light berrieDo you have any rituals?  Little things that are constants throughout your day that seem to keep the currents of your life flowing. I was thinking about the things in my day that have become ritualistic.  I wake everyday to Willow kissing my cheek and saying she loves me and then Lily climbs in next to me for hugs, encouraging me to make her breakfast.  No matter what the day looks like, I step onto the back porch and let the air and the light pour into my lungs and through my skin while I wait on my tea kettle to whistle.  Using the slow kettle keeps me outside longer. It gives me time to see the sun shine through the leaves and illuminate the silhouettes of the crepe myrtles’ smooth limbs. The breeze lifts my hair and sensation washes over me, my feet firmly planted on the sun-bathed wood of the deck.  I can smell the dew on the grass as I listen to the robin coaxing worms to the surface in an absurd tap dance.

My hands ache, especially when cold.  The warmth seeps through the ceramic of my favorite mug as I sip my tea and the relief flows hot through my palms and into my wrists. This small little ritual begins my day.  It soothes my hands and my soul.  If I didn’t have my hot tea, my hands would ache too badly to write in my study journal and they would ache to badly to paint.  My day begins with hot tea and prayer and my day ends with coffee and prayer.  I tuck in my babies with a hot mug in my hands, thanking Jesus for His grace and praying for their hearts. Then, I steal away to drink my coffee with Daniel.  These two rituals ground me; they tether me to reality and my calling.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

It’s curious to me that anything I truly value is faced with a hot mug in my hand.  Studying the Word, painting, visiting with a friend, reading to my children, writing, and prayer are all moments you will find me in arm’s reach of a steaming mug of bliss.  These are all moments that Jesus feels close, too. Without Jesus in my most important moments, my heart aches with a deep throbbing of emptiness, much like my hands without their warmth.  When I strive to parent without God, or rely on my own ability as an artist, or push Him out of a conversation and give in to gossip, those things become hollow and void of all purpose.  The heat of the cup gives life to my hands, and Christ gives life to my soul.



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