aneurysm and Ron for the heart valve- both done at Mayo.

  • Prayers for Ed Behanish who just completed cancer treatment.

Have a prayer request? Email Dixie Bequeaith or Pastor Melody Webb
RESOURCES | For further reading