Week 1 Day 2: A Precious Gift

Week 1: Rule of Life & Rhythm of Nature
Workbook Exercise: Other Garden Plots

Watch: Week 1 Day 2: A Precious Gift
Why write and keep a Rule of Life?
Answer: Click here to write your answer.
Share: Invite and join with others #GrowRule

Transcript of Video:

Some of you may be asking, “Why have a Rule of Life at all? Why go to all the trouble?” I am reminded of a well-known poem by Mary Oliver called The Summer Day, and at the end of it, she asks a question. She says, “Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” So, in a sense, a Rule of Life – that’s the plan; it’s the plan for what you do with that precious gift. I also begin with the understanding, with the sense that life itself is a very precious gift that we have been given by God. So the Rule is what we plan to do with that very precious gift.

So a Rule may be a way of intentionally enhancing our lives in some way, a way of cherishing this wonderful gift that we’ve been given. I think sometimes if somebody gives us a gift their hope is that we are going to not only use it – we’re not going to lock it away someplace, we are going to use it. We’re also going to care for it and cherish it and value it, but we’re also going to enjoy it. So another example comes to mind: let’s say somebody gives me something really nice like, let’s say, one of those fancy Italian sports cars. If they give me a gift like that they’re hoping I don’t put it away in the garage and close the door, but I’ll take it out, I’ll care for it, keep it nice and shiny, and I’ll actually enjoy taking it out on the road, at least once in a while. So the Rule of Life is our plan for making the most of this very precious gift that we have been given. Living life to the fullest.

- Br. Mark Brown


  1. Lisa Plorin on May 31, 2023 at 21:15

    Keeping a Rule of Life keeps me closer to God and in this relationship I’m able to maintain a relatively peaceful life – even with the distractions all around me.

  2. Jaden on March 28, 2023 at 17:26

    On the surface, writing a rule of life helps with memorizing and practicing it. But beyond this, taking the time to write a rule of life shows us simply making a plan to live life to the fullest in God’s presence.

  3. Faith O. on October 14, 2021 at 18:08

    Writing a Rule of Life will help a person be centered and open to God’s will and ways. It will help us to be focused, be able to discern, and help navigate us during times of trials and even help with minor irritations. I see a Rule if Life to help not just in moments of uncertainty and strife, but it helps us take time out if our busy schedules to be in the present moment.

  4. Michelle on May 16, 2020 at 13:54

    I think at this time in my life the temptation is to slow down. I don’t think slowing down is a problem. I have recently turned 65 and I know retirement is on the horizon and I welcome slowing down. But how will I slow down? I could sleep more and do whatever I feel like whenever I feel like. I think that would not be fulfilling nor would it be the right thing to do for me. So in order not to lose sight of what matters and what is life giving for me, a rule of life will be a guide or plan to help me not loose sight of these things and avoid wasting or loosing focus in my last years, the last season of my life so to speak.

    • Chioma Nwaogu on January 5, 2021 at 18:39

      I want to write a rule of life to guide me on the path of knowing and living a better life with God, others and creation in general. It will be my step by step rhythm of a dance with God.

  5. Richard Fleming Stutz on December 31, 2019 at 09:53

    The old saying that “A goal not written down is only a wish not acted upon” is quite appropriate here. The instituting a rule of life is a desire to be more mindful of the beauty of a life lived out intentionally in faith and worship to Jesus Christ.

  6. Daniel on April 30, 2019 at 20:03

    Enjoyment is a vital aspect of a rule of life for me. Too often, I’ve approached it as “work to be done,” or have continued in certain spiritual practices for fear of losing a connection to the divine. But I’ve found when I approach the practices from a deep-seated *love* for God rather than tasks to be completed – as a way to commune with God actively and consciously – the enjoyment of God (and others) follows.

