Life In The Way Of Life

“Do not forget that the value and interest of life is not so much to do conspicuous things as to do ordinary things with the perception of their enormous value.”
Teihard de Chardin

My morning ritual consists of rising, tenderly kissing my wife good morning, and launching into the downstairs traffic already in full swing.

Out of the melee of school fashion incidents, breakfast scuffles and lost homework catastrophies, I seek to extract the few minutes that I can to carve out a space to talk with God. Silence is a commodity hard won around our home – passionately expressive (and opinionated) people are around every corner. I shouldn’t whine; I taught them well.

In the midst of clanging dishes, dancing lunch makers, and parent-child shouting between the up and downstairs (though there is a spoken rule that to talk to a person you must actually go and find them first), I sit in our living room and read the Scriptures. I pray, too. I ask for favor with God, for myself, my family and those in my sphere of prayer attention. In some of those precious moments, I take the time to write, as I am at this moment.

Painful as it is for me to use my prayer vocabulary in an atmosphere of loudly singing children (who only occasionally respect their father’s devotional moments in a small, unforgiving house), I somehow believe that the mingling of their bustling activities, my prayers and our daily preparations rise together before God. I have a tendency to anger over my lack of sunlit silence in a cozy alcove of a large house. I even have scratch recordings of songs I’m in the midst of writing, intimate and pensive, peppered with shouting children in the not-so-distant background proclaiming “I said NO!”

I’m learning to get over it. I’m learning to just move on, to not demand more than is reasonable of them, or of myself. I’m learning that prayer is not a dialogue that can only occur when the lights are low and the music devotional. Rather, this Interaction can, and must, take a central place in the hustle and bustle of the daily needed things we call life.

My morning ritual consists of rising, tenderly kissing my wife good morning, and launching into the downstairs traffic in full swing. In fact, I need to finish writing now – my son spilled his oatmeal on his new shirt, my daughter is saying “I love you” to me in sign-language, and we have to leave the house in five minutes.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering.”

From Romans 12 in The Message


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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