why I created a rule of life

Posted in faith

Two good friends sat across our living room, having just asked how they could pray for me.

“I want to be a deeper person.”

In typical external processing fashion, words of explanation tumbled out: I crave simplicity of passion, sweeter clarity in my life with God and others, ruthlessly eliminating distractions and noise. I long to dig deeper into myself, the shadows and the bright colors, what is whole and what is broken, and uncover every possible layer than can be re-formed to image Christ. I need depth in my knowledge of God through the Bible, and learn to put on and pour out His truth instead of my own. I want depth in my Spiritual fruit orchard, instead of living parched and reaching for habits of patience or joy I don’t have.

All of this sounds marvelous, wouldn’t you agree? Too bad my default way is to live emotionally and mentally small and “spread-thin.” (insert exasperated emoji here)

It makes sense… I’m a Two on the Enneagram. In a run on sentence, this means I tend to give of myself, hoping my Chelsea-ness isn’t too much, to meet as many known or perceived needs as within my power, without considering the consequences.

 

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Enter: creating a rule of life.

A rule of life “serves as a gentle guide that keeps you trained toward God.” Sacred Ordinary Days

My landing pad is a prayer of Paul’s:

“For this reason I kneel before the Father… I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21

Filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? Yes, please!

No one else lives my quirky, God-ordained, unique ‘two space’ life. And I don’t want to waste the days. I can’t expect to grow and be the best made-in-the-image-of-God Chelsea I can be without intentional effort.

Creating a rule of life has helped me prayerfully and practically make decisions that expand my capacity to experience more of Him and who He created me to be.

V I S I O N // desires

to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind;
to support, respect, enjoy, and submit to my husband;
to live grounded in my identity as a beloved of Christ;
to know people and be known by people;
to cultivate a confident life in the presence of God with spiritual habits – prayer, fasting, Scripture, worship

M I S S I O N // who I long to be

An faithful, courageous, thankful woman, resting in grace and bearing Spiritual fruit;
to embrace my position in God’s kingdom, generously sharing His Truth and love with the world;
to prioritize others, practicing God-exalting hospitality, encouragement, and compassion;
to inspire deep faith and joy in God and personal flourishing with my writing

Y E A R  V E R S E // how could I pick one, right?

This word from Paul is special to me – with it is peace and confidence, but also desire, conviction, purpose.

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-11

P R A Y E R // for refreshment, power, mission, identity

“We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14

D A I L Y

Wake up with 30+ minutes of quiet day-prep (prayer, Scripture, journal)
Work – 8 hours
No screens 30 minutes before bedtime
Proverbs devotional book with John
Physical Self-Care: eat colorfully, hydrate well, 6-8 hours of sleep

 W E E K L Y

K-Group meeting
At least one no-television night with John
Exercise 4-5 days a week (run, walk, gym time, spin bike)
Teach Middle School Sunday School
Blog Posting 1-2x/week
Fast One Lunch Hour/Week
Sunday Examen: Journal in morning or evening: Where did I see God working this week? When did I most experience His love for me? What was life-giving for me; what was not?
5 hour block of Sabbath time over the weekend

 B I – M O N T H L Y

  Calendar converation with John
Clean + Organize Most Used Spaces: Kitchen, Bedroom, Laundry Room
Check in with friends
Send a handwritten note
Do something earthy: take my camera with me on a walk, work in the garden (which is still in dream status), anything outside

M O N T H L Y

  Date night with John
Outdoor adventure with John
Dinner with friends or family 3-4x
Lunch with a friend 2-3x
Saturday of no screens

A N N U A L L Y

  Revise rule of life
Vacation (with restoration and refreshment in mind)
Trip (with adventure and exploration in mind)
Wedding anniversary date with John check-in: How have we grown individually and together as a couple in our understanding of God, in our care for those around us, in our calling to live missionally, in our vocations? Affirm, support, listen, care, challenge, keep accountable, pray together for the upcoming year; keep a surrendered heart for one another towards God
Simplify closet (sell, donate, or give away clothes I haven’t thought of in a year)

 

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“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

 

What about you? What drives your decisions? What are others seeing in your life? What is your life producing? What brings you genuine joy?

Do you think creating a rule of life would be helpful for you? Or maybe you already have one… I’d love to hear from you!

If you have any questions, please comment below or email me at heartnatured@gmail.com.

2 Comments

  • Lori Ann Wood

    I love this, Chelsea! Thank you for your honest, insightful words.

    07/19/2018 at 9:35 pm Reply
  • Like all you lovely folks, I’ve got a dream – chelsea eubank

    […] a listening ear cocked to the Holy Spirit, and space to simply enjoy Him. I even created a rule of life to thoughtfully structure my life around loving Him with my entire being and loving others as I […]

    07/30/2018 at 2:02 am Reply
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