discover your created self

Routines and Wonderings (and Random Journal Day)

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. (Luke 1:26-29 NIV)

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Every ADVENTure develops its own routine.

Whether observing the boating life or the liturgical practice of ADVENT, I notice that I get into a routine. I follow the same ritual each day. On the boat, we wake up before the sun to feed the dog, make the coffee, and check the weather before casting off for the next section of the river. During Advent, I may light a candle, read a devotional or two, and write in my journal.

This year for Advent, I had grand ideas of following the Pause, Ponder, Prepare devotions and add to my art journal, but the boat routine hasn’t really allowed for that routine. Instead, I have found myself drawn to the gospel written by Luke. I am not reading it in a very methodical way, but instead kind of just meandering around, one pause here and another wondering there.

It started with my interest in what were the first questions posed in the New Testament. I noticed that the first question in Luke’s narrative was asked by Zechariah. That doubt filled question that silenced him until the birth of his son, John.

The next question is similar, but different. More of a clarifying question. Not the incredulous hesitation of Zechariah, but a quizzical how can this be type of question. But before we get too much into Mary’s question to Gabriel, I have a few questions myself.

I was wondering about the circumstances surrounding Mary’s encounter with Gabriel. With Zechariah, we know where he was, we know what he was doing, and we could decipher the time of day depending on when the incense was offered in temple worship.

With Mary, we know that Gabriel arrives and delivers his message. We know that Mary lives in Nazereth and she is a virgin engaged to Joseph. We know that it was approximately six months after Zechariah’s encounter with Gabriel.

But we don’t know what Mary was doing that day. Or was it night? Was she preparing a meal or praying? Was she getting ready for bed or just waking up? Was she inside or outside? I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but I imagine she must have been going about some routine task.

More questions. Why was Gabriel’s greeting troubling? Did she ever daydream about being the mother of the Messiah? Did she know that the greeting implied that very thing? “Highly favored” and “The Lord is with you” were those phrases that set her heart racing and her mind reviewing the prophecies of old? Did she know Isaiah’s words?

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. “ (Isaiah 7:14 NIV)

Perhaps her question sought affirmation to her hope. Or maybe it was just a human question of how would this promise become viable, since she was a virgin.

More to ponder. But we do know her routine was about to change. It was time to hurry to see her cousin, Elizabeth. Mary’s ADVENTure was just beginning.

The routine on the Intuition remains the same for now. Time for bed. Then wake up, feed the dog, make coffee, check the weather and cruise down to Mobile, Alabama.

How do your routines comfort or challenge you?

Photos from today’s routine run down the river:

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heading into the Coffeeville lock with our neighbors

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the neighbors next to us in the lock
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leaving the lock
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puppy dog pit stop

Linking with Dawn and the crew at Random Journal Day! (I am using my blog post as my journal post today.)

And click here for a random post from a past ADVENTure!


11 responses to “Routines and Wonderings (and Random Journal Day)”

  1. Funny…..I was thinking of my routine right now…….awake, make tea, read God’s Word, then some other book (actually during Advent a pertinent devotional plus a chapter or two a day of another spiritual book), then Bach practice. I have soooo much Bach to learn this week–3 cantatas! And I even have a routine for those: play my soprano line exceedingly slowly about forty-million times so I can memorize the pitches (I do NOT sightread, other than the rhythm), then speed up the melismas on “la,” then start to read the music again and hearing the German in my head without actually singing it, then eventually and slowly matching the multisyllabic German with the notes, and finally speeding it all up to a gallop. This routine, though, lasts for days. I do a little writing, and weather permitting, I walk. Routines, rituals, rhythms anchor us and help us to wait for that which is not routine, for that which is extraordinary…… the coming of Christ.

    1. Great routines give way to meaningful life! Love your thougths and a glimpse into your routines, dear Lynni! You last line is so true and quotable!

  2. Hi Kel, oh your adventure is such an awesome opportunity! Thanks for linking up and I will let you break the rules…since you are too far away for me to chase you down…HA! I am loving seeing your daily pics on IG and so glad that your routines are continuing. Routines bring comfort, security. Some of us need to find them or create them sooner than others. I am one who loves routine…and spontaneity , too! I so enjoyed your pondering about Mary , as I have pondered about her often…so surrendered was she, I can’t help but wonder if that is part of her mystery and inspiration…her amazingly adaptable spirit and complete willingness to be fully surrendered. Will you be doing a sequel to your first devotional? You have quiet the word bank building up…which I love. Enjoy the journey, HUGS!

    1. Dawn- Thanks for the grace! So true how routines can bring comfort and security. Mary was a ponderer herself, so I think she must have had a real sense of God’s presence in her life before Christ and literally after he was placed in her womb and she birthed him…what a wonderful, amazing way God entered her world and ours!

      As to another devotional …praying about what’s next…just today I was pondering what is God’s role for me in the midst of his purpose to bring others to Christ. We will see! I DO LOVE WORDS! And writing them for God gives me great joy…

  3. Kel! What a great post in so many ways. I have wondered if Mary hoped or prayed to be the honored one in this way too. Was this something all the girls her age wondered about?
    I must go back to your earlier posts and read about this boat adventure! How amazing for you!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Susie! I know I wondered if it becoming the mother’s Messiah was discussed around the kitchen stove or by the well by the Israelite women. I wonder who gossiped about Mary?

  4. Kel: I do best when I have a routine. I try to plan each day but I run into trouble when someone( I won’t say who) has other plans for me. God plans our lives from the time He forms us.I love your pictures and want to know more about your adventure on the river.

    1. Cecelia- Yes disruptions to our routines can be challenging, but God can and does give us the grace to look at the disruptions from his perspective…as an opportunity to rely on His wisdom, love and strength.

  5. Hi Kel!
    I am a routine girl for as far back as I can recall–it is my comfort zone, where I ‘feel’ I am safe and at my best. But lately–and this more than kinda sorta slightly scares me—I’m concerned that my routine is what’s holding me back. I want my days to fall into these perfectly timed schedules and happenings and when they don’t I often fall apart. Not healthy. I need and want to be more open, more flexible, more willing to let loose and EXPERIENCE that which is outside my typical, usual routine. That’s what’s calling me lately. I don’t know. Maybe something is on the horizon for me and this is my soul awakening to what is to come…?

    Love the boat pics!! What a cool adventure!

    1. Dawn- I believe God sometimes shakes up our routines to give us a new direction and perspective. I wonder where He is leading you 🙂

  6. Kel, your question about routine comes at the perfect time for me. Ten days ago, we welcomed my 91 year old father-in-law into our home and with it, my decade old practice of daily rising to sit in silence in one place (at least in the rainy winter months) by our fireplace and read, pray, write and be has flown out the window. I’m in the rock-tumbler of this new life–everything rolling around, shaving off the edges that had grown during the steady comfort of that time. Spiritual discipline is good but so is this shake up. The trick is NOT to lose time with Him, even if it is housed differently. I’m making my way slowly. It’s like being a mother with a new baby. Even like Mary herself. And praying for grace. Sorry this response is all about me–I definitely appreciated your post. So thoughtful and helpful!

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About Me

Hi! My name is Kel Rohlf. I am an intuitive mixed-media artist, creative writer and performer. Life is a performance. I often attend.


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