For some time, I’ve been feeling a need for a shift. 2020 has an increase of activity in store for my husband and me and I’ve been stressing about how to make everything fit. I know God’s capacity will make up the difference for the capacity I lack, but I can sabotage myself by living in a default of unhealthy rhythms. So this year I’m cultivating a rule of life—daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly rhythms of spiritual disciplines.
Because I’m entering a new normal of increased activity, a lot of these rhythms are practices of being with God over doing for God.
This isn’t something I’m entering legalistically. None of this is set in stone and I’ll periodically adjust it as my life rhythms change and as my soul and spirit needs. But for this season, here’s my rule of life:
Morning hour of solitude and quiet:
- A time to quiet my heart, soul, and mind so God’s voice can become clearer and louder.
- No to anything that pulls my focus away from God.
- Yes to getting ready for work, tuning my heart to God’s through prayer, Scripture, writing, driving to work, music, and planning for the day.
- Inspired by Jess Connolly, I ask God this question: God, what have You ordered for me today?
Wash off the day:
- When I get home and don’t plan on going out for the rest of the day, put on some relaxing music or a fun podcast, wash my face or take a long shower, and put on pajamas. This is a moment to transition from a mindset of activity to rest.
Evening 15 minutes of quiet:
- No to devices.
- Yes to free thinking, journaling, and prayer.
Sabbath: (Thursday evening to Friday evening)
- No to striving.
- Yes to rest, play, and worship.
- At the end of each week, I write in my journal something I’m going to quit. It’s a practice of repentance, turning away from something that pulls me away from God, who I’m called to be, and who I’m called to love, so I can choose something better.
- “This week I’m quitting ___________ so I can ___________.” (Some real examples of my weekly quit: “This week I’m quitting relying on my own abilities so I can rely on God’s power and rest in His capacity.” “This week I’m quitting checking email and social media before 10 a.m. so I can cultivate a rhythm of morning quiet.”)
iPhone / social media break:
- I’m ashamed of my addiction to my phone and social media. At the same time, these things are important tools for my work and ministry. So I need this weekly break to keep my phone and social media in their place.
One fun thing: This is one of my goals for the year because taking time to have fun is hard for me.
- No to anything that involves striving or productivity.
- Yes to…well…something fun.
- This is worship!
- “change of pace + change of PLACE = change of PERSPECTIVE” ~Mark Batterson
- There’s a monastery retreat center near the small city where I live. The pace there is slower and there’s no cellphone reception. I never leave the monastery the same as I arrive. And when I’m in the solitude and silence, I can hear God’s voice better.
So how about you? What are some of the rhythms you’re cultivating this year? I’d love to hear them!