Give Us This Day: Create a Mini (Prayer) Book Of Hours


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Do you hear?
The rooster crows,
“Wake up, sleepyhead!
A new day is dawning.
Let’s rise and shine.”

Take off the blinders, stretch into the day,
walk at a slow pace with eyes
open to sacred abundance,
notice common threads of life buzzing,
a touch of the Divine within and around.

Come, sit as the fingers of the sun reach for you.
Hear the call of ever-present love,
rejoice in the mundane.
Unravel your creative cords —
Let’s see what discoveries can be made.

Here. Now. This Day.


I love a good treasure hunt. My heart does a little dance when I find something I’ve been looking for – whether it’s been lost, found at a steal of a price, or discovered by surprise. I simply love looking for goodness. When I discovered I could do this each and every day by simply putting on my “sacred goggles,” I was extra excited. My sacred goggles are not anything you can buy at a store; they are a way of seeing I’ve been practicing for the last few years.

Can I catch a glimpse of the Divine at work in the (seemingly) ordinary, suburban life I live? Can I grab hold of the sacred during this time in history when mask wearing is common and division has taken root in the thread of society? Well, when I have my sacred goggles on, I find regardless of my circumstances, each day becomes an adventure. Over and over, I’m amazed by a loving Creator who puts sparkles in my path. It may be a call from a friend, a book found at the local used book store or a deep breath of empathy when anger usually takes hold. Wearing sacred goggles allows me to go deeper into my practice of gratitude, further into creating sacred space with what’s at my fingertips and aids me to remain curious to the move of the Spirit when plans change last minute. For me, these “burning bush” moments are around every day. Each of us has the opportunity to SEE the sacred spark in our circumstances. So, how do we do it? I know I’ve had times when my sacred goggles are blurry or I’ve taken them off to have a good cry. And, over time, with practice, I’ve learned the moon comes out, a restful sleep is had and the next day, sacred glitter (and my goggles) call my name again.

All this sacred viewing in my days didn’t begin by accident. Actually, it was over ten years ago now, as a young mother that I struggled with the routine of life. I was not very motivated by the “same old, same old.” Then, something shifted. I became curious about the spiritual life. I heard Love say to me, “I am here. Look for me.” Before I knew it, some sacred glitter appeared – I was reunited with the monks and mystics.

Within the monastic tradition, monks pause seven times throughout the day to re-member the Divine. Each of these pauses invite a return to prayer, a return to knowing that there is One who holds us through the many moods of the day. These mindful pauses aid one to essentially, put on sacred goggles and come back to the Holy one who fills with grace. The monks invite us to engage with hospitality and pilgrimage for our faith walk.

In monastic life, the book of hours is a devotional prayer book that is used as a companion for the day. It had its’ beginning in medieval times and often included psalms, hymns, antiphons and readings that accompany different times of the day. Often, the book of hours is illuminated with beautiful artistic visuals that accompany the words. What would it look like for you and I, in our modern day lives, to return again and again to the sacred ground of love and peace with a personal blessing book by our side?

Give Us This Day: Create a Mini (Prayer) Book of Hours took form when I pondered creating my own “book of hours.” I love creating as a form of prayer. And, I’m also passionate about how the tiny, ordinary acts in our day have large opportunity to open joy to our living. I wondered, “How can I put together the idea of an illuminated book of hours in a casual, accessible, playful way for anyone to participate with? What would happen if people became accountable to put on their sacred goggles and go on a daily adventure?” I got out my paper and started to fold and paint and inquire. What came forth was a mini-blessing book that leads one through the the day with reflection, creativity and one’s personal stamp.

Less historical. More intuitive.

If you are one who is looking to place sacred goggles upon your face each morning, this experience is for you! If you are one who loves to dabble at the threshold of creativity and the sacred, this may bring fresh views to your steps. If you are on board to playfully engage the Divine, I’d love your presence. If you are one who needs a bit of a boost in your day to day to SEE where the Divine is at work, then come along!

Spiritual practice doesn’t have to be a drag, and with the delight of whimsy and color, I plan to bring you a fun prayerful experience that will tap your senses and ignite your inner spark.

Give Us This Day:
Create a Mini (Prayer)
Book of Hours

With a few simple materials over the course of five weeks, you’ll create a personalized mini-prayer book that includes twelve pages plus a front and back cover. The practice is designed to be done in your time, on your schedule. Each week, three or four prompts will be sent via a lovingly created E-book. Each prompt is designed to be moved through at a contemplative pace in 10-20 minutes with pencil, marker and color of your choice. Reflective questions, playful drawing and illumination of each page is part of the experience.