  7. Deborah McGee on March 9, 2019 at 18:36

    Just last night, I was with a group of women and we spoke of ‘operating instructions.’ What were ours? And how did we think they might compare with those God has for us. Listening to this first message asking ‘why a rule of life’ was actually my second time listening to it. I had made this Lenten journey with SSJE a few years ago. I don’t think I understood at that time the ‘why’ or the ‘how.’ I now understand the importance of one as my days increase and my view of each day stretches beyond the 24 hours and my present environment. I have not been as responsible in the past as I know the giver of this precious life would like for me to be. Tomorrow is a new day and I will awake with joy and awareness of the fullness of my time here.

  8. Carrie on March 5, 2019 at 12:30

    I am looking to create a Rule of Life to establish some order to my life. To find time to spend with God, not to be wasteful of time. I will also incorporate guiding principles of how to live my life–kindness, caring, speaking thoughtfully and not rashly.

  9. Bryan Cook on March 4, 2019 at 10:33

    As parents of a child who is now paying the enormous price of loss of physical and mental health due to rape and heavy drug and alcohol addiction, we can only have one rule : be lovingly patient and caring……our time is really not our own, our retirement dreams are gone. Our faith in God is sorely tested to the extent that my partner rejects any religion. I use the Lord’s Prayer and the Serenity Prayer to keep me grounded.

    • Kleo on March 6, 2019 at 07:42

      When tested my prayer is this: Dear God, please take over my life.
      I say this prayer several times a day, when I need to make a decision or if I am in any difficulty.

  10. Sharon on March 4, 2019 at 07:44

    Rule of Life: Keep a balanced life approach. To take the time for daily prayer, meditation, spiritual growth and to learn, during that process, how I may bring Christ to others.

  11. Brenda H on January 25, 2019 at 10:29

    I began writing a Rule of Life when SSJE first offered these materials as part of a Lenten journey. I was looking for a way to organize, simplify and bring order to a stressful, over-busy and sometimes chaotic life. I have long been drawn to monastic traditions and spiritual practices. I was and am looking for a way to slow down, to “regularize” daily life as a way to focus, be more intentional, more mindful, and to find balance in a world that pulls us in to many directions at once… a work full of distractions.

    I am working now on revising my Rule, to take it a step deeper. I am looking to integrate it more into my daily consciousness and practice.

    For me, I think the quest to be guided by a living Rule of Life is in ways an antidote to having become “burnt out” by the busyness of parish life. Serving on committees, leading formation, being a leader in my parish, diocese and the wider Church has all been part of my vocation, called by God to evangelize, lead others to their vocations and strive for social justice.

    Now I feel God calling me to a quieter ministry in the 2nd half of my adult life. Taking up this work of creating and following a Rule of Life is leading me into a different part of life in Christian Community. I sense that am being led into a life of prayer, meditation and contemplative practice. I remember many years ago, when I first encountered the Sisterhood of St Margaret, being amazed and encouraged by the idea that there were people in the world whose vocation was to pray for the world, pray for others, and pray in praise of God. I look forward to taking up this Rule again in the context of a monastic retreat, to see where the Holy Spirit is leading next.

  12. Annette C. on October 1, 2018 at 22:47

    My rule of life, at this time in my life, is to steer myself away from what does not do good for others. Giving back in gratitude for the gift of strength I’ve been blessed with in the face of great sorrow,. In thanksgiving for the gift of being able to love after betrayal, and in humility for my life’s treasures. Giving back is now my rule of life.

  13. Debbie Golwas on August 28, 2018 at 17:01

    As a retired trauma nurse, I followed a specific set of rules just for the treatment of a trauma patients. Therefore having a written rule of Life makes sense to me. The first step in the writing the Rule of Life is to state exactly what is my goal, what am I trying to achieve. Once stated, on paper, I can list, expand, revise, and revisit as often as necessary so that my goal may be reached to the best of my ability. I have no control of the final outcome but I do know for certain that God is my stabilizer and His love is constant. So, I will continue along with my Rule of Life.

  14. David Watkins on November 9, 2017 at 08:37

    Many people keep journals of their thoughts and reactions to life’s daily demands. The Rule of life helps me to constantly hold my thoughts and behavior to a standard which I have set for my daily progress toward a closer relationship to God.

