What Are You Disciplined To?

Pink flowers.

Lately I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the choices we make and the usefulness of commitments and boundaries. Want to think along with me about this for a few minutes?

I’ve shared here before that Kirk and I have begun honoring the seventh day of each week with a day of rest. This has been so helpful to us (when we’re able to keep our commitment to it!), as it helps us slow down and attend to the rejuvenation of our bodies, minds, and spirits. It creates a natural day of connection for us. It keeps us humble and mindful that the world will not stop spinning if we don’t keep pace with it. 

Last week, we began moving toward another new commitment: keeping the hours of 9PM-9AM for quietness and togetherness in our home. 

There was a time in my life where I would have viewed these kind of commitments as rigid.

I would have viewed making and keeping an informal “rule of life” as opposed to the grace of God. I would have felt myself and my needs minimized in favor of rules and rule-keeping. 

But I don’t view it that way anymore. 

Sure, there is a way of making and keeping rules that can be rather rigid. There is a way of conducting our lives according to certain boundaries and expectations that create a sense of confinement instead of grace and freedom. 

But there is also a way of creating a lifestyle of commitment and boundaries that leads to self-care.

The day of sabbath and the 9PM-9AM quiet hours is like that for us.

These commitments also have the effect of clearly establishing our priorities and keeping us mindful of what most matters to us. Also, I’ve noticed these clear boundaries create a measure of freedom for me. They make decision-making easy. When something crops up that would require me to work and toil on a Sunday or in the hours we’ve designated for our home life, I can more easily say no. Those are times I’m no longer available. Decision-making: easy. 

What about you? Do you have certain disciplines you observe in your daily life? Do they create freedom for you? Do they make you feel caged in? Is there a way you might observe certain disciplines in a more helpful, self-caring way in your life?