Three Red Thread Zoom calls

Join me to form community with three live Zoom calls

A kick off gathering:
Come join in and create an extra page for your book of hours.
Monday, November 9th; 7pm EST

A work-in-progress gathering:
A casual conversation and opportunity to ask questions.
Monday, November 30th; 7pm EST

A completion party:
A chance to share wherever you are in the process.
Monday, December 14th; 7pm EST

Each week (over 5 weeks), I’ll send three emails:

Receive a sacred E-book with video and instructions for the week

Receive an inspirational message to keep your spark kindled

Receive an email to with an invitation to share your progress in community on my Soul Kindling FB page

Over five weeks, you’ll receive five mini E-books that include a minimum of 14 videos (total); each video is in the 10 – 20 minute range. Each week’s E-book will be created lovingly and include three or four video links and written prompts for the days of the week. An additional contemplative practice is included.

Upon completion, you’ll have a front and back cover and twelve pages that bind together to create your mini blessing book. All videos and E-books are yours to keep and use again and again.

Welcome and Set-Up
A welcome video to gather and ready your book pages and supplies

Week One
Blessing the journey & the morning hours (6am, 8am, 10am)

Week Two
The mid-day hours (Noon, 2pm, 4pm)

Week Three
A pause to catch your breath

Week Four
The evening hours (6pm, 8pm, 10pm)

Week Five
The night hours & closing blessing (midnight, 2am, 4am)

Set aside time each week and step into contemplative practice where slowing down is encouraged, catching glimpses of beauty are necessary and connection with earth is honored.



A mixed media pad of paper: I recommend Canson 9” x 12”

A black permanent marker: I recommend Prismacolor brand

A pencil

Watercolors (or other color medium of your choice)

Acrylic Gold Paint – this can be found for as little as $2 in the scrapbook section of your local craft store, or a higher quality acrylic in the art section

A small 1/8” hole punch – found at your local craft store in the scrapbook section, about $5

Red thread – I recommend DMC floss found in the sewing section at your local craft store, less than $1


This gathering is led by Ally Markotich. Ally is passionate about kindling the creative flame that lives within each of us. She’s an artist, poet and Intentional Creativity® teacher who is trained in Spiritual Formation (Columbia Theological). Ally is the creator of Soul Kindling (LLC), a sanctuary designed to awaken participants to their inner well of wisdom. She invites participants to a table of spiritual practice to claim sacred identity, re-member their creative prowess and ignite fresh vision for their lives with paint, visioning and writing as the tools. Her guidance leads women and men to walk their path with renewed perspective and clearer purpose. An advocate for feminine leadership, Ally leads gatherings that uplift belonging, ritual, celebration and individual voice as imperative elements of the whole. Her art has been shown at Harrington Center (Columbia Theological Seminary), Moore County Fine Arts Festival (NC) and Litmus Gallery (Raleigh, NC). Ally lives with her husband, two sons and yellow lab among the pine trees of North Carolina where a stop for ice cream is always possible.

As a young mom, with a toddler and baby in the home, there were days when I mightily struggled. Oh yes, I loved those little baby toes, the warmth of snuggles and the sweet faces that greeted me each morning. Yet, I also had days where I felt as if I was caught on a hamster wheel and couldn’t get off. My interior felt exhausted and overwhelmed. I tried playing trains with zest and joy and, some days, found it hard to experience delight. I was one tired mama.

As my children grew, I found myself caught up in a spiritual quest looking for Love with a capital ‘L.’ Eventually, my path wrapped a corner and I became reacquainted with the contemplative tradition and the monks and mystics (who I vaguely remembered from my young years as a Roman Catholic). I felt as if I’d come home. There was something in my cells that said, “Yes! This is what suits you. This feels good and true.”

From that point forward, I added more ritual into my days. My framework shifted from “hamster wheel” to “pilgrimage.” I woke up with excitement wondering where the sacred would meet and greet me. Along the way, I became acquainted with the work of Christine Valters-Paintner of as well as with the book Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day by Macrina Wiederkehr. My work in Spiritual Formation at Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, GA) added many gifts to my contemplative walk. When my journey led to artist, Shiloh Sophia, I felt as if I’d come full circle, finding a way to express myself through word and image.

This project, Give Us this Day: Book of the Hours, has essentially been in the making for over a decade, piece by piece. Now, I am bringing it to you and my heart is thrilled!