How do I use my planner? Let me count the ways.
As a minister, social media manager, and overall self-proclaimed taskmaster, I have ALWAYS used a planner. In middle school, I was the kid writing everything down. Every chore I needed to complete, every hangout I had scheduled, every assignment that was due; you bet I had it on a list (color coordinated, no less) in my planner.
In all my years of buying and using planners, I’ve never found one that suited my practical and spiritual needs quite like SOD’s liturgical planner does. It’s aesthetically pleasing and practical, all the while offering me prompts and reminders to pepper my day with prayer and scripture.
The most meaningful change that’s come about since using this planner is that I’ve begun to start each work morning by identifying the 3 top priorities for that day. In my earliest days of using the planner, I would squeeze as many priorities into the boxes as possible. But, in the “how-to” pages at the beginning of each edition, I was reminded that once you’ve completed your top priorities, it’s important not to add any more. Sure, I still make a to-do list underneath my priorities of other things that I need to do. But, it has been incredibly cathartic to accept the act of rest after completing what I had initially set out to do that day.
Another aspect of the planner that I’ve begun to hold dear is the quotes sprinkled throughout. While the daily office and one-line prayers from Common Prayer give me cause for pause each day, the quotes at the beginning of each liturgical season and week encourage me to reflect on the integration of these scriptures, prayers, and practices into my everyday life.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread ‘round the world, I began to wonder if I would use my planner as much because so many things that were once significant no longer were. Turns out, I needed the structure, tools, and resources more than ever during this season of pandemic-tide. The pages have been filled with different tasks than they were before, but the daily readings and prayers have comforted me and sustained me in new ways as we face an unprecedented time together.
It’s my hope that others will glean helpful practices and strategies for daily rhythms as I have, but I think that part of SOD’s beauty is that so many people use one planner in so many different ways. I give thanks for a flexible tool that has allowed me to be more present, mindful, and organized year-round.
Ali Chappell DeHay joined the Sacred Ordinary Days team as our Social Media Manager in October 2019. Ali responds to your comments and DMs on Facebook and Instagram and posts meaningful (and fun) content throughout the week. She’s creative, thoughtful, and seriously funny. Ali holds an MDiv, serves as a youth minister, and is on the Board of Texas Baptist Women in Ministry. She's also an excellent preacher, which Jenn attests to firsthand. Ali was raised in North Carolina and though she misses the East Coast, she and her husband have made a happy home together in Waco. She loves true crime podcasts, Italian food, sharing joy, and walks with her Australian Shepherd.