Life only gets busier. People told me that in seminary. Moms said that to me in the newborn stage. I knew it was coming in the pre-k years.
Now it’s here. With three young and growing kids, I spend my days running from one thing to the next. I struggle to create space for my soul to rest and reconnect with the Lord.
So I’m getting creative. It’s a work in progress to be sure. But I know I need space. Here are five ways I’m creating it in a hectic season.
Get up early. I know this one isn’t for everyone. If your children wake up at 6am or your job starts earlier than most, you may not have the time.
I’m not an early riser. I don’t wake up when the alarm beeps feeling rested and ready to start the day. But I also hate scrambling. So I’ve inched my wakeup time forward. Even just a few minutes while the house is still quite gives me space to think, workout, or pray.
Having space in the morning can prevent stress. When we’re not rushing, we’re less like to snap at our children or spouse. We have time to think before we speak. We can be present to what’s before us and able to address it in a healthy way.
If your mornings feel packed, look for ways to cut down on tasks. Make lunch at night after dinner. Set out your clothes (or your children’s) before bed. Streamline your routine so you have space to deal with the unexpected things that come your way.
Leverage car time. I love car time. If you’re a young mom or busy professional, it may be the only alone time you get. So take advantage of it.
Silence is good for our souls. It creates space for unacknowledged fears or anxieties to surface. It gives us an opportunity to evaluate mistakes. It allows us to plan and pray.
So turn off the radio if you can. Take a few moments to listen to what’s inside of you. Or use the time to talk with a child about something they may be struggling with. Some of our best conversations — with ourselves and others — can take place in the car if we’ll get quiet enough to listen.
Listen well. We need silence to evaluate what’s going on in or around us. We also need truth poured in.
If reading your Bible is a struggle in your current season, try listening to it instead. There are a number of apps that will read scripture to you. You can pick your version, voice, or background music.
Listening gives us a fresh take. You might notice something in a familiar passage that never stuck out before. Meditate on it. Let it rewind in your head throughout the day. Pray that phrase over your day.
You may also listen to music. With so many worship songs available, pick ones filled with biblical truth. Turn the music into prayers. Hum them as a promise. Sing them to your children.
God gave us words to encourage, strengthen, and correct. Listen to them. Reflect on them. And let them shift the anxiety or fear to faith, forgiveness, and hope.
Pray throughout the day. On packed days prayer can be especially difficult. It’s hard to quiet our souls when we have so much to do.
I strongly believe we need time set aside to pray. But if you find yourself falling asleep during your prayer time, or struggling to calm your racing thoughts, try praying throughout the day.
When I’m especially stressed, I often pray while I’m working out, cleaning, or doing another routine task. Having my body busy frees my mind to focus.
Pray for your child on the way to or from school. Set a reminder on your phone to pray for a friend or family member. Pause to pray before meals. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, and the only way we can practice this is by ongoing communion with God throughout our day.
Schedule it. Sometimes the only way space happens is by putting it on the calendar. Set aside your work one evening of the week. Read a book. Listen to music. Or just enjoy the quiet.
Avoid turning to your phone. So often I seek a reprieve by scrolling online. But news headlines, social media posts, or shopping never fills my soul. It numbs it.
If we want to be women who are present, we have to set aside meaningful time to listen to what’s within us, sort it out, and then allow God to fill us up again.
Busy seasons wear us out. Creating space — even in small ways — gives us endurance.
What’s one way you can create space in your current schedule this week?