  15. Richard A Dixon on August 14, 2017 at 12:09

    I readily accept that this life is a precious gift, given by God. He also gave us free will to chose how we live it. Many of my choices have been wrong or foolish – or not even my choices at all. Sadly I’m a slow learner, but in the twilight of my life I have come to see Rule of Life, and its application, as a means of helping me to take control of my life, to draw closer to God, and my neighbour. Praise the Lord!

  16. Marcia C McLaughlin on May 30, 2017 at 14:48

    I need a rule of life so that I am not overcome by the stresses of the world. I seem to have moved away from those practices that have helped me in the past, so I’m hoping this will help me reestablish my rule of life.

  17. Andre on May 22, 2017 at 08:55

    I want a Rule of Life to guide me in my journey to God and to enjoy life. I’ve been far too depressed, far too sad, far too lonely and far too unhappy for the past five years. I don’t think this is what God planned for me.

    • Nancy on May 24, 2017 at 19:12

      It sounds like you’re already on the path God wants you on to change your life to one of joy! Praying for your success, Andre.

      • Andre on May 25, 2017 at 08:31

        Thank you so much! Your prayers and your encouragement mean so much to me! Thank you for taking the time to write back!

        • Nancy on May 25, 2017 at 18:26

          It’s never too late to make a new beginning with God’s help. Hang in there, Andre!

  18. One Wild and Precious Life | CHARIS on April 11, 2017 at 08:13

    […] [2] “Growing a Rule of Life: Why write and keep a Rule of Life?” https://ssje.org/ssje/2016/01/25/why-write-and-keep-a-rule-of-life […]

  19. Nancy on March 21, 2017 at 10:23

    I have lived too carefully in some ways. Looking at a Rule of Life for myself with open eyes and heart will help me not squander this precious gift.

  20. Stan Lewis on February 9, 2017 at 11:06

    I have heard it said that our lives are God’s gift to us; what we do with it is our gift back to God. In that context, we should be good stewards of what we have been given. To make the most of our lives, we must have order and structure so that we can flourish. Nature, even the Universe, has order and structure. Therefore, a plan for our lives is only natural.

  21. Jaan Sass on August 29, 2016 at 09:05

    This is something I have understood for a long time. My problem has been making the Rule to complex and doing nothing. I start out with good intentions but with enthusiasm sometimes I get carried away and it all falls apart.

  22. Jaan Sass on July 21, 2016 at 09:04

    I have written a couple rules for myself all I have not kept but never from the perspective of life is precious. All of them were ways to fill time in a Godly manner but we’re outwardly focused. I have a hard time seeing my life as precious.

  23. Linda on May 13, 2016 at 11:15

    I N E E D I T ! I need it for stability of mind, maturity, use of resources and time, for more intimacy and happiness with God and man.

  24. Todd Hartman on February 27, 2016 at 08:11

    To help others, but not give everything of yourself up. We are all part of the cosmic soup, however we do each have our own unique flavor and texture.

  25. Mir on February 26, 2016 at 13:47

    For me, this is about revising my rule of life to intentionally reexamine it for application to myself – the things I promised to do/be for others, I must do/be for *me*, or I’m out of balance. I must be sanctuary for myself. I must worship for my own good, not simply to help others worship. I must I must serve my own wellbeing and not neglect it in the service of others. I must heal myself and not harm myself in the attempted healing of others. I must fellowship with those whose spirits feed me, and not just those whose spirits I feed. More balance in all of these things, you see.

  26. Donna on February 22, 2016 at 22:45

    Writing it helps transform good intentions into actions

  27. Jeannie on February 19, 2016 at 23:09

    Writing it down clarifies it and makes it real, which hopefully makes it easier to keep.

  28. John B on February 19, 2016 at 15:26

    I believe that writing accesses a more reflective part of my brain, so the first reason to write the rule is that it is like to result in a rule that comes from a deeper place within me. Reflecting on the rule before adopting it also gives me the opportunity to create one that is richer and more robust. A written rule also has more solemnity, more seriousness. Finally writing the rule provides as a touchstone or reference point that can be referred to in future, which will help with following it.

