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Most households have spoken and unspoken house rules: no running, no slamming doors, take your shoes off, and more. Does your family or household follow any spiritual rules of family/home life—rules or practices that reflect love to and from God? You probably already have routines and rituals you keep, but how can you make those a spiritual “rule” to help you to love God and neighbors or receive God’s love yourself? Can your everyday home life—your chores, your tasks, your comings and goings—be blessings? With some conscious intention and awareness, they can be.
Though the COVID-19 virus might be restricting some of our Lenten gatherings, some of the hygiene practices could easily coincide with Lenten practices. Instead of singing the Happy Birthday song twice while washing hands, what if, instead, we prayed the Lord’s Prayer, or the Prayer of St. Francis, or any prayer for 20–30 seconds? If intentional rest, stillness, solitude, or sabbath is a practice you’re taking on in Lent, you might embrace working from home instead of feeling confined. How do we offer our presence to a person without touching or even physical proximity? Maybe this will encourage better eye contact, more smiles, or more thoughtful texts. Just as routines can become holy rituals, rules can become gifts.
This Week in WCL
Through the eyes of the woman at the well (John 4:5–42, part of today’s readings), consider the sometimes transformative nature of deep conversations, even—or especially—when they break the rules. Can we find space for courageous conversations in our families?
Remember the 10 Best Ways from last week? Print and cut out the 10 Best Ways heart puzzle. It's divided into the three parts under which each of the 10 best ways can fall: love God, love neighbors, God loves us. On the back, write some rules of family life that reflect those three ways of being present to God at home and in the world.
- The Rule of Family Faith: Practicing the Presence of God in Our Outward Lives by Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore — Drawn from her book In the Midst of Chaos: Care of Children as Spiritual Practice, in which she explores how parents might use seven daily practices, such as play, reading, chores, and saying goodbye or goodnight, as rich opportunities to shape both parent and child morally and spiritually
- Developing a Personal Rule of Life workbook from Practicing The Way
- Relationships worksheet from Practicing The Way
- A mindfulness reading list from Second Breath
- DIY children’s prayer beads — Young children can slide a bead to count, for multistep tasks, or as they pray for people. Older children can slide a bead for each part of the five-finger prayer, for phrases in The Lord’s Prayer, for people by name, or for each deep breath.
- A Lenten playlist compiled by Kyle Oliver