Establishing healthy rhythms

All of life is a rhythm. Seasons come and go; the sun rises every morning and sets every evening; children are born, grow old, and die.

Like the grand scheme of life, our individuals lives also have rhythms. We wake up every morning, go to bed every night. In between we’ll go to work, or study, or perhaps ferry kids around.  It’s easy to get lost in the repetitive monotony of our day-to-day lives, to be drowning so thoroughly in our duties that we never have the energy to look beyond them.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Rhythms, of course, will always exist. That is simply a part of life. When properly managed, however, they can be healthy – life-giving rather than life-stealing.

A great way to do this is to go on retreats.

My husband and I have wanted to go on quarterly retreats as a couple since even before we were married. But we allowed the frenetic pace of life to overwhelm us, and the quarterly retreats fell by the wayside.

Recently we picked the baton back up again and went on a mini retreat.

It was just a couple of hours, in the afternoon after church one beautiful Sunday. We took our laptops to a beautiful park and took some time to reconnect with ourselves and each other. We reviewed our V2MOMs and renewed our commitment to them. We dreamed about the future and took some time for ourselves.

It was one of the most restful afternoons I’ve had in a long time.

It got me thinking. We joke as a culture about our inability to say no, but that’s not exactly true. We are, on the whole, quite good at saying no…once our schedules have been so crammed that there’s simply no room for anything else.

When you look at things this way, establishing healthy rhythms is really not that difficult. You simply have to put them on the calendar before something else gets there.

We now have 3 recurring events on our calendars – a night in every week, a date night twice a month, and of course our quarterly retreat. They serve as a constant reminder to slow down, to take time for ourselves and each other amid the bustle of daily life.

Since they are already on our calendar, we have the freedom to say “no” to other things that will come in and try to push our priorities out of whack.

Healthy rhythms – time to dream, time to rest, and time to work – are not difficult to establish. But they do require intentionality. How can you be more intentional about creating healthy rhythms in your life this week?

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