Planning and remembering

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I love making lists, particularly to-do lists. There is just something about writing down all the things I want to learn more about and get accomplished in a month that gets me really excited. And then I remember that I have chronic fatigue......and I'm a five on the Enneagram......and I have a long history of setting unrealistic expectations for myself. 
So, instead of writing down what I want to get done in a planner or bullet journal, I tend to record what I have already got done as a reminder to myself of all that I've accomplished. Not only does this help me not stress myself out, it helps me to appreciate what is unique about each day. 

Planning and Remembering || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

So, as I get my pages ready for January, I figured this would be a good time to share how I set up my planner/journal. First off, supplies! I love my Whitelines Graph Paper Pad. The background is a light gray and the lines are white so your words and sketches are what really show. (There is even an app that will take pictures of your pages and send it to your email or dropbox. I don't use it, but click on the link to see a video about how this works.) I have listed the pen and marker I use down below. I write small so fine point is a must, and I just prefer blue ink over black. The highlighter is my choice to fill in boxes where I have completed a task such as posting something to social media. 

Second, habit tracking and daily log! I keep track of my water intake, core exercises, doing my BSF lesson, and a time for meditation on the left side of my daily log. It helps me have a more wholistic picture of what is going on if I'm not keeping my habits. For, my daily log, I like the forced simplicity of having only one line to write. Journaling has never been a strength of mine, but I can usually come up with one sentence to describe my day.

Planning and Remembering || Bullet journal || Rachel Loewens Fine Art
Planning and remembering || Liturgical calendar || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

Other sections to note: completed books, viewing/listening, liturgical calendar, blessings, notes, and my "got done" list. I think each of these is pretty obvious, but maybe a couple of these could a little bit of explanation. I think the shows we watch and podcasts we listen to can be just as formative as the books we read, so I choose to record them both under my daily log.

Planning and remembering || bullet journal || Rachel Loewens Fine Art


On my second page, I draw out a little chart showing the present interval of the liturgical calendar as a way to ground myself more fully in the time we are living. It helps me pause and appreciate what is good and glorious about the current season even when the thermometer does not get above 0 F! 

At the bottom, I record all of the things that I have gotten done in the month. I purposefully keep this area on the small side, so that I can more easily fill it up! ;-)


If you like this and other planning/bullet journaling inspiration, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to this topic! 




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Ordinary time in my studio

Ordinary time in my studio || Rachel Loewens

I just finished the book Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren, and it was really amazing. One of the moms at my daughter's school gave this whole presentation on establishing rhythms of liturgy in everyday life, and I felt like it brought deeper meaning to some of the practices my family tries to observe. Something that was new to me was this idea of Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time takes place two times a year, generally January-February and then again June-November (more info here and here).

The word "ordinary" is referring to both a counting of days (ordinal) and to a simpler season between times of the year filled with extraordinary amounts of celebration. The second meaning is what I'm taking comfort in right now. My summer was just so full of good, fun things that I feel like I'm trying to catch up with just ordinary time at home and in my studio. 

Road trip across Nebraska || Rachel Loewens Fine Art


The #PCJ30in30 challenge on Instagram by Amira Rahim is really helping me to get back in the swing of ordinary life practices. I'm aiming to have each piece tell something about the day that it was created: the weather, an experience, a memory with my family. 

Pulling and printing with ornamental grass || Ordinary Time in my studio || Rachel Loewens Fine Art
Raining sunshine || Ordinary Time in my studio || Rachel Loewens Fine Art

To stay up to date with this challenge, you can find me over on Instagram as RachelLoewens!