Rules To Intentional Transformation!

I am a huge Downton Abbey fanatic.  I love the character development, the wit, and of course, the fashion. You cannot watch this series and not fall in love with the beloved butler, Carson.

Carson's character has a deep loyalty and respect for the Crawley family, who he faithfully serves.  This head butler takes his role, honour, tradition, and rules very seriously. 

Unlike Carson, I confess that in certain circumstances I sometimes live like rules are more of a guideline than absolute...after all Christ did come to set us free from the law!

Here is a pic of my birthday gift from my sister that highlights my love of Downton and also speaks to my temptation to occasionally break the rules!  (Thanks Jan...I love it)

I thought the Downton fans out there would appreciate this particular piece of fine china!

Over the past few days I have been pondering some rules of my own.

Last year I began to implement what is called a rule of life into my spiritual practice.  Since it was the start of a new year, I thought that I would create some fresh rules to continue to cultivate seeds to intentionally grow in Christ. 

Many of us start the new year making resolutions or setting particular goals to work toward.  This year instead of striving toward a particular accomplishment, I want to learn to be, rest and live consistently in Christ.

This is one of the most beautiful descriptions I have found of a rule of life.

"The caterpillar must yield up the life it knows and submit to the mystery of transformation.  It emerges from the process transfigured, with wings that give it freedom to fly.

...A rule of life gives us a way to enter into the life-long process of personal transformation.  It's disciplines help us shed the familiar but constricting "old self" and allow our "new self" in Christ to be formed - the true self that is naturally attracted to the light of God" 
Marjorie Thompson, Soulfeast

I believe that God graciously initiates and draws us to Himself.  I also know, despite my best efforts, it is only the hope of the power of God that can bring about true spiritual transformation in my life.  However, I am also responsible to make intentional choices to live what I claim to believe, to create space to hear from God in order to be transformed into His likeness, and to respond to His outrageous love.

A rule of life is simply a vehicle to explore a variety of disciplines that can help us to deepen our relationship with the Beloved and live in the freedom of Christ as a new creation in Him. 

If you want to write a rule of life of your own for the new year join me here this week as I share some of my own personal rules for 2016 and some helpful tips as you embark on this ancient spiritual practice.

If you have already implemented a rule of life of your own I invite you to share in the comments what rules God has used to transform your own spiritual life so that we can learn from one another.  I would love to hear from you.


Father, I am so grateful that I am a new creation in you and that you are the hope of transforming the things in me that do not reflect who you are.  Thank you that I am loved and accepted in my weakness, yet in your grace and gentleness you give the gift of new life in you.  Lord, I ask you to guide and shed light on the practices, disciplines or the adjustments I need to make in my life this new year to honour and live in you.  I do not want these to be a set of legalistic rules or routines, but that I may grow in your love, grace, and truth.

In the transforming powerful name of Jesus,





  1. Since I retired in August last year, I have been in the process of finding my new life. :) I have been open and flexible, feeling my way forward, trying things out and learning as I go.I don't want to waste a moment of this treasure of time that is retirement, but it is so easy to do. I look forward to the sharing the journey Nicole. I'm sorry for being a comment hog and responding to every post, but what you wrote had that effect. I think that's a good thing. :)

  2. Thank you Belinda - and since you are the very first person to post a comment and read this ... you are definitely a welcomed friend - never a comment hog!

    Thank you for sharing the is certainly worth it when you have beautiful people like yourself to share it with!


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