Jennifer Preyss-Mathlouthi is an award-winning faith writer and columnist.

I can’t quite tell if it it’s a millennial thing, or a slow-growing trend among the masses, but smart home technology is sweeping the mainstream.

Every home I go into these days has a Nest Wi-Fi-operated thermostat system, an Alexa or Google Home device offering a delightful mix of pith and practicality, and if the home is truly fancy, it boasts a Ring camera doorbell system connected to a smart phone and Wi-Fi-controlled light bulbs with auto-shut off.

Since the wedding, we’ve definitely jumped on the technology train. We’ve enjoyed the Nest and our smart light bulbs. I even have one Bluetooth light bulb (that cost me $70) that plays the most cinematic music when we have get-togethers. Why have sound in a light bulb, you may ask? Because it hides the sound system. No one ever believes the little lamp in the corner is actually a home entertainment corner. It’s like having elevator music stream through the ceiling unnoticed.

Even my parents, who aren’t the most technology-savvy, love their Alexa. The mark of a truly a great tech product is if anyone on the tech familiarity spectrum can use it with ease.

Alexa is also my favorite. And she’s delightfully helpful every time I need her. She’s also built into my upstairs TV, so rather than flip through the remote myself, I simply ask Alexa to find my show, movie or news channel. It’s glorious.

What I also love about Alexa is how helpful she can be with routine questions, especially as they pertain to faith. She happens to be quite the expert. For example, ask Alexa to point you to a verse in the Bible; she’ll get you there. Can’t remember what John 3:16 is? Ask Alexa. She knows.

The other convenient thing she does is offer meditation, and if you’ve been reading me for a while, you’ll know how much I enjoy a good guided meditation to start my day.

Alexa offers such a service, and specifically can call up Christian meditations, such as Abide, which are excellent. I often listen to these at bedtime.

But I thought about this the other day because meditation, when you’re first starting out, can be overwhelming. Your mind wanders, you feel a little weird and flower child-ish for sitting quietly and breathing purposefully, and you may question if 15 minutes of foggy-minded quiet time really accomplishes anything by the time you’re done.

But here’s the thing. First, you don’t have to start out with 15 minutes. Two minutes is a great place to start, and attempting to breathe in and breathe out slowly for two minutes a few times a week will eventually give you the confidence you need to move to five minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15. And that’s about all I do. A few times a week, 15 minutes of guided meditation offers a world of benefits to the mind and body.

So, if you’re thinking about getting an Alexa or already have one, ask her to open a two-minute meditation for you or find Christian meditation. Follow her commands and see what happens.

You may discover two new morning voices you can’t wait to wake up to each day.

Jennifer Preyss-Mathlouthi is a thought leader on religion trends and global issues. Email her at or follow her on Twitter @jenniferpreyss or

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