Developing Holy Habits

Mimi Wilson and Shelly Cook Volkhardt met as missionaries in Ecuador where they weekly prayed and dug into God’s Word together. In the process they discovered they were what Anne of Green Gables called “kindred spirits,” and the two friends continued to support one another even when separated by continents. The study guide they co-authored reflects their mutual passion for helping women.

Disciple!: What was the impetus behind writing Holy Habits?

Shelly Cook Volkhardt: My passion is to help women find out who God is—and to see the difference He makes in their lives.

Mimi Wilson: We love it when we see each other ministering, and we support one another. We’ve been doing this together for 27 years. This book is an extension of that.

D!: The first eight chapters of this guide don’t really focus on the “blood, sweat, and tears” we tend to associate with developing good habits, but on God’s character. Why?

MW: The idea is that we first need to know God personally. It’s not so much the habit that’s important, but knowing Him and learning to be obedient to what we know.

D!: The guide is divided into two parts: Making Him Our Daily Focus and Changing Us From the Inside Out. What’s the biggest challenge in moving from “focus” to “change?”

D!: I think it’s the amount of time involved. Change doesn’t happen overnight.

SCV: I agree! It’s like building a sand dune—one handful of sand at a time. If you look at the results after one day, there might not be much there, but over a lifetime you see the results.

D!: Is there a difference between a “holy habit” and a “spiritual discipline?”

SCV: In some ways they’re the same. But a holy habit is more of an attitude or a focus on God’s character—and responding to that character trait repeatedly.

MW: I think of it as a focus that changes my direction and produces obedience and joy. The most important holy habit for me is consistently choosing contentment—regardless of my circumstances.

D!: What’s the one thing you would want readers to take away with them about Holy Habits?

SCV: My hope is that women would be passionate about digging into God’s Word to find out who He is and to engage with Him based on what they discover about His character. I’d want them to understand He’s intimately involved with their lives.

MW: My desire is that women understand that God makes Himself known. This isn’t just about us reaching out to Him. God reaches out to us and teaches us about Himself. That’s what’s really behind developing these holy habits—is developing a stronger relationship with God.

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