Daily Routines Good Habits for a Lifetime

Jump-Start Your Daily Routines and Establish Good Habits for a Lifetime

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and that one is what we are doing.”

Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

When I first read this quote from Annie Dillard, I was up to my fetlocks in raising four sons. What I was doing even reading a book called The Writing Life at that time is a great mystery, but, nonetheless, the words stayed with me like a pebble in my shoe, changing the way I worked and (maybe more crucially) the way I thought about the work I was doing.

For example:

What was I doing when I was hanging little socks and, eventually, very BIG socks on the clothesline?
Answer: I was doing laundry, but I was also praying for the boys who would wear those socks to rags.

How did I survive the monotony of homeschooling and housework?
Answer: I tried (imperfectly) to remember that I was creating a home and a life for the people I love. God is the first and best homemaker, so homemaking is holy work.

Living Our Life in Our Daily Routines

When I launched this blog back in 2015, the rhythms and routines of my life were nothing like the way life works today in my empty nest. With more control of my time (or at least the illusion of control!), it’s even more important to establish good habits as guard rails around holiness and health: a daily walk, consistent sleep, healthy eating, immersion in the Word of God, a practice of prayer.

How are you doing with your daily routines? If it’s true that the way you live your days will also be the way you live your life, how are you living your life?

Approaching the end of another very full year, it’s not unusual to find our commitment to disciplines that started out strong flagging as we lose interest or become discouraged by shorter days, colder temperatures, and the rub of responsibility.

Did you make a commitment to read through the Bible this year? Or maybe a trip straight through from Genesis to Revelation was never your goal, but even the resolve to read something every single day has sputtered out by now.

When I fail to consult with biblical wisdom, my judgment and emotions inevitably go off the rails. I’ve learned that a small daily dose of God’s Word, read with focused attention, is better than a huge gulp, quickly forgotten. When my brain is especially tired, I read aloud, allowing the truth to reach my ears and to linger on my tongue.

Our spiritual disciplines become a spectrum of relating to God at each level: read, study, memorize, meditate. By resting the mind on the things of the Spirit, the gap is bridged between hearing from God and speaking to Him.

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”  

Psalm 119:18

When the psalmist prayed for focused attention and a receptive heart, he was not preparing for a legalistic, mechanical quiet time. He was coming to the Bible in recognition of his need and reaching out to the Great Physician for a prescription to fill that emptiness. Scripture is our daily dose of Truth.

If @DillardAnnie is right (and I think she is!) the way you live your days will also be the way you live your life. So… how are you living your life?

The Daily Routine of a Dose of Truth

Jumpstart the habit of reading a daily devotional with Twenty Encouraging Devotions, a collaboration featuring the luminescent artwork of Krista Hamrick and Beth Willis Miller’s research and faithful ponderings.

Every day, God wants his children to be characterized by our ability to discern truth about God’s character from the sacred text and then to allow what we have learned about God to impact the way we live. This application then splashes over into our dealings with our fellow image-bearers.

A combination of word studies, inspiring stories, and quotations from respected biblical scholars serves the reader first by leading the way into twenty crucial passages, and second, by demonstrating a faithful pattern for future independent study long after the book’s cover has been closed.

P.S. CLICK HERE for my review of Beth and Krista’s first collaboration, Name Above All Names.

The discipline and delight of steady and methodical Bible reading is life-changing. Aiming for a daily goal of ten thousand steps has the purpose of strengthening my body and increasing my stamina, and I’m looking at my commitment to Scripture as more than just a daily reading assignment. It’s a means of revitalizing my relationship with God and deepening my understanding of his works and his ways. It’s not just a checkmark on my daily list. It’s a habit for a lifetime.

Holding You in the Light,

Michele Morin

Thanks to @bethmiller for word studies, inspiring stories, and quotations from respected biblical scholars–and for demonstrating a faithful pattern for future independent study. #bookreview

Free Resource: A Seven-Day Challenge!

Standing on the Fringes of Life

A Seven-Day Challenge of Scripture and Prayer to Pull You Away from the Fringes

I’ve created a seven-day challenge incorporating daily Scripture and prayer to help you begin moving toward the center of a living and powerful walk with God.

Last winter, I memorized John 15:1-8 and was struck and instructed all over again by the truth of God’s intense longing to be in relationship with me. He wants us! No question about it, but so often we behave as if we don’t want him.

