RHYTHM: My #OneWord365

2012 was beloved.

2013 was commit.

2014 was devote.

2015 was selah.

And now, 2016 is rhythm.

This past year was all about pausing and praising, slowing down to take it all in, keeping my eyes open and making note of all the goodness and grace around me. Selah was sweet and slow and so good for my soul. I learned how to Sabbath and how to rest and how to savor it all.

Now, rhythm. I've never been good at consistency, at creating habits that stick, at routine. I get sick of things after a few days, even if I loved them while they lasted. I'm not great at establishing patterns in my life, even ones I know are so worthwhile and fruitful. So, rhythm. I need better ones. I want to find a rhythm in my Bible study, in my exercise, in my morning routines and my nighttime rituals.

In music, the best rhythms are steady but always moving and driving onward, they are accompanied by balance, harmony, melodies, rests, repeats, rises and falls. The rhythm is the current underneath it all, pulsing with life and keeping consistent time and keeping all the rest on track all the while.

I need better rhythms.

In setting the state for 2016, I made a list of the words that were resonating with me, trying to find the one word I would settle on for the upcoming year.

INTENTIONALITY.

SABBATH.

BALANCE

SIMPLICITY.

ART.

PRESERVE.

SOLITUDE.

SAVOR.

CONSCIENTIOUS.

They all play into rhythm. I don't want my life to be shallow or rushed or off-kilter. I want a steady rhythm to course through my days so I can savor it all, balance it all, be conscientious and intentional about it all. I want my life to be full of art and to be its own work of art, and I can't do that if I'm constantly hurrying or worrying to scrambling to make things happen.

Slow and steady, pause and praise, remember selah, find your rhythm.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
— Matthew 11:28-30, MSG

Here are some rhythms I'll be starting to put into practice:

  • Yoga in the mornings. I'm queen of the snooze button, I admit it. It's not great for me. My senior year of high school, I took AP Calculus during early bird (before the school day started) and it was the most stressful/awful thing ever...so my parents made me do yoga in the mornings before I went. It meant waking up even earlier than I already had to, but it made a huge different in my stress levels and overall happiness. I want to get back to that instead of just doing yoga randomly.
  • Consistent time reading the Word and writing before work. Again, this sets the mood for my whole day. I've never been a morning person and I've always justified it by saying I'll do it at other times...but I don't. This Advent season, I diligently did my studies in the mornings before work, and it was glorious. I want to keep that up!
  • Social media free weekends. I tried this once this November, and adored it. I'm actually kicking this off with a whole social media free month. Call me crazy, but I'm really looking forward to giving up the beast I have become so obsessed with.
  • Physical activity in the evenings. Last night, I did planks, calf raises, and arm workouts with weights during the intermissions of the Caps game on TV. Even if it's just that, I want to do something to move my body instead of being a couch potato.
  • Reading before bed. Some nights I do, and most nights, I scroll aimlessly on my phone. I have a 70 book goal set for 2016, so I want to use that wind-down time well.
  • A better beauty routine. This may sound silly, but I've always just resorted to using a simple, easy  face wipe in the evenings and called it good enough. My skin is not loving it. So, I took a trip to Lush with some Christmas gift cards and got the makings of a better (and vegan!) face routine. I'm loving it already and expect it will do wonders for my skin.

RHYTHM. May I learn consistency this year, may I learn balance, may I learn diligence and perseverance and how to journey through processes without giving up. May I create routines in these rhythms that are fulfilling and satisfying and meaningful. May they all bring me closer to my Creator and deeper into who He has created me to be.

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