The day began easily enough: lunches packed, kids dropped off at school, writing deadlines, and my to-do list ready to go. I had a list of things I knew that would help me with the overwhelm of mothering children, keeping a household running, investing in my church and community, as well as working from home. It was my “feel good” list — a list of daily habits to feed my body, soul, and mind.
The list read:
— Eat more vegetables; limit sugar; drink water
— Walk outside: be out in nature
— Read my Bible and pray
— Make time to be creative: Write during nap time
For once on this particular day, I actually checked off everything on my list. I drank my water and said no to the cookies. I read my Bible, prayed, and had time to write. I prioritized taking a walk around my suburban walking paths, knowing that I needed to move my body for optimal health. I noticed; I breathed, and yet by the end of the day I still found myself exhausted, annoyed, and angry at small things.
I thought a list of habits, rhythms, and practices would be the thing to transform me. In some ways, I was right. Tish Harrison Warren writes in her book, Liturgy of the Ordinary, “God is forming us into a new people. And the place of that formation is in the small moments of today.” We often like to think of God moving in the mountaintop experiences and epiphany moments. It’s true that He does, but He usually moves in still, quiet places and times — all as we go about our daily routines. It is in these small habits, weekly routines, and weekly worship gatherings that we are changed. But my problem had been seeing the list as the thing that would change me, rather than as an avenue for God to make the change to happen.
I made my list the destination, but it was only the vehicle.
Here are 10 ways to truly nurture your whole self.
Photo: Dorothy Puscas on Unsplash