  29. Allene on February 18, 2016 at 08:32

    We should always be consistent in what we do

  30. Debbie on February 17, 2016 at 15:00

    Some people need to see it on the wall. Do unto others. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Wipe you feet when entering. Take your shoes off you are on holy ground. Kneel when you first come to church. I feel my soul is always kneeling. That I am always treating people as I would be treated. I never wear shoes in the house and are always barefooted and lastly I am in constant conversation with God. So to kneel puts God in one place when God is every place.

  31. Bob Smith on February 16, 2016 at 21:06

    Writing is the first sign of commitment. I can look at what I have written , see if I have kept the rule, judge if it has been beneficial, and change it for the better.

  32. CH on February 16, 2016 at 19:09

    How can I harvest a garden if I don’t know what I have planted? How do I know what to plant so that It will grow well? How can I build a home without a plan?. For me , a plan is essential to keep me on task, working towards my goal. Surely, plans can change because of wrong decisions made or other circumstances. Yet, having a plan helps me deal with with the driving desire – How can I grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ?

  33. Vicki on February 15, 2016 at 22:38

    For me the reason to write a rule of life is to slow down plan and be intentional and mindful of how I choose to spend my time my life and my love. To find a way of living that gives structure purpose faith and time for communion with my family friends congregation and with God.

  34. Margaret on February 15, 2016 at 15:15

    Having a rule of life will keep me centered on what I am doing with this previous life. It will support me and give me something to fall back on if needed. The rules can be a place of rest and restoration then the courage to go on knowing I am supported in the arms of God.

  35. Margaret on February 15, 2016 at 12:27

    I need a program to live by that provides me the opportunity to enjoy and take advantage of my gifts, (talents, personality, aspirations ) and share them with others. I am also learning to appreciate gifts from others with more humility and less selfish expectations in return for something I have done.
    If someone has given me a precious gift, like a new house, it is my responsibility be grateful, to maintain it, and enjoy my time there. Spread the joy!! I will always have to work at keeping it “clutter free”!

  36. Rick Woollacott on February 15, 2016 at 09:13

    A rule of life helps give me a direction to follow. God is the direction to follow and the bible has the answers.
    Very simply, do we want to get our direction from the world or from God?

  37. Eugene Wright on February 14, 2016 at 23:09

    An old saying goes, ” a faint writing is better than the smartest brain” So its absolutely mandatory that ones rule of life be written down. However, just writing it does is not enough. It should be looked used regularly. It should be checked routinely and improvements made to it and or reduced as you progress in your journey through Life.

  38. susan zimmerman on February 14, 2016 at 20:16

    …why write…writing is a gift and many cannot conjugate the verb “to be.” …learning the ancient languages makes one understand their own language…and enables one to read the Scriptures, which can open horizons. Words create!

    Writing a Rule…one cannot seek what they do not know so if you’re seeking something you must already know something about it otherwise you could not seek it!

  39. Stan on February 14, 2016 at 17:56

    Thank you for assembling this Compilation. My first email came on Ash Wednesday, so I never saw these first four lessons. Their substance is in the workbook, but actually seeing them now as “prequels” helps me to understand the whole thing better.

    I must admit that I have a strong tendency to be “disobedient” … that is, I practice the premise that some rules are made to be broken. That doesn’t mean that I am a lawless, problematic troublemaker; just a bit of a maverick with a healthy touch of disregard for rules and regulations which I feel are unnecessarily.

    That being said, I find the idea of crafting (or growing) a rule of life intellectually interesting. Yes, I believe that those who make a plan and act upon it are the ones who accomplish things, but I also believe that one must be flexible and (at least sometimes) spontaneous in your endeavor to accomplish your goals. And, you know what? That sounds to me like a pretty good way to lead your life. Perhaps a rather simple rule to follow, and this is a rule which is absolutely reasonable, if not actually respectable. Nobody telling you what to do here at all … except you, and … God within yourself.

