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BIS LIVES Blog

Creating a Rule of Life for the Summer

family routine summer

A Rule of Life is a traditional Christian tool for ordering one’s vocation. Found most often in religious community life, a Rule can also be used by laypeople – whose state in life is no less a calling from God. It consists primarily in the examination of one’s vocation and the duties it entails, and the development of a schedule for fulfilling these responsibilities in a consistent and orderly way. A Rule is an organization of everything that has to do with your vocation, based on a hierarchy of the priorities that define the vocation and done with the intent to please God. -Holly Pierlot, A Mother’s Rule of Life

 

The Freedom of A Rule of Life

Since my childhood, I have flourished when I am faithful to a routine. A routine gives life and meaning to our everyday tasks, while keeping us faithful to the goals we set. Routines, daily rhythms, or a Rule of Life creates structure and space for our duties and tasks and at the same time allows room for the freedom to create, be spontaneous and flexible, flourish, and thrive.

Needing Guidance and Help

I remember Googling “daily routine with a newborn” when my son Peter was born. I felt frustrated when I couldn’t find something that fit my life. I knew in my heart that I had duties—to God, to myself, to Mike, and to Pete— that could not be ignored. Yet I felt like I was neglecting to spend time with God, and neglecting proper care and time for myself. I often felt guilty, tired, and not enough. Shortly after this time the book, A Mother’s Rule of Life was introduced to me. This book completely transformed our family’s life.

A Rule of Life

In A Mother’s Rule of Life, the author was overwhelmed with the state her family was in and the volume of her daily tasks. After reflecting on Saint Mother Teresa’s Rule for her order, the Missionaries of Charity, the author decided to create her own rule of life for her family.

She reflected upon the duties of her vocation and decided to create a routine for her family based on the “Five P’s”:

  1. prayer (God)
  2. person (herself)
  3. partner (spouse)
  4. parent
  5. provider

Very quickly, she and her family flourished. There were times designated for every aspect of her life. Instead of being overwhelmed, peace abounded.

A Rule of Life For Every Vocation

No matter what vocation you are living, a daily routine, a rhythm for your day, is essential. Creating a rule of life brings order, which in turn brings freedom, peace, and balance. Instead of thinking about your to-do lists or being thrown into your day with no roadmap, you know each task has a designated time and you are able to live fully and freely in the present moment.

The spiritual benefits are incredible. By following your rule of life, you are doing what you ought, that is, you are striving towards fulfilling your duties towards God, yourself, and others.

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A Summer Rule of Life

Our routine and rhythms often change. They can evolve as we grow into a new vocation, start a new job, or experience something new. They may need to be tweaked and changed each season, or even each month. A rule of life should be freeing, not enslaving. It is different for each person based on their state of life, vocation, needs, goals, habits, and desires.

The start of a new season is the perfect time to create a rule of life if you don’t have one, or to reflect and make changes to your rule if you do have one established.

Summer often brings with it the end of a semester or the start of a new vocation or job. Or, it could be a time of rest and rejuvenation.

Focus on what God is calling you to do and pray about who He is asking you to become this summer. What changes do you want to make in your life? Set goals for the summer, prioritize those goals, and begin to schedule your day around accomplishing them.

A Few Tips

Here are a few tips I have found helpful in creating my summer rule of life.

Reflect on your vocation.

“A Rule is an organization of everything that has to do with your vocation, based on a hierarchy of the priorities that define the vocation and done with the intent to please God.”

A rule of life is not just a schedule, it is a response to God. It is a means of sanctification. Define your vocation, write down your duties, and set time aside for each of your daily tasks.

Put your rule up in your house where you will see it.

Have an extra copy on hand and utilize and reference it when you plan your week’s schedule.

Be flexible and leave room for spontaneity.

I have changed and tweaked (and will continue to!) my routine several times and will continue to. My son will be three years old this May, and each month brings with it different developmental changes and needs.

If something is not working in your routine, change it! The best thing to do is begin and try, and make changes as you go.

Ask God to send you a Saint to help you accomplish your daily duties and tasks.

Pray to your guardian angel. Say a little prayer before starting your tasks, offering all you do to Mother Mary, asking her to purify your work and rest.

Create a binder for your summer.

Place a copy of your rule in it, any goals you would like to accomplish, summer activities, prayer and study projects, faith life for you and your children, virtues you are working on, contact information of spiritual directors, Mass times, Confession times, any liturgical traditions or practices you wish to incorporate into your life, household chores, pantry checklists, seasonal chores, clothing needs, birthday gifts, and hobby ideas.

Know that your rhythm, routine, or Rule, is different than your neighbor’s.

