The daily activities of getting up, reading the news, eating a meal and thinking about our habits have our bloggers pondering how our ordinary routines reveal bigger truths.

The Thoughtful Pastor, Christy Thomas, is getting a small glimpse of life with a disability or a pre-existing condition, and reflecting on how that changes everything about her daily life.  “Balancing carefully, I hobble down the hall to the bathroom big enough to hold the handicap seat over the toilet.  Later, I can see if my husband can help me deal with the shower challenges or if I need to stick to a sponge bath for my morning grooming routine. Either takes about four times longer than usual; either leaves me worn out and needing rest.”  She dreads the feeling of being unproductive – which, in our culture, means unworthy.  “My lack of productivity bothers me a great deal. Even though my husband lovingly does all I ask, I hate asking.”  Her laborious routine is the result of a recent surgery, but this experience has her wondering about the bigger question of how we provide health care for people who have enduring pre-existing conditions.

A meal in  familiar restaurant has Susannah DeBenedetto  of Tea and Theology thinking about the people who accompany us through the day.  Sitting at her table in a chain restaurant, she looked like she was eating alone, but found herself not really alone.  “In addition to my delicious meal, I was met by loved ones who have shared similar tables with me. I was thankful for the memories…”  She poses a question for all of us:  “This has me wondering where you encounter unexpected memories? Where are you surprised by thoughts of those you love who are gone or far away? And how do you react to those moments?”

If we have enough of it, we don’t think much about food…until it takes on a bigger meaning.  Riffing on the essential pairings of wine and Girl Scout cookies suggested by Thrillist, Jan Edmiston of A Church for Starving Artists reflects on other key combinations.  “During a recent flight, I read The Dinner Party by Stephie Grob Plante in the Southwest Magazine about a real non-profit that organizes dinner parties for strangers who have experienced loss.  This phrase grabbed me: “Food and grief, one of the most consistent pairings in human history.”Most likely, we have all experienced the” consistent pairing” of food and grief.”  As we grieve the sorrows all around us in the world, she suggests another pairing: compassion and cash.  “But there is another life-giving pairing that every single one of us can offer to our neighbors in need.  Please pair your compassion with a financial donation.”  She suggests Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, but any choice you make will help.  If PDA is your choice, you can donate $10 easily by texting PDA to 20222.

Our daily schedule reveals God’s presence, Susan reminds us at Fruitful Words.  She laments her own lack of habits, and then reveals three that add to her days.  Every day, she makes time to “Read…Pray in bed. I am a light sleeper. And the older I get, the harder it is to stay asleep. So quite a while ago I decided that if I woke, I would pray. Sometimes I pray “forever” and sometimes it is only a brief time before I fall back asleep…Movement.”  She asks us: What habits cause you to be grateful? . . . Are you good at having evening and morning habits? . . . Any tips on how I can become more “habitual?”

At Sister Sarah’s Excellent Adventure, Sister Sarah reads the same heart-breaking headlines we do, and spins sorrow into a Haiku prayer.

More bad news today.
Kyrie eleison.
I have had enough.

Wind, flood, fire, fury;
Catastrophic potential.
Death rides a pale horse.

Storm-tossed, not sinking;
weather-beaten, we still trust.
You are our anchor.

As you make your way through the day, getting dressed, preparing food, driving kids around or caring for someone, stopping to read or rest, what are you thinking about?  What graces emerge between the tasks?  What joys reveal themselves to you?

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Rev. Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church of Detroit, a diverse Presbyterian church.  She would like to add more walking to her daily life, and finds her step counter oddly motivating.  She blogs from time to time at Stained Glass in the City.

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.




One thought on “Friday Festival: Small Routines, Big Questions

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