This year at The Practice, we are each doing the work of crafting a personal rhythm of life. A rhythm will begin with a description of the life you desire at the deepest level, the life you long for in your relationship with God, your relationship with self, your relationship with others, and your relationship with the world.
Last night Shauna led us deep into our relationship with self and our belovedness. She started with a statement, “The love of God is the purest nourishment, the precise thing our souls and minds and bodies need in order to do the good work to which we’ve been called” and continued to unpack this statement using the Biblical metaphor of God as a nursing mother (Isaiah 49:15, 66:13, and Hosea 11:3-4). Like a mother, God is powerful, capable, trustworthy, sacrificial, and able to not only nourish but to heal if we allow ourselves “to be nurtured and nourished by a life-changing, soul-altering love.”
Our practice last night was the ancient discipline of breath prayer. I loved hearing how meaningful this practice has been for so many in our community last night. The specific breath prayer we prayed brought the last two weeks together, “God of Love, I belong to you.”
This week, will you join me in committing to two kingdom practices? First, please continue to reflect on the life you desire to live in your relationship with God, self, others, and the world. Specifically, how do you long for the reality of your belovedness to play out in your life? How do you want to be nurtured and nourished by God? Second, will you commit to praying our breath prayer each day this week? Set aside five to ten minutes to repeat the prayer reflectively and continue to pray it throughout the day. (You can find more information on the discipline of breath prayer here.)
We have been speaking a great deal about the first half of a rhythm of life, a description of the life we desire. The second half of our rhythm is the disciplines we will practice; the disciplines that open us to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit so that we can become the kind of people who can live the lives we long for. As you engage these disciplines, pay attention to which ones connect with you and your desires. These are the disciplines we will be looking to include in our rhythms of life.
Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen is both a simple and profound exploration of our belovedness
Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Barton casts a beautiful vision for a rhythm of life.
Crafting a Rule of Life by Stephen Macchia is a practical resource for building a rhythm of life.
God in My Everything by Ken Shigematsu is another wonderful book about rhythms of life
Being Disciples is a short read (and FREE!) about the role of the spiritual disciplines on this journey.
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun is the best and most comprehensive resource for individual disciplines around.