new habits


I’ve been turning this prompt over in my mind all day. I’d like to write a tidy to do list, an action plan I could check off in neat strokes.

I have not written that list. I have not chosen a word for 2014. Out of the bottomless pool of words I love, none has flickered to the surface to wink at me and invite me to dive with it into this new year.

I suspect the habits I most need to embrace for this new season are not the ones that begin and end with a yoga mat, or a kitchen scale, or even pen and paper. Any behavior I would take up seems to match up with the harder, intangible need for internal change. They press their palms together on either side of the glass.

There is nothing tidy about choosing prayer and peace over worry. There is no five step plan for learning to lean into the difficult moment and ask what a loving response looks like. There is no map to the courage to nurture our boys in the way we feel called to, not the way the unnamed “everybody else” does.  There is no good fairy to whisper continually in my ear, “This, now. Pay attention. This is the good part.” Nobody else is going to be my true self in the world, hopefully with grace and gentleness, but without apology as well.

And yet these are the habits I want for 2014, the ones that will fuel the being, the writing, the parenting, the homeschooling and mothering of a schoolboy, the inhabiting of this nearly forty-two year old body.

I look ahead, trusting that all fearful and wonderful work happens in the dark and quiet.

Gratefully writing along with other lovely folks

Write ALM January Prompt-A-Day


8 thoughts on “new habits

  1. beth

    Do you KNOW how happy I am that you are writing again. Just about takes my breath away whenever I read one of your beautiful written posts. Thank you, thank you for writing and for being you. Rich blessings in the year ahead. And much love …

    1. adailyportion Post author

      Beth! Thank you for these lovely words. I am so thankful to be finding my voice again, and more thankful still that dear ones (for years now!) keep coming back. Love you, and would love to see you. Might like to schedule a phone call. I could use some Beth-wisdom. 🙂

  2. Ellenor Henry

    How refreshing and am I ever tracking with you. No one-word twenty-fourteen for me. Yes. A desire for internal changes – what happens in the glorious quiet. I weary of all the hype for external conformity to traditions of man and the doing, doing, doing. Happiest of days in the coming year.

    1. adailyportion Post author

      Hello Ellenor! Thank you so much for coming by and commenting. In past years, I have chosen, or been chosen by, a single word. This year I guess I am geeing down to the nitty gritty– the change I need is messier and deeper than one word can see to get at, at least for me. May you be blessed in your own desire for change in the new year. A fresh start is such a gift, isn’t it?

  3. amanda (@writealm)

    first, that photograph, so soft and calm. what a beautiful thing to see first thing in the morning.

    secondly, i understand. i’m not big on resolutions, i prefer intentions and the truth is, my intentions stay the same year-to-year. it takes a lot of practice to skip setting goals and let yourself be guided by values. but i’m doing it. again. it isn’t glamorous but it feels right.

    hope your new year is filled with much quiet time for prayer for you.

    1. adailyportion Post author

      Amanda, thank you. Why is it I retreat into noise, even mental noise, when I know quiet and space are what I need?

      “It isn’t glamourous but it feels right.” That really sums it up.


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