Lady Pastor: Routines are touchstones for daily spiritual care

My friend Amy once told me that her dad started every morning the same way. He woke up and said Psalm 118:24 aloud: "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."

It was a consistent ritual, and everyone in the household knew that they could count on their father's joyful exultation.

Our personal habits, rituals and routines form the basis of our everyday lives. While there are certainly novel aspects to each day, a lot of our waking hours are spent in fairly predictable ways.

In my younger years, I thought that any form of daily monotony meant that life as an adult was doomed to be stale and dull. But with time, experience, and the reading of "Daily Rituals," by Mason Currey, and "Better Than Before," by Gretchen Rubin, I now appreciate the benefits of consistent routines. Curry's book highlights the daily patterns of dozens of artists and writers throughout history. Rubin's book provides an extensive exploration of how to make the most of our habits.

Inspired by these books, I am now very curious about the impact of daily habits, rituals, and routines that are specifically spiritual in nature. My current pattern is to read a few devotion books each morning and spend a few seconds (at most) in reflection, but I'm not feeling especially satisfied with this plan.


I also struggle with consistency. How might I find just the right mix of reading, reflecting, moving, and writing that would pave the way for daily soul-nurturing?

So here's where I need your help! As we head into Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer, I'd like to share with you an idea for a summer column series. At least once a month through September, I'd like to highlight some of the insights I learn from you, the thoughtful readers of this column. Tell me about your own spiritual habits.

Do you have a morning routine that brings about a sense of rootedness? Or do you focus on your spiritual disciplines in the evening? Do you write, read, walk, talk? Do you meditate, pray, or read devotions or scripture?

There is no doubt in my mind that you've got great insights to share, and I'd love be in contact with you via email and perhaps over phone or over coffee for an interview!

It occurred to me recently that I spend far too much time reinventing wheels that have already been well-formed! I wrongly assume that doing something the way it has already been done is cheating and being unoriginal; but what if, instead, it's being smart? What if learning through and with others is one of life's biggest gifts?

There is no one spiritual ritual that would work impeccably for everyone. All habits have to be personalized. But there are some insights within our Rochester community that would certainly benefit the collective group. So please don't hesitate to write me a note with pen and paper to the Post-Bulletin or send en email to .

What are the daily and weekly ways you nurture your spirit? Please send me a note describing your standard routine. It would be great if you could also share how the routine came to be and when in your life you started those particular practices. I look forward to learning together in the months ahead about the many ways we can tend to the care of our souls.

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