Friday Five: Habits

Here is the prompt from over at Revgals.

Friday Five: Habits

“The weekly church reading group I facilitate has just finished reading and discussing The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. It is a fascinating book with research about business and people’s habits or routines. The author bases much of his book on recent brain research.

Although this is a secular book, our discussions led to greater awareness of God and of mindfulness in our lives. After all, spiritual disciplines are to help us form habits that will foster greater recognition of and living in the ways of  God.

The author writes, “Some habits yield easily to analysis and influence. Others are more complex and obstinate, and require prolonged study. And for others, change is a process that never fully concludes.” (276)

So for this Friday Five, let us look at our habits, both personal and/or in our organizations: ”

1. Good habit(s)?

Maybe this is one of those things you can’t self identify. Can’t come up with one.  I’d like to be a person who has good habits–like waking up early to exercise or someone who practices her cello every day. I can tell you all of my bad habits or lack of habit, but if I have good habits, they are so ingrained, I can’t identify them.

2. Habit(s) you wish to change, add, or delete? Do you struggle with this?

As you might guess from the first question, yes I struggle with this. My husband is great with habits. I admire that from the comfort of my warm bed on dark mornings when he gets up to run.

I would like to write every day and I need to change my schedule to make that work. I think it would go better if I could do it at the same time every day, but the way my schedule is, I’m not sure I’ll be able to swing it.

I took the summer off from cello lessons because I was going to be out of town so much, and we’ve had someone living in our guest room this summer (which is also the cello room) so I haven’t played at all. I want to pick that practice back up.

And I’ve been taking belly dance classes for the past six months and I love it, but the Fall class schedule will not work for me. Alden made the Varsity soccer team at his high school, which is GREAT news and I want to attend as many of those games his senior year as I can swing. And his games are all on the nights of my dance classes.  So maybe I can make it a habit to practice on my own until I can get back to the classes. That’s the plan.

3. Tell a success story about one of your habits.

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Thankful for the good running buddies I’ve had over the years.

When I do something with much success, it usually involves outside help. I ran a half marathon because I had friends who would run with me. I practice my cello because I have a lesson each week. I write because I have deadlines or writing groups.

Anyone want to bike ride with me on a regular basis?
4. Have you noticed different habits or routines that are in churches or where you work?

All of the other churches I have served were larger than Southminster and had bigger staffs, so they had regular staff meetings. I miss staff meetings. They were a great time to strategize, to plan out the year, to talk through worship and education.

I miss that regular collegial relationship in the office. My secretary and I are a great team. She’s been a huge blessing. But I miss having other pastoral colleagues on the same staff. I try to be intentional about meeting with colleagues from other churches, but it isn’t the same.
5. What would you like to become a practice at your present workplace?

I’m in the church office three days during the work week (plus Sunday and evening stuff scattered through it all) and so when I’m in the study, I have a lot of people ‘drop by’, which is fine. I consider that my work day, getting things done between the visits.

So, a part of me would like to have a daily “Marci is reading in her study” time when I wasn’t to be disturbed. But much of my ministry takes place in the interruptions.

I don’t even pretend to write sermons in my church study. Maybe that is one of my better habits. I write my sermons on Fridays in a neighborhood coffee shop. Sometimes I’m still working on it on Saturday, but I often get it mostly done on Friday.

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