This post is republished with permission from United Methodist faith formation professional Christine Hides’ blog. As the school season begins, we know many of you will be in carpools more often. Here’s a way to nourish your own faith on the go. Adapt the resources to suit your tradition – in the Episcopal Church, a carpool lane basket could include a Bible, a Book of Common Prayer, Forward Day by Day, and more. – Ed.
Today I want to share some things that help me to draw closer to God in the midst of my schedule. I am a parent of two teenagers, grad student, blogger, and church staff person. I often find myself with 10 minutes in the carpool lane. Rather than scroll through my phone, I reach for my basket. I am adding some new things in 2017. You can use any container. I use a fair trade, handmade basket which fits perfectly in my hand. I purchased it locally, but you can order directly from The Blessing Basket Project. Each basket has the story of the person who made it attached on the tag.
At the bottom of the basket I place an old table cloth that belonged to my grandmother. I love the colors. I use it to sit on when I am at the beach or sitting by the pond in my neighborhood. Just a few minutes outdoors can be bring much needed peace.
The very first thing that I am carrying with me this year is a Disciple’s Journal. More than just a journal, this book guides the reader through daily Bible readings, prayers and hymns. What I like most about it is the invitation to write down acts of compassion, justice, devotion and worship using the Methodist General Rule of Discipleship.
Things to Read:
I always have a few things to read in my basket. I especially enjoy books of poetry, prayers and blessing because there is deep meaning in just a few short lines. Perfect when you just have a moment during the day. Mary Oliver, David Whyte, and Carrie Newcomer are favorites as well as the blessings of Jan Richardson.
I had been carrying my grandmother’s Bible but this year I purchased the Children’s Defense Fund Bible because it has a concordance for Child Advocates.
Things to Create:
Engaging in a creative activity brings me peace and joy, even if he product isn’t frameworthy. We are all made in the image of our Creator–we are creative, too. I find the process of putting pen or brush on paper to be incredibly soul soothing. I recently received this purse sized coloring book of inspirational quotes I cannot wait to start using. I also keep a baggie of water color pencils, a palette of water colors, a sharpie and a protractor in my bag with water color paper. Sometimes I make very tiny pieces of art. I recommend a simple and easy art lesson on making your own mandalas from Art is Basic. I always keep a pen and paper handy for writing down my thoughts, too.
Things to hold:
It is important to remember that we do not need material things to draw closer to God. The things in the basket are tools. It is also true that it is easy to get distracted from prayer. I find that having something in my hand can help me focus. I have a couple of rocks that I have collected in my travels. I also have a set of prayer beads I made using my grandmother’s vintage glass bean necklaces. You can read more about using and creating prayer beads from Prayerworks Studio.
Please note I receive no compensation for any of these recommendations. I simply hope that you might also enjoy using some of my favorite things.
See Christine Hides’ basket here:
Do you have a portable devotional practice? What do you take to the carpool lane?