A Blank Page for a Fresh Start
It's almost August. If you're staring down a new month that looks nothing like you anticipated you are not alone. I thought two of my three boys would be going back to school and/or parents-day-out this month. (Nope. And still no idea if/when/how.) I thought Pandemic-tide would be over by now. (Not even close.) I thought at least my projects at home would be a little further along. (Paint colors are picked. Painters, drywallers, and flooring guys will hopefully have room for us in August. 🏼 ) At least we get the keys to our new warehouse & start moving in on Monday!
Like you, we're having to make complex, difficult decisions with limited information in a landscape that's continually shifting under our feet.
In the midst of it all, here are two truths I'm holding onto—we are deeply loved by a God who is actively at work in this world to make all things new. And, God invites us to actively join him in the work of loving and making things new for our neighbors.
Occasionally that renewal can be wrenching or painful—like tearing out an old garden to make room for something new to grow. More often, though, it's a gentle but consistent reshaping—rain on a mountainside—whose effects can only be seen with the perspective of distance and time. May we have the patience and the vision to trust that God is working renewal in us right now.
What's more, we get to actively engage in the work of renewal alongside the Creator of the universe. As a tangible reminder of my own participation in the work, I'm treating myself to a fresh start with our brand new Academic Planner which begins on Saturday. The metaphor of a whole planner full of fresh, clean, open, inviting pages feels especially timely.
I've been setting up my new planner this week and thought it might be helpful to walk through that process with you. My use of the planner tends to shift as the seasons of my life change—and this year is no exception. Join me on Facebook Live tomorrow at 11am to see how I set up my Sacred Ordinary Days planner and how I plan to use it in this season.
I've also found myself particularly in need of simple, grounding rhythms. If that sounds like you, too, I'd like to invite you to join me for Formation Foundations: Rhythms beginning next week. It will be a three-week focus on crafting sustainable—and sustaining—rhythms of life. My hope is that it helps us enter August with fresh vision and firmer foundations.
Does the coming month look like both more and less than you expected? Where are you finding—or seeking—renewal? What rhythms might help to steady and sustain you?
P. S. Our Open Meadow Green planners sold out fast, but we still have Evensong Blue, Earl Grey, and Glowing Ember Red planners for you. (Evensong will likely be the next to sell out, with Glowing Ember not far behind.)
WEEK 1 | DAILY RHYTHMS
- MON | AUG 3 Daily Practices
- TUE | AUG 4 Anchors
- WED | AUG 5 Three Daily Priorities
- THU | AUG 6 Rest and Delight
- FRI | AUG 7 Your Space
WEEK 2 | WEEKLY RHYTHMS
- MON | AUG 10 Weekly Practices
- TUE | AUG 11 The Prayer of Examen
- WED | AUG 12 Keeping Sabbath
- THU | AUG 13 Belonging to the Body
- FRI | AUG 14 Discerning Weekly Priorities
WEEK 3 | SEASONAL RHYTHMS
- MON | AUG 17 Seasonal + Yearly Examen
- TUE | AUG 18 Personal Milestones, Memorials, Holidays + Holy Days
- WED | AUG 19 Discernment
- THU | AUG 20 Retreat
- FRI | AUG 21 Rule—or Rhythm—of Life