I am a mega fan of hygge, a Danish concept encompassing the mindful, cozy life. Hygge is about intentionally setting an atmosphere focused around simple joys and awareness of the intangible values in life.
Anything focusing around warm drinks and cozy-living makes my winter-loving heart happy. In this fast-paced, digital age, hygge calls us to stop and truly look at what is happening. It is a way to consider the lilies of the field and watch the patterns of life to find God’s goodness.
As a Christian, I am trying to be more conscious about applying hygge to Biblical principles. Here are 5 ways every Christian woman can embrace hygge:
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1. Turn Off the Television and Read More Books.
Instead of binge-watching the latest Netflix craze or filling your mind with our 24/7 news cycle, pull yourself away from the screen and crack open a book.
Read your Bible. If you don’t already start your morning this way, create a new routine. Instead of beginning your morning with screens, put down your smartphone, pour a cup of coffee, and spend time in the Word of God. This is one of the most life-giving parts of my day.
But read other books as well. There is so much wisdom in friends from ages past. I wish could sit down over my morning coffee and hear CS Lewis’s experience with grief, but as he died many years before my birth, I can only discover his wisdom in the words he’s left behind. There are many others, both living and dead, who I can benefit from. There are stories, like the Wingfeather Saga, that reminds me to be brave and face this life with the gifts God has uniquely given me. Whether it be in story form or through non-fiction, embrace the truths told in quality literature.
Here are a few book recommendations:
2. Light More Candles (And Pray!)
I have written before about using tangible, visible signs (such as prayer beads) to help you stay focused during prayer. While I love my prayer beads, I also love the idea (and very hygge notion) of lighting a candle while I pray.
Christ identified Himself as the Light of the World. Putting a little light in my midst reminds me of who He is and of my call to shine that Light before those around me.
It also reminds me of the indwelling of Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire that then filled the lives of the first Christians. The little flame in my midst reminds me of His presence in my life.
Finally, there are many notable passages that speak of the beautiful fragrance our prayers give before the Throne of God. The sweet aroma of my candles remind me throughout the day to pray and give up my life as an offering to the Lord.
3. Spend Meaningful Time with Friends
Community is one of the greatest blessings in the life of a Christian. We are not bound simply to friendships, we are part of a great unity found within in the Body of Christ.
It is very hygge to engage with one another, and disengage from screens. Spending less time on surface-level discussion, truly enjoying God’s creation, and speaking to deep heart truths and problems with others is good for the soul.
Especially in Western culture, we tend be very self-centered and independent to a fault. Our Christian faith calls us to resist this by relying solely on God and immersing ourselves in the community He has given to strengthen us.Especially in Western culture, we tend be very self-centered and independent to a fault. Our Christian faith calls us to resist this by relying solely on God and immersing ourselves in the community He has given to strengthen us. Click To Tweet
Spend time with the Body of Christ, not just on Sunday morning, but throughout your week. Participate in Bible studies and prayer groups. Meet at the park, go on hikes, serve your community, and engage in life together.
Here are some great Bible studies to invite a friend to join you for:
4. Bake More
Church ladies have a long history of baking. My friend, Traci, wrote a beautiful tribute to the church ladies a few years ago and it comes to mind every time I make a meal for someone. In fact, we even see the idea of baking connected with doing the Lord’s work back in the Old Testament when the widow offered her last bit of flour and oil during a famine and made bread for Elijah.
Baking, not stopping for the convince of a quick grab and go break or cookie but actually getting your hands dirty, kneading dough, and mixing batter, can be nourishing in more than one way. When we stop and put in the hard work of measuring, mixing, waiting, and baking, we enjoy the fruit of our labors in a new way.
Not only do we enjoy the end result differently, we also have something to offer that we have labored over. While I have served many a meals with a store-bought loaf of French bread, there is a special joy in offering guests a loaf of homemade challah.
Bake and share. Use it as an excuse to have someone over. Call a friend and ask if they want to spend a Saturday afternoon making bread then eating it together. Bake cookies and take them to someone who needs encouragement.
5. Surround Yourself with Little Reminders
We are forgetful people. As I deal with the stresses and distractions of my day, it is all too easy for me to forget the truths of God’s word. One of the ways I can combat this is my keeping lovely reminders around that will keep at the forefront of my mind who God is.We are forgetful people. As I deal with the stresses and distractions of my day, it is all too easy for me to forget the truths of God’s word. One of the ways I can combat this is my keeping lovely reminders around that will keep… Click To Tweet
I love placing Scripture on my walls and surrounding myself with artwork that reminds me to keep my focus, not on this world, but on Heaven. Intentionally choosing to use my walls, pillows, and jewelry to remind myself that this world is not my home has been incredibly helpful.
Here are a few small ways to include lovely reminders in your home:
Gardening is a way to tend to Creation. In the Garden, it was the first task given to mankind. Today, we can enjoy creation in a visceral way by gardening and growing food for ourselves. Much like baking, it is a way to put in the hard work of creating food and enjoying the labor of our own hands. It is also a lovely way to share our labor with those around us.
Plant a garden. Grow herbs. Enjoy the flowers around you. If you’re like me and can’t seem to keep anything green alive, succulents might be the best option. Do something to enjoy the beauty of the physical creation and to remind you to long for everything to be made new.While hygge is not a Christian concept by any means, there are a lot of beautiful ways to incorporate hygge into the life we are called to live as Christians. #hygge #christinanlife Click To Tweet
While hygge is not a Christian concept by any means, there are a lot of beautiful ways to incorporate hygge into the life we are called to live as Christians.
Hygge is a way to emphasis St. Paul’s instruction to Timothy that we live quiet lives, worthy of admiration. It is a way we take captive our thoughts and life and fight against that age that clamors for our attention by turning our minds to the beauty of God’s truth.
Let us practice intentionality and enjoy the time God has given us today.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a practice you consider hygge?
Comment below and share some ways that your faith influences that way you practice hygge.