rhythms for when your former rhythms (i.e. attending church?) fall through… for whatever reason

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When former rhythms stop working (for whatever reason), I’ve learned that I need to replace them. Otherwise I fairly consistently just abandon whatever I’d been formerly doing. Rhythms are great because then when we miss a day (or three), we can just pick up where we left off. No guilt, no shame. We’ve tried a lot of different things, but here are a few of the rhythms our family has settled into for this season:

1. As many mornings as we can, depending on our various schedules and locations, we get together and/or FaceTime and read the day’s Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, by Wilson-Hartgrove & Claiborne.

2. Before our evening meal, we pray, but not always in the same way:

Saturday // Sabbath question

(A different question every week, usually something one of us read or thought about during the week between. Always very simple and with no agenda: the goal is to ask and discuss the question, not land on an answer. Examples: “God is Love. What does that mean?” or “Why are we here in the first place?” Simple enough for young children; humble enough for adults.)

Sunday // read or recite the Beatitudes together (Matthew 5:3-12)

Monday // listen to a piece of classical music from the book Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Every Day by Clemency Burton-Hill

Tuesday // New City Catechism, the first 8

Wednesday // read aloud Ephesians 2:1-13 in The Message

Thursday // say one thing you’re thankful for, and – if you want – something you need help with

(Occasional “pass”es are acceptable; sometimes you’ve just had a really hard day and silence is your best way of being grateful.)

Friday // sing the Doxology

“Praise God from whom all things flow / Praise him all creatures here below / Praise him above ye heavenly hosts / Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost / Amen”

3. On Saturday or Sunday, usually right before the sun goes down, whoever is up for it goes on a walk together. I almost always have mints in my pocket to keep whiney people (me!) walking just a little bit longer. Roller skates allowed. Some of our best chats, ideas, dreams come from these casual times together.

What are your weekly, daily rhythms?? Please share; we’d love to hear them.


One response to “rhythms for when your former rhythms (i.e. attending church?) fall through… for whatever reason”

  1. anonymous Avatar

    Thanks for sharing your families’ rhythms. It is true that regular, though seemingly small things mount up over time! As the song so astutely declares – “Little drops of water, little grains of sand, makes the might ocean and the beauteous land. Little deeds of kindness, Little words of love, Make our earth an Eden, Like the heav’ns above.” Your seeds will bear fruit! Good job training up your children and living out your devotion to the LORD before them!

    At a much later stage of life, my rhythms are as follows:
    Daily –
    1. Endeavor to greet each morning with a silent or whispered version of the Shema, ‘”Hear of Israel (or my name, people of God…) The LORD is our God, the LORD is one (the One and only God). Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and with all your strength,’ adding, ‘Likewise, love your neighbor as yourself.’ Help me LORD today to live in unity with Your character.”‘ Often there is a word or two of gratitude that follows. Sometime through, when life is harried or out of usual local or activity, I forget the Shema for periods. But even then, most every day my turn my first thoughts to acknowledgement of the LORD with a greeting of thanksgiving or praise, a scripture declaration, “This is the day the LORD has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it” or a ready and grateful acknowledgement of the gift of salvation in Jesus, or a cry for help for the day before I ever get out of bed.

    2. Usually in the morning I read/listen to my daily allotment of scripture for my ‘Bible in a year’ reading schedule, often with an aligned devotion tied in to the passages, or as in this year, related video via The Bible Project. Sometimes as I do walking laps in house or outside, and flights of stairs to get my body moving and functioning, or come spring/summer/fall, working in the garden as I listen to my daily “scripture reading”.

    3. Later in the morning but sometime later in the day, a shared devotion (currently Oswald Chambers) with my husband and a viewing of a Bible Project video as he too is reading through the Bible again this year. Sometime with discussion following, sometimes with a listening prayer exercise, followed with prayer time together.

    4. Thanks given before meals.

    5. Evening prayers with my husband before we go to sleep, often taking pieces of the Lord’s Prayer as our guide.

    Tuesdays – I fast from food for a extended time period, (usually on Tuesdays, but flex the day occasionally), using hunger to interrupt my inner dialogue as a prompt for more mindful prayer and reflection on God and my relationship with Him. This often leads me into worship and more acute awareness of His grace extended me in the midst of the on-going sanctification that bit by bit is dissolving away those lumps and bumps of harden clay, the hardheartedness born of disobedience and rebellion when given opportunity to lay aside my will in surrender to His. Tuesday is also gives opportunity for focused prayer with a small group of women, listening and interceding for the local church and community as well as the Body or Christ worldwide.

    In the past on Mondays, but now on Wednesdays – meet with small group (now on the phone) to ground, comfort, encourage, and spur on each other in discipleship to Jesus, pressing into the LORD via a common study employing the use of various books or Bible passages, and exploring spiritual practices and praying together.

    Sunday – Worshiping with others, currently via online streaming.

    These are the routines that help anchored in the ebb and flow of life’s waves and help keep me attuned to the voice of my Shepherd!