I’ve never been a person who really relied on or noticed patterns in my life. I never struggled with feeling too scheduled or the opposite feeling of overwhelmed with no structure. That is, until I became a parent. Our first daughter was born during our year of vicarage, and so, when I left my in-person job for maternity leave, I also left that position permanently. Navigating being a new mom with no weekly or daily sense of rhythm (except the endless time-loop of feeding every two to three hours), I felt that I needed to mark time passing in a new way.
God built a rhythm into our days, weeks, months, and seasons. He created day and night, He put a day of rest into our week, and He has given us celebrations. It’s taken me a while to realize how helpful it can be to not only look to Scripture for guidance on grounding my family in Christ but look at the rhythms we find in church—in the liturgy, church calendar, and lectionary—to help find patterns for our families.
Lean into Seasonal Activities
While living in Florida on vicarage, I often joked that the only way to know what season we were in was to decorate for it. By placing cute pumpkins, hanging flannel patterned hand towels, having a Christmas tree up, and so on, I could remember the season even if the weather did not match my personal midwestern seasonal expectation. As we begin the liturgical season of Lent, let’s lean into the season.
Leaning into this season may look different for your family. For my family, with two girls under two years old, this looks like finding and reading books that are seasonally focused and doing a daily devotion written for this season. For other families, especially those with kids whose bedtime doesn’t conflict, I suggest carving out time for midweek services and meals, journaling time, and finding or rediscovering a way to ask faith questions together. Leaning into the season can help us all learn to wait well. As we slowly and intentionally approach the end of one season and start the next, we do so knowing that we have walked through the last together.
Reflect on Sunday
Each Sunday gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect, to slow down and set our minds on Jesus. On Sundays, we’re given a specific set of Scripture passages to think on. Sometimes, I think it’s easy to toss the lectionary readings to the side in favor of our own study and our own preferences. But as we try to live with patterns and predictability, returning to Sunday’s set of verses can help us to reinforce the messages our family heard and grow from passages we might find uncomfortable to study otherwise.
By pausing and returning, we slow down a fast-paced life and retreat into Jesus. He is where we find that contentment in our daily rhythms. He comforts the hurting, gives rest to the weary, and provides strength to continue on. That’s really what we need from daily, weekly, or seasonal patterns. I know I need that stability and direction.
As the year continues, you can lean into the rhythms God has created in your family life and as well as find new structure for your spiritual care.
With this month’s Everyday Faith Calendar, walk through readings from the three-year lectionary as your family digs into the promises you heard on Sunday.