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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Discipline of the Daily

I had said I'd seek the sky this year, and we'd had a brilliant beginning to January with blue, endless skies who'd only hinted of cloud. Those skies were exceptional to what winter usually is. What winter has been this past week.

The winter skies of January have most recently hung heavy and dense, absconding with light and cloud. I've felt the weight of grey settle oppressively on my shoulders.

The swagger of January disappears into that sky. All my heroic intentions and resolve, swallowed by the sky who refuses to dazzle and yesterday, leaked only a drizzling rain. Rainboots and umbrellas, a buttoning up and a hurrying indoors.


The winter skies of January, grey as they ordinarily are, mirror what life, at least my life, really feels like most days. Every day, there is this rousing to work and worship, and I am not spectacularly dazzled into motion. Heroism for today will be the small, faithful returning to my commitments. The kind of mystical, magical bravery which I wish were mine wears an apron.

I've been thinking of resolution, wondering what forces of desire, courage and commitment I want to rally for the year ahead. But instead of articulating anything ambitious, I've been rethinking and reordering the daily habits that I want to be mine. I find it often requires the greatest courage to meet today's sameness with this plodding forward in the direction of what matters, ruddered by priorities, anchored into grace.

Ann Voskamp says, "A habit is the way we wear our days."

This January, I've been paying the matter of habits some attention, wondering what I'll wear into this new year. I'll share some thoughts in the days to come.