Week 3: Engaging True Connection
Day 17: Utilizing Routine to Cultivate Connection
Routines are boring, I know. They can be the worst enemy to true connection because when we just go through the motions, we lose something. We get used to the same old thing and we begin to take it for granted.
But routines can also be a powerful way to cultivate true connection – if we do them intentionally and with our heart.
Here is an example: When I tuck my kids into bed at night, I started asking them, “Do you know what I like about you?” And every night, I challenge myself to come up with a different answer to that question. It doesn’t have to be a long answer, but it is unique and it is fun. They love it! Then we spend a few minutes praying, and more often than not, I spend a few minutes massaging their back. This routine takes time every night, but it is just one way to stay on track toward connection.
True connection can happen very well when we utilize routines with our heart instead of just going through the motions.
Transition times during our day can be ideal times to effectively build in routine that cultivates connection. When my spouse comes home from work, I can create a routine where I stop what I am doing and greet him, even if it is only for a few minutes. When my kids get home from school, I can create a routine where we “decompress for the day” while they have after school snacks. Even in the workplace, I can create routines where I intentionally stop by someone’s office just to say hi and visit for a few minutes.
Routines help us stay on track, but we cannot substitute routine for true heart connection. This is also very true for our connection with God. My morning routine of spending quiet devotional time with God is only effective if my heart is engaged and I am intentional with that time. If I just go through the motions, the routine becomes boring and I don’t feel any more connected at the end than I did at the beginning. However, if I don’t have routine and I don’t intentionally spend time with the Father, I miss opportunities to cultivate true connection as well.
Challenge for Today: Reflect on your own routines – are they effectively cultivating true connection? Are there any other routines you can adjust in order to cultivate more connection with your loved ones and with the Father?
Author: Janet Hoyt