  40. Elizabeth Ann Nagy on February 14, 2016 at 12:10

    Because of my age and I have so many things going on I my life I need a reminder

  41. Debbie McMahon on February 14, 2016 at 08:19

    A written rule of life reminds me to be intentional with m life, not to while away my days without asking God to guide and direct me to my larger purpose.

  42. Sophfronia on February 13, 2016 at 21:04

    Brother Mark couldn’t have said it any better. I agree a rule of life, my rule of life, will be the plan for what I do with this wild and precious gift. I love all the fullness and potential this thought entails. It makes me excited to get started.

  43. Tal Day on February 13, 2016 at 16:16

    I see a chicken/egg problem here. A rule of life should support one’s purpose or calling, or more generally, what one expects will make for a good life.

    For me this is an ongoing challenge. I believe that my search has been informed by both progress in social science and by the insights I continue to get from reflections on scripture, e.g., the essay on gifts of the holy spirit in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. As my sense of purpose and calling evolves, my sense for how to live in furtherance of that purpose evolves as well.

    • Catherine on February 15, 2016 at 13:03

      Your comment was helpful because it helped me think about why I’m resistant to writing out a Rule of LIfe. I’ve written out Rules of Life before, and it seems like I then have a list of things that just frustrate me because I don’t always accomplish what I’ve set out to do in the Rule, or that what I’ve written down feels constrictive. Like you, my life has been informed by many insights and experiences, and now I’m thinking that my rule of life is simple–as each day unfolds, I seek to be aware of God’s presence and guidance throughout the day. And that presence and guidance may have to do with my purpose or calling, or it may be calling me beyond my current purpose. So yes, I agree about the chicken and egg problem.

  44. Bobbi on February 13, 2016 at 16:16

    My rule is to love God and to love my neighbor as myself.
    Writing my rule will help me be clear about what I am committing to; sharing it will help me keep the rule. I’m looking forward to planting what I need in my love garden.

  45. Elissa on February 13, 2016 at 11:45

    Why write. To help remind yourself on the goals, direction and commitment you are making. Also to asee as your work and see your changes. And to see where Grace touches you

  46. Dave Stevens on February 13, 2016 at 11:02

    I want to write and keep a rule of life in order to remind myself of all the blessings God has given me. I will cherish and use these gifts in order to serve God and my fellow human beings.

  47. Henry Marion on February 12, 2016 at 19:15

    Kind of like rope, a rule of life is a steady strand that looms the work, my life’s meaning into a garment of hope that covers the landscape nearly exactly as I am growing; rather, it is I who am tugging, feeling, pulling away the strand from a scene that is always already woven, making sublime and curious claims to my own.

  48. gwedhen nicholas on February 12, 2016 at 14:49

    We need to grow and keep a rule of life in order to keep us on the right path; the path that God has planned for each one of us alone, from the very beginning of time. We are supported by a rule and given boundaries, which free us rather than hem us in. Boundaries which give us joy.

  49. Bertita Graebner on February 12, 2016 at 12:22

    She says, “Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” — Mary Oliver —
    I am personally engaged in what I have coined/named: A Restorative-LifeReview: That cycled through to an optimally useful Restoration – I begin my ‘Regula-21 Day/Plan’ to tweak (- sense #2 – improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to that system) my wherefore/whyfore to a comfortable workability in order to do: Live what I value and do what I intend, always rechecking back to evaluate effect, that that is so. In short: Amen – Make that so.

  50. Amy on February 12, 2016 at 09:52

    In fear I withdraw from rules, afraid that they will prohibit me from enjoying all that life may offer, all that comes my way or that I may seek out.

    This study is causing me to turn my mind to the benefits of rules, specifically a rule of life. Wondering how to shape my trellis, how to design it so I do not have to turn down invitations to enjoy this life because it’s time to practice my rule. Wondering if there’s a way to not have a rule be time dependent. Maybe have it be more nature of event based. At times of eating / consuming be grateful and show that thankfulness by ______. At times of giving do so with a heart of love and respect, standing beside the person receiving. At times of study, pray for an open mind, steady awareness, insight and passionate questions. The list goes on.

