My old morning routine in the high desert.
Day after day.
Awhile back I was reading online somewhere and was surprised to find a link to a post at my old blog, High Desert Home. So, I went on over and started to browse through my posts, something I never do. And I was really struck by several things.
One, how sweet were those simple, slow years in the country with my family (even when the kids grew up and lived away, they came home often). I am just so grateful to the Lord for what He gave us and how He blessed us and for the sweet memories. My kids often voice this same deep appreciation for our family and home life.
Two, how important routines have always been in my life. I wrote about this many times on my blog--it was almost its theme.
Three, that I’m exactly the same person with the same values, hopes, and desires that I was then. Making a home, even for just me (though its never really just for me). Living simply. Keeping margins. Living slowly. Food and health. Paying attention and looking for beauty. Trying to live as locally, non-toxic, and eco-friendly as possible. You know.
Four, how different my life looks day to day now compared to then. For big chunks of the weekdays, I’m not busy at home, puttering in the way I’ve always loved, but I am off at class or in a meeting or lab. And when I come home, there’s always something I could do—work on a paper, do some of my reading, get busy on projects that will be due soon, study for exams, and more. But I do make a point of setting aside time and focusing on things that matter most to me.
Still, for quite a while, I’ve felt just slightly off-kilter mentally and otherwise. I’ve missed my old routines and the focus I could give to home and hospitality and being involved in people's lives, but I’ve also wanted to fully embrace the life I’m in now because I believe that God orders my steps. When I browsed through my blog that day, though, I realized that, in my desire and attempt to adjust to my current life and its demands, I was losing touch with what is sort of fundamentally me—the way God made me.
I think that back in the high desert, the amount of control I had over the way I spent my days and hours, combined with the really amazing group of friends I had, was very affirming to the kind of life I felt called to live—the routines, habits, pace, and a particular type of spiritual focus I had. Now I live in a place that is very different, and the people I know here live very different lives from what I’ve known. I’m not saying that there is anything at all wrong with these people and their lives (in fact, they are wonderful!), but I’m just geared a little differently, and I honestly feel led by the Lord to live a different kind of pace and lifestyle. When I conform to the busyness around me, everything in me starts feeling askew.
So, when I looked at my old blog, I thought, “Huh-uh. No more.” I began to pray about this and work toward the kind of life I can live here (in the place and situation God has me now) that will be in alignment with the same old values and ways that matter deeply to me. So I’ve been re-establishing routines and habits that are comfortable, familiar, and meaningful and yet conform to the new demands of my life.
This blog is something I want to do routinely (which doesn’t mean, necessarily, every day), even if I just stick up something as simple as a photo or the kind of “whats-the-point-of-that?!” post I put up yesterday. But I actually want to write, too, when I can, some of my simple thoughts on what I just wrote about—the spiritual effects and benefits of keeping routines, living slowly when the world tries to make me fast (and why I should), why making a home matters for everyone (even when you’re alone), a relaxed learning lifestyle at home (because I still think about it all the time), and a lot more. It’s a life that cuts directly across the grain of the direction many people are running, but, for me, this is what makes it possible to keep a truly spiritual focus and outlook. It allows me to pray better and love better.
Now I’m almost to my allotted time for writing this, so I’ll post it and carry on. I pray you’ll have a lovely day.