Toting around a planner was never my thing. Even in college with numerous tests and papers due, appointments and outings mapped out, a planner always seemed unnecessary and stuffy. I can see the disapproving side-eyes my lovely Type A friends are shooting my way! But in all truthfulness, I could maintain everything, more or less, in my good ol’ noggin.
However, about a year ago, my “by-the- seat-of- my-pants” living finally caught up to me. I realized that I needed more structure in my life (being a mother of three and a busy doula – who’d have thunk!?). Ever since then, I’ve been using a regular old planner from Target, which indeed brought me from the brink of haphazard and forgetful to organized and more mindful.
More recently, I was yearning to kick it up a notch, integrating my spiritual flow into the day-to- day . My sacred meeting my secular, if you will.
Enter the Sacred Ordinary Days liturgical planner!
I’m brand new to this planner/ journal, but already I can tell it will help me even more than the “regular old planner” I once had, and the reason I feel that way is because it has layers, yet is accessible.
Firstly, there is a weekly Examen page.
The examen, for those of you who may not know, is an age-old practice within the Church that encourages prayerful contemplation. There are seven key areas in which to contemplate God’s presence in this section: spirit, body, mind, relationships, home, work, and resources. For each area, there is an opportunity to reflect on the previous week and reset for the coming one. The planner also has a place at the very beginning for a yearly examen reflection, and at the very end for a yearly examen reset; and an examen at the beginning of each liturgical season (we’re currently in the season of Epiphany).
Suffice it to say there is ample reflection throughout this book!
I find this setup beautifully intentional and helpful for me to set and maintain a good rhythm, not just daily, but also as I look to the big picture.
Another beneficial section – and one that I’m particularly excited about – is the Sabbath page.
The rhythm of Sabbath has never come easy to me. Our family’s Sabbath lands mostly on Saturday with a bit of extra “rest “ on Sunday; unfortunately, this time tends to go to chores and getting revved up for the coming week.
Having an entire page dedicated solely to reading, praying, doodling, being inspired through quotes and Scripture, mapping out priorities, encouraging rest, etc. is just what I need to stay firmly planted in one day of complete rejuvenation and repose.
Then for the weekly spreads!
Each week contains the weekly lectionary, flexible journal/ to-do list area, space for daily priorities, a weekly quote, white sections for notes or doodling, and a look-forward to next week’s lectionary.
I’ve always appreciated the lectionary because it’s corporate; knowing other people across the globe are participating in reading the same Scripture is deeply empowering. The weekly lectionary rhythm includes four passages, one each from the Old and New Testaments, an epistle, and a Gospel.
I look at this as so much more than simply jotting down plans for the sake of keeping up, but as an extension of Church, being connected to other believers who are not in my immediate space.
As I said above, this planner/ journal is brand new to me, but I feel confident enough in singing its praises, even if premature. I’ve been heartily filling out the areas that I’m able to today, and I anticipate forging forth.
My Type A friends would be proud of me.
Emili mostly spins the plates of motherhood, marriage, and intentional city-dwelling. When she’s not homeschooling (unschooling? freeschooling? whatever…) her uniquely lovable – and unruly – three boys, she is reading and writing poetry, working as a birth doula, composting, kombucha-ing, practicing her guitar, and attempting to learn French. She is passionate about minimalism (although she does have a penchant for Ball jars and pretty China plates from thrift stores) and she aspires to find the simple beauty peppered throughout the mundane. She feels most connected to God when in nature and will do whatever is necessary to spend at least a handful of mindful minutes outside, barefoot, each morning – even with Wisconsin snow on the ground.