Our house is a series of routines.
Kristen is usually the first one awake- her jogs often chase the sun from its slumber.
Jackson and Paul wake up next, breaking the quiet in our house. Sometimes Paul will bring Jackson to our bed and we’ll all just kind of snuggle and slowly get up. Watching JT thumb suck, giggle, and play with words is an amazing way to wake up.
Next comes breakfast and Elmo. I think Paul (9 next week) likes Elmo more than Jackson.
I put water in the kettle for tea or coffee and sit down to write. “What will I write today?” Sometimes I wake up knowing what I will write, sometimes I have to look at Evernote, sometimes I stare at Biblegateway for a while until an idea pops up. Sometimes I ask Kristen and she just says… “Whatever you want.” I don’t know why I ask because that’s always her answer. But I think asking is part of my routine.
I write a few paragraphs with Elmo in the background, waiting for the kettle to pop. Somewhere in there Megan wakes up. I say, “Good morning Megs” and she stares through me in a way only a pre-teen can. I exist, she likes me, but not yet. It’s too early.
From there dad goes into work mode. I either head to my office downtown or stick around the house. That’s not really a routine so much as it is just a thing I do. It probably is routine, but maybe I just don’t want to call it that?
The evening is kind of a reverse order of routines as everyone winds down. After dinner Kristen and I go for walk. We take Jackson and Stoney (our dog) for a walk all around the neighborhood. (Highlight routine right there) When we come home we get the kids ready for bed and the house finally grows quiet again.
At some point Kristen and I look at each other, routines complete, and say “Today was a good day.” Even when it wasn’t we just lie to each other.
Routine is Sacred
Whether you have a daily routine like we do or your routine is more along the lines of a day-to-day thing, routine is part of being human. (Monday we ___, Tuesday we ____) When I am most tired or most anxious or most busy the first thing I lose is a connection to these routine. The kids thrive on this regularity, as well. Our family routine gives them freedom to know what to expect and what’s expected of them.
Routine keeps us from chaos. But when chaos finds us sticking to our routines keep us sane.
As I reflect on the big story of the Old Testament I see routine over and over again. The Law is establishing healthy, sacred routine. Mishnah goes into detail about the nuts and bolts of how the Law impacts the daily routines of different types of people. God is in the routine, the repetitive, and the mundane. While we can get hung up on and dependent on these routines they can also ground us and anchor us to our humanity.
Routines help us know who we are and what our place is in the family.
Last thought. Like all things sacred, there’s a fine line between honoring it because it’s sacred and making it too holy. We love our routines, we see the sacredness in them, we connect to God through them, but they aren’t our god. We worship a God who creates routine and holds all routines in the palm of His hand. But we also are fully aware that an omnipotent God can change our routines in a breath. We honor God above routine.
These are my routines. Have you reflected on yours lately?