Routines! Until the Day I’m Old and Gray

“Your routines have to be in order because from there rides the other things you need to learn.” I can’t remember how many times I’ve repeated this to my kids.

There are a ton of things we do everyday that need careful routinary mindfulness, or faithfulness. Waking up and self-care, having 3 meals a day, daily discipline of Bible reading and prayer, brushing teeth, and in recent years, checking your preferred messenger and Zoom meeting list.

Pandemic living necessitates mindfulness of soul care & for some, mental health. That could mean therapeutic and calming music, playing or learning to play an instrument, (or getting back to it!), control of social media and news input, a few minutes of exercise, and certainly catching up and checking in on friends and relatives.

Why does God give us one day at a time? Maybe He knows in our finite nature we need small manageable chunks of time.

In our parenting we surely have had to work on many habits these past few years. A large chunk of the early years is geared towards habit training: sleep 10 hours AND in your bed, finish your plate, daily bible and prayer time at breakfast, 10-15 minutes of Phonics and numbers, and tidy up your toys at night.

Some months we do them all, and some days we botch them all! Consistency is the thing that requires the most effort!

As the elementary years dawned on us, there was added the habit of attention and homeschool manners. In marriage, it is about cultivating the relationship, dating, and intentionality. It is indeed a work in progress, well, aren’t we all?!

A helpful one for us adults would be what Apostle Paul says, “follow me as I follow Christ.” Until the day I’m old & gray may I continue getting to know the Lord through the Bible! In 1 Thessalonians 3 it is proven that we never graduate from growing in our faith. What an exciting journey this is!

With this I thoroughly admire my mother-in-law. It is one thing to be with the Lord for a decade, but totally another to be walking the straight and narrow for more than 4 decades!

Certainly I am a fan of Nancy Wilson’s Femina podcast. In one of the episodes she highlights sanctification – New City Catechism defines this as a gradual growing righteousness. Nancy would say, I’m paraphrasing here, that no sooner had you grown in some area or aspect than you see another creep up on you. Sanctification is a constant reliance on the grace of God.

I’m imagining that decades from now on our empty nest, I will still need to keep some form of routine, such as daily quiet time, keeping the home, exercise, accompanying Jd in a fishing trip, & maybe I’ll have more time to cook elaborate and dreamy vegan meals.

I’m pretty sure I’m still being sanctified by then!

Morning Dedication

One of my favorite prayer books is the considerably archaic and difficult to read Valley of Vision.

Granted, its that, but the thing I like about it the most is that it contains prayers that I couldn’t even think of.

Its easy to pray, its pouring out my heart to God. But my heart is also considerably deceptive, it doesn’t think to pray of what the collective prayers if some Puritans gathered thought of, and written, to pray. Its almost like poetic prayers.

After all, who says/does/thinks these to pray?

Today, I read and prayed the Morning Dedication.

“As I cross the threshold of this day, I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to your care, incline my heart to your ways, mold me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay..”

I sincerely need prayers like these: “May my lips be a well tuned harp to the sound of your praise.” Surely the Lord knows that in a homeschooling mom’s day, or any mom’s day for that matter, many events would push us to not be a blessing to our husband and kids!

“May my lips be a well tuned harp to the sound of your praise..”

Seemingly insignificant details in everyday life or the daily grind can be viewed with the lens of the gospel and eternity.

Random beach trip last week

“May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of our Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth.”

And finally, most sobering in the time of sickness and an all around season of pandemic:

“May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day.”