    It seems it might turn my life into a whole series of events with God present, that every moment could be my time with God.
    Do I need to have those events set to a schedule? Do I need to have a dedicated daily time for devotion and prayer?

  51. Kelli Gotthardt on February 11, 2016 at 10:31

    I have always lived as if this were a “wild and precious life.” But, as I get older I find that I can’t possibly do or cherish or enjoy everything. In an age of over-choice there must be a larger, guiding rule that gives purpose and intention to my choices. My no’s and my yeses.

    • susan on February 12, 2016 at 02:43

      As I have gotten older (now retired at 63) I feel that I have so many things pulling me in different directions, so many interests, so many distractions – not enough hours in the day…but I want my life to be firmly grounded in my relationship with God and I think developing a Rule of Life will help me grow in my spiritual life

  52. Lizbeth Videau on February 11, 2016 at 07:59

    It has often occurred to me that my life cannot best described as a wonderful gift but rather as boot camp without drill instructors and with skills to be learned and refined for better use, further refinement after life.
    A rule of life will hopefully become a kinder, clearer look at relationships (all of ’em) and a less reactive, more consciously intentional approach to my responses.

  53. Jen on February 10, 2016 at 18:50

    My role model in life was my Grandma. I held her hand as she passed away 11 yrs ago. She lived her faith, much like the Mary Oliver quote. She wasn’t afraid of anything. She knew God was there for her because she was there for God. This is how I want to live. I want to let go of anxiety. I want to embrace my “one wild and precious life.” I want to live freely with the knowledge that I am a beloved child of God and that is enough. That is the Rule I want to live by. I never want to stop learning and growing.

  54. Steve Fielding on February 10, 2016 at 17:36

    My rule of life is my family. I have had a very strong family upbringing. I promised myself that my rule of life was to become a Dad and carry the gift of family given to me forward with the next generation. I am now a father of two wonderful children and I feel very blessed by God at what gifts I have been given. My gift to my children is a passing along of the gift God gave me in the strong sense of family.

  55. Kathy Olsem on February 10, 2016 at 14:53

    Becoming a better me in love, play, and work.

  56. Nancy Walter on February 10, 2016 at 12:51

    A rule of life keeps me grounded. It’s easy to just drift through my days, taking everything for granted without pausing to reflect.

  57. Linda Jones on February 10, 2016 at 10:02

    What a powerful phrase: “Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” So, in a sense, a Rule of Life – that’s the plan; it’s the plan for what you do with that precious gift. It touched my heart deeply and of course immediately sent me into a tizzy – am I doing well with my wild and precious life?? I suppose that moves me into discernment with regards how I am following a rule of life, how I might establish one that does impact, support, love, nurture the precious gift I have been given. Wow…

  58. Larry Schmidbauer on February 10, 2016 at 09:33

    Being aware of the natural patterns can be a start. I get more attentive to the work and social patterns at times. All contribute but the balance of awareness makes a difference. More aware now of natural rhythms.

  59. Robert Corey on February 10, 2016 at 07:50

    The sports car metaphor reminds me of Ferris Bueller and the Pearl of Great Price. I’ve wondered about the value of such a Pearl — what do you do with it other than stash it away and maybe brag, and maybe by bragging invite theft. Like the Rabbi’s Hole-in-One golfing of the Sabbath — “Who can I tell?”

    My problem with simple rules of bathing, oral care, taking pills — is it takes such will to maintain them that I drop the ball early and often and devolve into PRN. One does not take an antibiotic PRN. I stopped taking one med, in fact any meds, when the label read “Very important not to skip a dose.” The inevitable result of any rule I try to establish is suicidal, fetal, catatonic depression. I live PRN, And it’s a deficient life. One more try at altering that — with Lent and this series as a crutch. Will it hold my weight?

