I’m very much a creature of habit and routine. I like to know the flow of my day and the routine of my week. The craziness of a life doesn’t always afford me my “normal” schedule, but there are things I try to do everyday regardless of what my schedule looks like. I have started to call these things my rituals. They are a great source of comfort and stability to me. Now not everyday allows me to have them, but for the most part I strive to find time for them.
My rituals have a bit of a flow to them. Not surprising since I’m the routine girl. I start off my ritual time by writing in my gifts journal. I pull this journal out first and start pondering my day thus far. If I can write out my gifts while they are still fresh, it helps make sure I don’t miss something. This isn’t the only time I write in my gifts journal, but it how I start my quiet time and it’s been good to focus on the gifts of God first before I move on to anything else.
Once I have written out all the gifts that come to mind, I switch journals to my prayer journal. My prayer journal is a sacred place where I write long hand letters to God. It is a place where I am open and honest about my emotions and what is going on in my life. I’ve always been better processing my life through words on a page. Writing things out helps me to evaluate and to understand. I’ve been writing in a prayer journal for about 10 years now and it’s a ritual that I have deeply embedded into my existence.
The prayer journal allows to me clear and quiet all the thoughts bouncing around in my head. I have shared my heart and I know I am heard by the One who loves me. Now with a clear mind, I start my Bible reading. I’ve read the Bible through in a year numerous times and this year is no exception. I love following my Bible reading plan and I’ll often read two days at time. The overachiever in me loves to “get ahead” in my reading plan, but this also allows me grace when I miss a day here or there. I know that I won’t fall behind.
The next ritual to follow is reading a chapter or two of a book. I tend to swing from novels to Christian living to leadership enhancement to ministry focused books. Reading relaxes me and inspires me. I feel like me when I have a book close by or in hand. In fact, I often leave my current book out in the living room so throughout the day when I have time I can stop and read if the moment allows for it. I believe that it’s good to get the influence of others in my life. Whether it is dreaming alongside a novel or being challenged in my leadership capacity, I know that my life is better when my voice isn’t the only one I hear.
I would have to say that the final ritual I have started is this blog. Now this one doesn’t happen every day. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I try to challenge myself to write something whenever I’m home alone or my schedule is freer. Some days are too busy to sort out my thoughts in the blogging world, but for the most part I’m finding that blogging often happens in the middle of my ritual activities. I think this is because my mind is focused and I’m really thinking through life and what matters to me. When I started this blog, I thought for sure I would be writing about all my ministry insight. While I do write about ministry from time to time, I’m learning that there is more to me than “Church Amy” and I have more to offer than what I do in my working capacity. This blog has helped me along in that discovery process.
My rituals are things that I look forward to everyday and I feel better when I have them completed. They are a firm foundation for me to stand on and give me the strength to be a better person throughout the day. It’s important to me that even in the craziness of life that I don’t lose sight of the things I truly need to be the most effective person I can be.