I awake a bit before seven most days. Tuesday mornings happen to be one of my earlier mornings in the week - and while Guy remains sleeping, I quietly make my way to the bathroom. After almost a year in our home I've almost mastered which floorboards to step on and which to avoid to ensure the quietest steps. I've always been inclined to brush my teeth and wash my face before I do anything for the day. A quick and extra hot shower is all I need to feel awake on these cold February mornings. My hair dryer and straightener currently rest on a stack of boxes waiting to be moved in the guest bedroom, the space I've been getting ready in for over a year. I can't help but smile at the disarray and silly routines we've established in this old home of ours (with no outlets to be found in the bathroom). Breakfast is most often oats with a dash of cinnamon and blueberries on top in the winter, eaten while reading through my Lent Devotional and pages of scripture splayed out before me. The day begins in stillness and silence.
As Guy starts getting ready for his day, my commute into work ranges anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on traffic. On this particular morning it was closer to 15 and I arrived on campus with enough time to settle into the campus ministry office and gather my thoughts for my morning appointments. Around 8:00am two of the women I lead join me in the office. We've been studying the Holy Spirit all year and today we finished our study by talking about the trinity and the Holy Spirit's role in relationship to the Father and the Son. As often happens, we run long in our discussion and time spent praying, and just as soon as the women arrive, they are on their way to their first class of the day.
By 9:15 I am once again the only one in the office and take a moment to review my calendar for the day and tasks to be completed. I take the next hour to respond to emails, review for my upcoming discipleship appointment, and prepare for bible study to be held later in the week. I view these quiet and productive moments as sacred in my week. Without them I'm not sure I would function well in the capacities that campus ministry requires of me.
With 10:00am comes the rhythm of throwing on my winter gear to go move my car into another two-hour parking space. Campus happens to be in the heart of downtown and parking is always a bit of a challenge. It's bitterly cold today and the wind takes my breath away with each step. Normally I finagle a quick reverse and pull forward to ensure another two hours, but today I pull out and around the block - allowing the cold of the steering wheel to penetrate my hands. I return to the campus ministry office once parked and finish up my correspondence and tasks for my morning. Guy in the meantime is at home during these morning hours. He spends his Tuesday mornings preparing for upcoming talks, prepping the bible studies he leads on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and reviewing his materials for his afternoon discipleship appointments. His quiet and productive mornings are my meeting filled mornings, only to be reversed in our afternoon schedules.
For the next hour I connect with another student, a freshman. We've been reading through a wonderful book and workbook called "The Search for Significance" and on this Tuesday we are discussing the word Regeneration. We walk through passage after passage in scripture exploring what was true of our old selves and what is true of our new selves now that we are in Christ. I was particularly excited during these meeting to hear how the Lord has been breaking down the barriers that have for so long prevented her from experiencing the fullness of her identity in Christ. We laughed a lot during this meeting, praised often, encouraged one another, and we prayed. I always will be humbled by our time together and challenged to wonder if I am learning more from this content than my student.
I commute back home around the noon hour and take a break to have lunch with Guy. It just so happens that a building is being demolished across the street and we pause before lunch to watch the process - like two small children we are mesmerized by the machinery and crumbling of walls. We couldn't help but wish our nephews were here to watch alongside us. We eventually step away from the window, prepare our lunches (which were leftover avocado chicken salad and brussel sprouts) from the night before, and took a moment to debrief one anothers mornings. Recently we've spoken often about Guy's possible transition into taking some seminary courses. Over lunch he shared excitedly about this new season of life, about the application process, and as discussions often eventually return to, the finances or rather budget we're looking to maintain as we prepare for this upcoming change.
We continued to plug away on projects we're planning, bible studies we're leading, and upcoming discipleship appointments. Currently our dining room table has become our office of choice in the midst of all the boxes and now freezer residing in the office and guest bedroom.
