In these disruptive times, I have found myself craving order. The order that was provided by school days and workdays, weekends and travel suddenly vanished into the amorphous sameness of social distancing. I needed something to fill that void.
Fortunately, we already had a few habits as a family and we have added or modified others to provide an order to our days.
First, we decided to order our days around times of prayer. We have used Pray Daily, a version of the Family Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer adapted and published by Christ Church Plano, for Morning, Noon, and Evening Prayer. These times allow us to pray alongside our meals.
Next, we have maintained regular times of waking each morning and attempted less successfully to maintain regular bed times. I have noticed that when we are less successful in planning sleep, we sleep less and everything seems less ordered.
I have also become more intentional about keeping Sabbath. As a pastor, Sunday is almost never a day of rest and renewal, so I must pick another time to intentionally rest and delight in God. For me, the traditional Sabbath of Friday evening to Saturday evening has worked well to provide order to my week in disordered times. Just as prayer become the cornerstone of the day, Sabbath becomes the cornerstone of the week. However, keeping Sabbath requires discipline during the other days of the week so that a day can be free of the normal to do list.
We took on a new habit of order to provide this discipline. After downloading the free kids pages, it was not long before we purchased Monk Manuals for each of us. This contemplative planner has provided a way for us not only to order our days but also to order our days together by identifying and communicating our most important priorities, focusing us on gratitude, and giving space for reflection.
While I look forward to the end of this season of disruption and social distancing, I look forward to finding this kind of order around prayer and family in whatever the new season provides.