rituals: the routine of togetherness (tim fall).

Backstreet’s back, all right!  And so is Guest Post Tuesday and this year’s theme of Rituals, those not-so-boring parts of our everyday lives that make the story deeper.  So, meet my friend Tim.  Tim is an encourager and a wisdom-filled sage of a man.  He’s funny and witty and I’d probably tack brilliant on to the list if he promised not to get too big of a complex.  But in all seriousness, he’s a gem, so enjoy his daily early morning ritual!

Flickr Creative Commons: Martin R
Flickr Creative Commons: Martin R

My Bedtime Is Earlier Than Most Toddlers I know

I get up early. Like 4:15 in the morning early. It’s so I can do something that – frankly – I could do any time of the day.

But I can’t do it with my wife at any time of the day, so early morning it is.

After all, when else can we pray with one another without the rest of the world interrupting us?

Night Time Turned Into Nighty-Night Time

We tried praying together at bedtime. My wife said my voice put her to sleep.*

But we didn’t need to get up at 4:15 just to carve out time to pray together. It’s not like we spend three hours in prayer before work (although if I had the stamina for that I’d be stoked).

No, it’s fitting it in with all the other things going on in the morning that causes us to go to bed earlier than most toddlers. Someone has to make the bed, so I do it while she gets in some Bible reading. Plus we like to exercise before work, running a few miles or hitting the gym depending on the day. And after that a guy’s got to eat, and my colleagues really appreciate it if I fit in a shower too.

That’s a lot to do, so we get up early.

But the priority in all this is to have time to pray together before we go on to do all those other things like exercise and work.

It’s the commitment to making our prayer time together a priority that makes it a routine. And while it’s a truism that routines can become just that – routine – this routine doesn’t mean we’re in a rut.

For one thing, this is my wife I get to spend time with and I like her company. She’s pretty special.

For another (and even more important than the fact that this is an opportunity to be with my wife every morning) this is time with the God I love, the one who loves me even more than my wife does. And I get to share this time with God with the woman I love.**

The Routine Of Togetherness

When I describe our morning routine to people, they aren’t impressed by a person getting up early to workout. They aren’t all that impressed by me being the one to make the bed either. But people do seem impressed by the fact a couple would get up even earlier just to have time to pray together.

I think that might be a recognition – even if they don’t know it – that some things are even more important than keeping your house neat or your body in good shape. What we do spiritually matters beyond what we can see and feel. It matters for eternity, and it can be part of our daily routine even before I get to experience what eternity really means.

Does that mean I have to pray with my wife in order for God to love me? No, but the reality is that my wife and I love each other better when we join in these routines that are part of a relationship with God.

So just as I make sure there’s time to make the bed and go for a run or get to the gym, I make time before everything else that day to pray with my wife.

It’s a small ritual that is really huge when you stop to think about it.

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*The soporific quality of my voice is on display in this short video I made on the musical blessings of the kazoo. Truly joyful, and truly sleep-inducing.

**You know that part up there about praying early so people won’t interrupt us? We still get interrupted. Whether it’s someone texting my wife to say they need her to sub for their gym class that morning or a police officer calling me for an emergency protective order or a search warrant, we can still get interrupted even at 4:30 in the morning. Oh well.

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timTim is a California native who changed his major three times, colleges four times, and took six years to get a Bachelor’s degree in a subject he’s never been called on to use professionally. Married for over 27 years with two grown kids, his family is constant evidence of God’s abundant blessings in his life. He and his wife live in Northern California. He blogs, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook too.  Cara again: I love this glimpse into Tim’s life, don’t you?  What do early mornings look like for you, with your partner, by yourself?  And if you are a person that prays, does your prayer time involve a routine of togetherness like our friend here?  Cheer him on, and leave a comment below!

9 thoughts on “rituals: the routine of togetherness (tim fall).

  1. Thank you so much for having me along, Cara. Your encouragement boosts me no end! (And as for your introductory comments giving me a big head, all I can say is that I just hope I can live up to even half of your description of me!)

  2. Thanks for sharing your morning routine, Tim. I have to say I AM impressed. (I get up at 6:45 Eastern and only 1/2 hour later you’re up for the day!!!) That time with God and your wife each morning is very well spent, I’m sure. The 3 hours comment reminds me of Luther who supposedly said “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

    1. I think of Luther too, and how much he put into prayer and then how much he got done afterward. It makes me realize that Luther certainly got more from God in prayer than Luther put into it himself.

  3. Wow (and that’s coming from someone who wakes up at 3:30 to take medicine, then gets up at 4 to hit the gym, just so I can get home and shower before 6, when I have to get my daughters up.) Your commitment to your prayer life and your marriage is inspiring! I have to ask, though, did you do this when your children were younger? If so, how did that affect the morning schedule?

    1. When they were young, after prayer time I’d hit the gym while my wife stayed home and did Bible study. Then I’d get home and she’d go to the gym while I showered and got the kids up and ready for school. Then she’d get home and I’d go to work while she took the kids to school.

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