Our Academic Planners launch June 1 at 9am Central! Each day this week, we're sharing a little more about the tools that form the core of our planner—and what it’s like when they work together.
Yesterday we covered the prayer of Examen—a centuries-old practice of discernment rooted in God’s love and wisdom. Praying the Examen in a weekly, seasonal, and yearly rhythm helps us further identify and adjust our priorities within the seasons and rhythms of our lives. Today, let’s talk about intentionally crafting those rhythms as we pursue greater fullness of life as God’s beloved children.
CRAFTING SUSTAINABLE—AND SUSTAINING—RHYTHMS
It may be that very little changes—on the outside—when we think in terms of rhythms and practices that rise out of priorities and postures, rather than schedules and activities that rise out of obligation or lack of options. But my heart beats slower. I feel more connected, more present, more willing to be generous with my time and energy.
We all have daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, and yearly rhythms, whether or not we acknowledge them. If we don’t bring intention to our days, our lives can get away from us.
RHYTHMS THAT FOLLOW THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST
Following the Christian—or liturgical—calendar is one of the most transformative rhythms I've experienced. In its cyclical rhythm, we are invited to align our lives with the life of Christ, with its full range of experience and emotion. We walk through the seasons of our lives in tune with the seasons of Christ's life, growing as we go.
The Liturgical Calendar is the reason that Sacred Ordinary Days started in the first place. You know that already if you've read my welcome letter in the planner or the free Essentials Workbook. This new, old ordering of time marked by the life of Jesus has been so beautifully dis-orienting and re-orienting for me, I wanted to share it with people who might otherwise miss out on it or miss out on its depth. So, after waiting over 10 years for someone else to make a planner that could help me learn and live into this re-ordered time, I finally made it myself. (And I've been refining it based on your feedback for the last five years.)
By orienting our lives around Jesus, we are taught to prepare, welcome, celebrate, teach, be present, grieve, hope, be joyful, listen, and build the kingdom on earth. We follow a model for what it means to be fully human, fully faithful.
In the planner, we help you notice these seasons of the church year. At the top of every page, we remind you what season we are in. As each new season begins, we add in a few pages of description, seasonal Scripture, questions to ponder, practices to consider, Holy Days, and space for you to reflect on the season as well as to do an examen of the season. As you build this seasonal rhythm from year to year, you will have a seasonal reflection to look back on as you prepare to enter the season again in a new year.
RHYTHMS THAT WORK WITH YOUR SEASON OF LIFE
How would you describe the rhythms of the season you're in right now? Perhaps you'd say "focused on family" or "in school" or "my job is my main thing right now." Perhaps you'd describe your emotional state or talk about a transition you're in. Recognizing the season of life you are in right now is simply that—recognizing where you are now.
Very often when we enter a new season of life—from having no children to having a baby or small children, from having a house of teenagers to being an empty-nester, from being in school full-time to working full-time, or from working full-time to retirement—we need to make adjustments to our rhythms. The shifts can also leave subtler, more internal clues that something has shifted, broken, come alive, or that we're in an in-between, liminal space. What we used to do may not work anymore or the time we used to have might be switched for a different pocket throughout the day. This isn't a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just different.
Our planner is about helping you find practices and rhythms that work WITH the season you're in, not against it. We also have no desire to add to your to-do list. Nope. Not how we roll. Instead, the planner extends invitations, prompts, pauses, and ideas that you can accept and try on, ignore, or save for another time. Every season has its own joy and challenges. In every season you may need to make changes as to how you live your ordinary days as sacred.
In the end, living a rhythmed life helps us live into what matters most while removing the haphazard, reactionary approach to life that so often and so easily becomes the norm. We carry ourselves, instead, as a people whose deep, abiding faith informs the way we live. It’s also easier to have decisions made and a trellis along which to grow so that we’re not doing everything all at once.
RHYTHMS OF THE SACRED ORDINARY DAYS PLANNER
PRAYER OF EXAMEN
Yearly, seasonal, and weekly guided Examen practice to help you dwell in your beloved-ness with God and cultivate a practice of discernment rooted in God’s love and wisdom.
Weekly scripture readings from the Revised Common Lectionary and Daily scripture texts from the Daily Office in the Book of Common Prayer, which is about being rooted in scripture and the Church around the world and throughout time.
Daily and weekly practices of Sabbath, which is about resting, delighting in the world God created, and trusting God to be God beyond our work and prayer (more on that in the next email).
The Seasons and Holy Days of the Christian year—also called the liturgical calendar or the church calendar.
Space to identify yearly, seasonal, monthly, weekly, and daily, planning and priorities, to help you focus on what matters most.
Plenty of white space to journal, jot down reflection, draw, doodle, or simply be reminded of the importance of incorporating lots of margin into your life.
IT’S YOUR TURN
Our rhythms are more about who we are than what we do. When you think about who you are, who you want to be, and who God created and calls you to be, what are the things that you choose in order to be faithful? Take some time and reflect on the activities that fill your days and weeks, months, and years. How might they work together effectively, joyfully, and sustainably to form a rhythm?