    • Henry Marion on February 12, 2016 at 19:28

      Hey, I sure can relate to how come you feel that way, and come to think I have hope for you. Thanks to the Church, you have God’s home plate available to you. Believe.
      It’s not funny to want to have new things in life, you battle with countermeasurement and the Hope you should Most Blessedly keep get intervened to some spring!? Is that funny?? So you have high hopes, and because you believe, you have Hope that springs eternal? I, too, now see I have to believe in the Hope churning and gushing out of those tasks. We are often afraid to see. God bless you. Please take good care. Peace,

      Henry M. Age 34

  60. Jolene Robinson on February 9, 2016 at 17:35

    My rule of life is both my guide for living in the fullest, richest way possible, and a statement of the ideals that support my growth in that direction. God is at the heart of it all…the richest, fullest life I can imagine is to strive to grow into the person God visualized when God created me…God’s dream of me.

  61. Carol Ward on February 9, 2016 at 13:40

    Rules bother me. Always have. It always seemed that they missed the point. So I shy away from saying I have a rule of life. Instead, I’ve tried to live by certain precepts. The first is to do as much good as I can. Another is to laugh & smile as much as possible. Hopefully its a head back, eyes closed full on guffaw but any giggle will do. Another is to say ‘thank you’ as many times as possible giving recognition to the many wonderful people & things we encounter each day. Another is to never resist a generous impulse. These seem be enough. I’d hardly call them rules. They are more like the concepts of life that lead my actions.

  62. Sharon on February 9, 2016 at 12:29

    Growth requires movement. Movement requires direction. Direction requires a plan of thought about where we want to go. I hope, with this Lenten project, to further a plan of growth and movement towards God’s plan for me.

    • susan on February 12, 2016 at 02:36

      yes! and I need to develop discipline in order to grow and in order to make the most of this gift of a life that God has given to me; without structure to my day, I’m finding that the time goes by in a flash and I haven’t accomplished what I would have liked.

  63. Marguerite Sheehan on February 9, 2016 at 09:37

    When I was growing up and right into adulthood my mother would ask me, on a periodic basis, what is your program? She taught me from an early age that a program, which I interpret, to be a rule of life, is needed to guide, to structure, to deepen, to enliven, and to support me through all the hills and valleys of my life. What is really important? How do i prepare and nourish myself? What am I doing to grow? What path do I want to walk on and I how can I keep on the path, or wisely, step off the path if that is what is needed? These are all questions that help me with my “program.” My mother is no longer alive but the questions and the desire and the need are still there.

    • Margaret on February 15, 2016 at 11:51

      I want this kind program!! What a great way to navigate in this world!

  64. Julia Bottin on February 9, 2016 at 08:57

    My Regula keeps growing and so do I; this process is a gift! Thanks

  65. Susan on February 9, 2016 at 08:06

    I was struck by the Brothers comment that he might also be intended to enjoy the sports car and drive it, not just take care of it. I am hoping to build in ways I can better find joy in life.

    • Christina on February 11, 2016 at 10:56

      Yes! Not just use the car and take care of it, but enjoy it once in a while. That struck me, too! When I stayed with Episcopal nuns on retreat, I noticed they had scheduled recreation times as well as times they worked.

  66. joan on February 9, 2016 at 07:42

    To create the necessary conditions for growth in my life with God.

    That phrase said it all. I’ve spent most of my life caing for others with little or no regard for my own life. My garden suffers from neglect.

    I hope to change that towards creating growth in my garden.

    • Bertita Graebner on February 12, 2016 at 11:37

      So, very much, ditto!

    • Jeannie on February 19, 2016 at 23:05

      I agree completely

  67. David Andrews on February 9, 2016 at 06:32

    For me to keep a rule of life allows me to live a life of stability. With all the daily demands placed upon me and my tendency to react to many of these demands, a rule of life centers me and reminds me that God is in charge. That no matter what is happening I am stabile in the knowledge that God is with me.

    • Penelope on February 13, 2016 at 13:01

      Yes, thank you. I too react to demands upon me; with irritation or judgement or anxiety. To become centered is good.

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