keeping the hours

Monday, July 16, 2012

I grew up in a family and a church that was full of routines. My mother may not have practiced an official liturgy, but she’s the one who taught me to hem in my days with prayer, with reflection, with the Word. I began the practice of a at-home liturgy, what many call “keeping the hours” or a Daily Office, last year. It immediately felt like home to me. My heart is at rest in this habit; there is no quicker way to settle my soul than sitting down at that appointed hour and praying with the church: worldwide, distributed, yet unified.

It wasn’t until this past week that I recognized how this habit was truly framing my day. I might miss the midday and vesper prayers some days, but I always make it to the morning and evening ones. Every morning, I’m opening my day with this prayer:

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

And every evening I’m closing with this one:

Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see: a Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Every single day I’m committing myself to God’s purposes. Every single day I’m recognizing that I have seen God. I might not feel like I’ve seen Him. It might be one of those weeks where counting the gifts seems like the hardest thing. It might’ve been the worst day in a very long time, but that doesn’t matter. Truth is truth even when I don’t feel it, and every single night I am saying it aloud. Confessing before God and in concert with fellow believers around the world: I have seen the Savior.

I continue to count the places I see Him…

1068. that one precious half-hour per week that my daughter is at peace and completely regulated
1069. ideas to help her function better the rest of the week
1070. no matter who I am, I can trust God
1071. learning Scripture with my kids in the car
1072. quick grocery trips
1073. no matter how I feel, I can trust God
1074. a 5-year-old little boy who sleeps in the bottom bunk
1075. my son’s first mama
1076. getting to be the mama who tucks that 5-year-old boy into bed and kisses his forehead
1077. no matter what people do, I can trust God
1078. no matter what happens, I can trust God
1079. Rock Center with my sister
1080. no matter where I am, I can trust God
1081. kids of all colors and sizes, worshiping God together as friends
1082. a much-needed girls night out, relaxing after a busy, busy week
1083. the hope of saving some money that I thought I would have to spend
1084. cool weather to watch my brother-in-law play football
1085. the awe on my little boy’s face when his uncle comes up to hug him in his full football gear
1086. the most beautiful piñatas ever made
1087. the boys’ anticipation over Brenden’s birthday present – a trip to see the Cincinnati Reds play baseball
1088. instant photo sharing so the mama can see the baseball game happiness even from home

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