A few weeks ago I bought a new planner on a whim. It had a kickstarter campaign last year and I had followed its development. When they dropped the price, I couldn't resist. It is the Sacred Ordinary Days Planner (here is a walk through of it). I didn't watch the walk through before I bought it - impulsive.
Then I realized it had two flaws:
It is a daily layout and monthly lay out - no weekly.
It only has room for 3 big activities a day.
I almost sent it back. I have a gazillion activities a day! I have to see the big picture. But then I realized that this is exactly what I need. I get so caught up in the big picture, the long term, the "what ifs" that I need a planner that focuses on this day - the present. (This year she did introduce a weekly planner - in case you are interested).
Each day has a quote, a one line prayer (aspirations I think, Andrew Kern talks about these sometimes), the Daily Office Bible readings from the Book of Common Prayer and then space for three big activities (with cue and rest/reward included a la Gretchen Rubins and others). I grew up in a liturgical church so I know about this method of Bible study but I have never been very faithful, If you are faithful, you read most of the Bible in 2 years. Below the Scripture readings is an area for notes and then a "time schedule". I don't use quite like a normal planner but it has become a great tool for reflection.
On Sunday, she has the Lectionary, more quotes (often about Sabbath and rest) and room for reflection. Each Sunday she provides a page for you to reflect and reset in 6 areas of life. If I took Mystie's advice and did it in this journal, things might be amazing around here! She also has room for you to envision, reflect and reset in preparation for each liturgical season. Yes, this is what I want my life to be patterned around!
The most unique part of this planner is that it starts by encouraging you to form a "rule of life" - yes, like a monk. This isn't the first time I've seen this idea (I almost bought A Mother's Rule of Life once upon a time). However, my personality type is drained by the tedious, routine and everyday (so true). Hello - that's the definition of motherhood! (Incidentally, my mother's personality is the exact opposite - she craves routine - so for a long while I lived on her fumes). However, with 4 kids, 10 and under, at some point you have to give in and create some type of rhythm.
As I read about the rule or regula (ruler, path) I found this image to be a bit less "restricting":
Okay, I can deal with a trellis. A trellis doesn't exist for its own sake. It provides the structure and support that plants need in order to help them produce fruit. Maybe this is exactly what I need. I don't think I have been very fruitful and maybe its because I have no structure to support the flower and fruit! A banister is good so that you don't fall off the edges (which I am likely to do some days).
I am still reading other people's "rules" and figuring out what one writer called the "challenging minimum standard" for my life. Oh, and I have found that most days I can't even do my three things without a bit of struggle - so three is more than enough for this season. The daily view helps me slow down and appreciate today. I did like my last planner but it was focused on me. This one is focused on Him and entrusting every day to His care and submitted under His word.
See what others are reading at Ladydusk.