There are two parts of my day that I’ve grown to really love—one in the morning and one in the evening. Each morning at 8:10, we open the front door and head out, as a family, on our daily walk to school. We’re only three blocks away, so it’s a relatively short time together, but I love the opportunity to spend a few minutes in conversation and connection as a family.
There are no distractions or disruptions, just pure, unadulterated presence. We talk and walk, holding hands and playing with the dog—and when we reach the playground, we hug our kids goodbye, wish them a great day, and then lovingly and watch them all the way to the door of the school. On most days I find myself praying them to the door—asking God’s protection over them; praying they will be kids of compassion toward others; powerlessly placing them in the hands of their teachers, while inviting God’s presence over the whole process. It’s sweet and innocent and I fear for the day when our kids are “too old” for such behavior.
The other moment of my day that I’ve grown to love is walking with Annie, our dog, a few nights a week after the girls have gone to sleep. If Annie hasn’t had enough time to run and play during the day, it feels important to get her out to burn off a little energy before bed. And I find these short, half-mile walks to be incredibly peaceful and relaxing at the end of the day. It’s dark and quiet, the stars are out, the wind blowing lightly through the trees—and I often find myself in prayer and gratitude for the day. My mind and breathing slows, my heart and soul are at peace, and the stresses of the day melt away. It’s a beautifully sacred part of my day.
And I say all of this to encourage you and myself to find these moments of serenity, quietness, and prayer more often. Maybe this evening ritual of walking in the dark needs to become daily, for me, rather than just occasional. Especially in our current cultural context, we need to find peacefulness and connection, with God and one another, during this season of chaos and disunity.
So, what are the places and practices of peacefulness for you. What settles your soul at the end of a grueling day? What brings you peacefulness amid a world of pandemic and social unrest? What rhythms always invite you into a posture of prayer? And are you doing those things with regularity and consistency? Are you committed to these practices, even when busyness appears and stresses arrive?
Let’s make sure we are caring for our entire selves during this time where we could easily neglect our health.