Rev. Cheryl Kimble is the Pastor of The Church @ Highland Park, which is my family’s church (since 1990). Rev. Kimble has served Highland Park since 2000, first as Associate Pastor and now as Pastor since 2012.
Interview with Rev. Kimble
1) Do you have a daily practice or routine to help you focus, stay centered, and live meaningfully through the day?
My routine has changed a bit during the pandemic. B. C. (Before Covid) my routine was much more consistent. I would spend some time in the morning reading and in prayer before I headed to work. Now, I move to my recliner in the living room and do things in a bit different order. I like to spend the first part of every morning focusing my thoughts and day through conversation with God. I also try and lay down things that are bothering me, especially things I don’t need to be focusing on.
2) How long have you utilized a daily practice?
My entire life my parents modeled and encouraged a daily practice. My mother and father spent time every morning reading scripture and spending time in prayer. We also prayed before every meal. It was just built into our lives. As early as middle school I began to have my own time of study and prayer.
3) Do you have an ideal time and place for your routine?
It depends on the activity going on in my household and some times the weather. I may sit outside, or in my recliner, or sometimes I’m sitting in my bed. A morning routine works best for me. If I plan on “sometime today” it often doesn’t come.
4) What are the elements of your routine?
Always prayer, in fact prayer in a consistent part of my day. I use commentaries, books, blogs, podcasts, and conversations with other pastors each week to prepare myself for the sermon I’m working on. That is the main focus of my scripture study.
5) During each day do you have a mini version of a practice or reminder techniques when the day goes wrong or you get distracted to help you refocus?
I have a prayer technique from my pastoral counselor when I need to spend a few minutes refocusing, laying burdens down, or centering myself. I’ll often find a quiet spot and go through that practice.
6) Do you periodically audit your daily routine for its effectiveness and make changes to it?
When I might find myself clearly slipping out of focus, I work on a new “routine” or re-energize my current routine.
7) In addition to a daily routine, do you have a more extended seasonal routine or personal retreats?
I almost always have something during Advent and Lent that I study. I try to find something new and different each season to help me see scripture differently. For example, I love attending the annual Festival of Homiletics, spending time listening to other preachers share their talents. Getting “away” to a quiet place helps me re-center by reading and being with others in study.
Cheryl is a great Pastor, role model, and friend. Her experience with daily and periodic faith and life quality routines is so very well grounded (since middle school), intentional, and flexible to keep these routines evolving and avoiding stagnation. Cheryl draws on diverse sources for her practices, which are deeply rooted in her parents, who modeled faith in how they lived.
Learn more at https://www.hpbcaustin.org/