It’s the first of the new year. I’m still in the annoying place where my journal entry for the day is scratched out because I wrote 2023 instead of 2024. Even so, the new year brings a new theme.

Last year was really a year without a theme. I cannot remember if I tried making one or if I was just too busy with things.

The busyness left me with a sense of longing as the year came to a close. A longing to slow down and to think. To create the space necessary for the work that I do. The work that I do is the care of souls, something that necessarily requires much prayer and contemplation.

And while prayer has happened, it has largely felt rushed. It has felt like an obligation.

And so for this year, my theme is one of spiritual disciplines. Of building routine and work and rhythm around the work of prayer and meditation.

In addition to caring for my family (and there are six of us), is the responsibility to care for a congregation. We are a small church. Most weeks we have about 50 in attendance on a Sunday. But they are a people who need prayer and they need to know that their pastor is praying for them.

And so this year, 2024, is the Year of The Habitus. What is a habitus? That leads to the other side of this.

I’ve been curious about Substack and have tried keeping a newsletter in the past. I have found some likeminded writers there and actually find the experience of reading there to be quite good.

And so I am launching a newsletter there called The Habitus. You can read the first issue here. If you’re into that sort of thing, take a read. I’d love to have you join me as I write and share about prayer, meditation, and making life about them.