Guy takes off for campus around 2:00pm each Tuesday. He and one of our senior students have been meeting since late fall. They've been going through a workbook together to prepare students for life after graduation. It's a conversation we start with students their freshmen year, "what does it mean to be a sent one?" and by senior year we start to put practical steps in place with our students - things like budgeting, relationships, mission statements, kingdom vision, and personal development plans. I pull back from my campus responsibilities on Tuesday afternoons and switch into my operations role for our metro team. With a large event coming up and a new website launching, I spend my afternoon hours preparing, coding, and designing for the two elements. It's divinely quiet in the house as I work this afternoon at our dining room table - with nothing but the radiators soft hissing in the background (once the construction workers all go home that is).
Still coding, designing, and planning while Guy continues to meet with students on campus.
I reach as far as I can in the designing and coding of our new website and event registration system just as the sun is setting for the night. While the days are increasingly growing longer, 4:30pm still feels quite early for the days brief daylight to set. Per usual I close down my work email and projects, take a 5-minute sweep over the table, tidy the papers splayed across my workspace, and prepare my bag for the morning. Guy steps through the door just as I finish. We of course first admire together the progress of the demolition outside before settling in to recap one anothers afternoons.
Time always feels pinched on Tuesday evenings and I try my utmost to keep dinner plans simple and nourishing. The Bose Bluetooth plays the country top 100 playlist in the background (to which my husband and I cannot help but laugh at the silliness of so many of the lyrics) while I prepare our dinner. Tonight it was sweet potato hash with peppers and eggs. We've been exploring new ingredients to make our former favorite comfort foods healthier and more nourishing. Last nights Chicken Salad (using avocado as the base rather than mayo) was a hit. And while I'm quite the fan of sweet potatoes, Guy is still growing in expanding his palate to include sweet potatoes. We ate dinner on the sofa while catching up and re-watching an old episode of Lost - and that's how dinner most often looks at this stage in our life.
We do almost nothing but lounge together for the next hour - re-watching old episodes of Lost, reading our current novels, and simply browsing our favorite sites on the web - mine usually leads me somewhere into blogland, while Guys' lands frequently on ESPN.
The car was parked on the street and it took all we had to bundle back up into our winter gear and drive back to campus for the evening. Our students hold a weekly meeting each Tuesday night and tonight we heard from a pastor, actually the pastor of the church Guy and I attend. This evening looks like the college version of youth group as you were growing up - worship, speaker, activities that follow. We arrive early, along with our fellow staff and student leaders, to help with setup and greet new students. This is both one of my favorite and most stretching nights of the week - feeling both filled to the brim with joy after so many conversations and socially exhausted after so many conversations.
The weekly meeting begins. Our students and staff take the next hour to worship, learn more about the latter prophets, and pray together.
More mingling with students, take-down from the meeting, and staying until each student has gone before hunkering back into our now cold car for the drive home.
By now we're finally home and done with work for the day. We waste no time getting ready for bed together. In our small bathroom, where the day began, we have this oddly funny nighttime routine to prepare for bed. I brush teeth while he washes his face, we swap roles and places, and eventually take to the kitchen to fill water bottles, pack lunches for Wednesday, take our vitamins, turn off lights, start the dishwasher, and finally as Guy does every night, confirm that we're all locked in. By the time we're laying in bed, both exhausted, yet wired from the evenings activities, we stop to talk about our days, share our plans for the next, and of course any of share those zany ideas that always come to mind just as you're laying in bed.
This post was inspired by Rhonda Mason's work documenting the weekly and daily rituals of her young family. Part of my goals in 2015 is to document these seemingly insignificant moments that make up every moment of our lives. I wish to periodically capture shots of our days, like today, and compile them at the end of the year into our 2015 Family Album. To learn more about Rhonda's work and thoughtful tips on documenting your life you can visit her personal blog The Shoemaker's Daughter and her professional site Life-Captured Inc.
I'm always curious to learn from others, how are you documenting your family in 2015?