It is easy to compare our lives to the lives of others, yet we all have unique gifts, situations, and needs. A rule of life helps me realize my distinctive gifts and needs and at the same time encourages me to grow and cultivate who I am as a person.

Our Summer Rule of Life Rhythm

I’ve included our weekly rhythm as a guide. I pray that it helps you to establish your own rule of life. This weekly routine isn’t our entire rule, but it is a good place to start.

If you have any suggestions, please let us know in the comments below! We are always looking for ways to improve our rule!

Weekday Rhythm

Monday – Friday

6 AM: rise | morning offering | workout | load of laundry | shower | get ready

8 AM: breakfast | clean kitchen | get Peter ready for day | make beds | prepare lunch

9 AM: morning prayers with Peter | free play | dinner meal prep

  • Monday: Our Father | crafts: coloring, drawing, cutting
  • Tuesday: Hail Mary | building: trains, legos, workbench, magnatiles
  • Wednesday: Glory Be | outing
  • Thursday: Bible Verse | alphabet: flashcards, letters, words, writing letters
  • Friday: Memorare | numbers, animals, and Montessori activity

11 AM: lunch | cleanup | forward laundry

12 PM: Mass | if staying in, Rosary

1 PM: Peter’s nap | quiet time | work on business and blog

3 PM: snack | Divine Mercy Chaplet | play outside (weather permitting) | read aloud | one chore

  • Monday: vacuum
  • Tuesday: launder bathroom rugs
  • Wednesday: dust downstairs, clean windows, clean cupboards
  • Thursday: launder bedding
  • Friday: take stock of pantry, food, cleaning products, diapers, wipes, and toiletries

5 PM: meal prep | dinner | make Mike’s lunch | clean kitchen | fold laundry

7 PM: family play | give Mike personal time

8 PM: Peter snack, bath, night routine, prayers, bed | clean Peter’s playroom | put items in living and sitting room in rightful place | put away laundry

9 PM: spend time together

10 PM: night prayer | bed

Weekend Rhythm

Saturday

7 AM: rise | morning offering | breakfast | clean kitchen | put in load of laundry

8 AM: shower | all get ready for day

10 AM: grocery shop | put away food | cut up/chop carrots, onions, garlic, celery for week’s meals

12 PM: lunch | clean kitchen | forward load of laundry

1 PM: Peter’s nap | quiet time | rest

3 PM: snack | Divine Mercy Chaplet | fold and put away laundry | vacuum upstairs | clean upstairs bathroom

5 PM: meal prep | dinner | clean kitchen

7 PM: family time

8 PM: Peter snack, bath, night routine, prayers, bed | clean Peter’s playroom | put items in living and sitting room in rightful place

9 PM: spend time together

10 PM: night prayer | bed

Sunday

7 AM: rise | morning offering | breakfast | clean kitchen

8 AM: shower | all get ready for day | prepare Peter’s diaper bag | prepare tithing

10 AM: Mass

12 PM: lunch | clean kitchen

1 PM: Peter naps | quiet time | rest

3 PM: snack | Divine Mercy Chaplet | paragraph from Catechism | review upcoming week | write in planner

5 PM: meal prep | dinner | make Mike’s lunch | clean kitchen

8 PM: Peter snack, bath, night routine, prayers, bed | clean Peter’s playroom| put items in living and sitting room in rightful place

9 PM: spend time together

10 PM: night prayer | bed

Do you have a rule of life for your family? How does it change during the summer?

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Claire Couche is a regular contributor to the BIS blog. She is a wife, mother, and blogger. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville where she studied history and theology. She later received her B.S.N. and worked as an oncology nurse. Combining her love of the faith, the medical field, and ethical fashion, Claire is the creator of Moscati Scrubs, an ethical medical scrubs company inspired by the life and miracles of Saint Giuseppe Moscati. You can learn more about Claire here and about Moscati Scrubs here.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Anne
    May 21, 2019 at 10:01 am

    I love “A Mother’s Rule of Life”! I agree with you that it is so freeing. Thank you for posting your summer rhythm and mentioned how we don’t have to be slaves to our rule. I struggle with that.

  • Reply
    May 2019 Family Goals - FINDING PHILOTHEA
    May 22, 2019 at 2:00 am

    […] Create a Rule of Life for Summer. I just wrote a post on the ‘Blessed Is She’ Blog about how to create a Rule, you can read it HERE! […]

  • Reply
    claire.c.kelly
    May 22, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Do you have any samples for mothers who work traditional jobs outside the home?

  • Reply
    Kat
    May 23, 2019 at 11:09 am

    I would also love to see an example for mothers who work full-time jobs outside of the home. I would love to see more content in general from mothers who work outside of the home, and hear some of their struggles and how they strive to be good, Catholic mothers while also working a full-time job.

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