At the start of this year I decided it would be a year of developing some good habits. I know, that sounds boring as heck, right?

But seriously, I was thinking about this sentiment I hear a lot; that who we are -our character- is formed from our habits. I think there is a good deal of truth there. I also have heard this idea that habits take several weeks of intentional consistency to really take root. So without being too crazy about it, I decided I would start developing a new habit every month. I wanted to get up early, start teaching the girls some Bible verses, work on the many books I’ve been meaning to read… and some other stuff that isn’t even at the tip of my mind right now. So I’ve slowly and imperfectly been adding some new disciplines into my life and I’m pretty pleased. It’s not been overwhelming and they are all things that add to the quality of my and my family’s lives.

Going to bed a bit earlier and waking a lot earlier has given me some kid free time to read, pray, and get myself ready for the day by drinking at least a cup of coffee before having to interact with any people.

Teaching the girls Psalm 23 has been great… to see their minds absorb such a life giving passage is it’s own reward much less whatever benefit it is to them down the road. I heard my cousins’s daughter recite much of the Christmas story from Luke 2 back in December and became quite inspired by how doable it is to teach little kids to memorize scripture or really anything.

I’ve finished almost 4 books: The Lost World of Genesis One (John Walton), Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals (a book on Biblical interpretation by William Webb), A Churchless Faith (Alan Jamison), and I’m closing in on the end of The Integrated Church (Tracey Lewis-Giggetts). All were great books on topics that interest me…

Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. -Albert Einstein 

And we can’t have lazy thinking. 🙂

Really though, I’m quite passionate about clear and honest thinking and I love to use my brain. Maybe too much, depends who you ask.

Still, this basically brings me to my next habit. Writing. Writing is a fabulous way to use your brain. Personally, I don’t choose to write because I love writing itself. I am choosing to write because I love learning and teaching and growing my mind. My preferred method of doing this is conversational. I love to informally discuss things with people over a drink. I love to have facebook conversations*. However, writing is tougher and can push me a bit more. Dennis Prager, the one talk radio guy I used to really enjoy listening to, would say that if you want to know if you are thinking clearly then you should write… because then you will be able to better assess if you are actually thinking coherently.

Well, I want to develop my thinking and learning and teaching skills more… So my new habit will be to begin to write at least once a week. It doesn’t matter so much if anyone reads it, though of course I do hope to write things people are interested to read and that are beneficial.

The real challenge here is finding a kid free block of time every week, because I don’t write well or do anything I need full brain engagement for when the little ones are requiring attention. However, I’m (crossing my fingers) gonna make it happen. Right now I’m able to write because Luke is home with the girls while I enjoy a delicious frappe at the cafe.

So, for anyone who happens to read this who feels like sharing, do you have habits you are trying to develop? Any advice to offer me in forming the habit of writing?

*’facebook conversations’ meaning respectful conversations between honestly curious people, not virtual shouting matches between people who already know they are right about and that their opponent is the devil incarnate.