Each day’s brief reading from John 15 is an invitation to abide with Christ, to pull away from the fringes and toward his heart. I’m committed to the truth that women can become confident followers of God and students of his word, and it’s my goal to provide resources to help you along that path. Subscribers receive them automatically, and you can receive your copy by simply entering your email and then clicking on the button below…

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Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

16 thoughts on “Jump-Start Your Daily Routines and Establish Good Habits for a Lifetime”

  1. I love the Annie Dillard quote! It’s true, all those little routine things that often don’t seem to make much difference at the time add up to have a big impact in the end. If we put good habits in place we will see the benefits in the future. This is a great reminder!


  2. I *thought* I would have so much more time in an empty nest. I need to figure out where it’s going. That’s one of the difficulties–that our routines need constant adjusting as circumstances change through life.

    By God’s grace. He showed me the importance of daily time with Him when I was a teenager. I started with reading the Bible through in a year, and I am so grateful, because I think that really grounded me. But it became a strain–I didn’t feel I could slow down to “camp out” in certain passages because I had to keep up with the schedule. So I still read through, but at my own pace.

    But then, as you said, even when we establish the habit of spending some degree of time with the Bible every day, we have to struggle against reading mechanically or just “getting it done.” There’s always some distraction or wrong motive or something to deal with. But the plus side is, that keeps us dependent, seeking God’s grace to do His will.


    1. I grinned as I read your observations, Barbara, because the struggle happens at both ends of the discipline spectrum. I guess a holy helplessness is our best defense in which we admit our dependence upon God for any semblance of righteousness in this Christ-following life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am still trying to find the rhythm in my day and week – lots of variables that I cannot order like I could when I was in charge of everyone’s schedule! Time with God always makes the difference, though! Our daily work isn’t just work, is it! We can make it Holy – and that is a good thing! I enjoy my Monday’s here, Michele! Such a sweet time over such good soul food!


    1. That’s such a great point! I had more control of my schedule with toddlers and even babies in the mix because I was the Schedule Queen!
      Now I am learning to bend to the rhythms of OTHER people’s schedules because I want to be helpful–and not controlling!
      Thankful for the sacrament of daily work and the gift of strength to do it.


  4. Those daily good habits and rhythms are so important, yet often so hard to maintain! With God’s help, we keep trying! Thanks for your insights, Michele!


  5. Michele, I’m reading through Psalm 119 right–such a treasure trove of truth about who God is and how His Word brings us life. I’ve managed to hang on to some important daily disciplines this year, while also letting a few time-wasters slip in as of late. I love how the start of a new month (why wait for a new year?) gives me a chance to recalibrate and get back on track.


  6. “God is the first and best homemaker, so homemaking is holy work.” Those are quotable words too, Michele! I’m going to share them with the young parents I know, as the opportunity arises, since the housework generated by little people is never done! Speaking of little people, I wish I’d thought years ago to pray for our children who’d wear the clothes I was hanging on the line. A brilliant use of time otherwise spent on a mindless activity! Thank you, Michele!


    1. I still have wonderful memories of hanging laundry outside while the kids were playing and I was praying for them. SO MANY SOCKS!
      Glad to know that you’ll have the opportunity to encourage the young parents in your circle of influence. That’s really one of the blessings of this season of life, isn’t it!


  7. for some reason, I keep having to jumpstart my routines repeatedly. i don’t know if I’m lazy or a slow learner or what, but I’ve grown to accept and even appreciate this need.

    i think that’s ok. i think He smiles and understands.

    meanwhile I’m enjoying your LinkedIn videos. it’s like an in-person visit (or almost.)

    enjoy a peaceful weekend, friend.


    1. You are my LinkedInspiration, Linda. Speaking of routines, I need some sort of improvement in my routine with social media, so thanks for being my trail blazer.

      And as much as I function according to a routine, something in me resists it, and the word “rut” slides in to taunt me. Isn’t it wonderful that God understands us perfectly?
      And it’s been a peaceful weekend so far, but the party for the kids at our church tonight promises to stir things up A LOT! Calvin and I are Moses and Zippy, dishing out candy and pushing 10 Commandments Bible literacy. (Can’t resist slipping in a little teaching with the chaos!)


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