Finding Space

5 minutes. I just need 5 minutes to sit and be alone with my thoughts. As soon as I sit down, someone is yelling for me that they can’t log on to zoom. Or the phone rings. Or the dog whines to go out. I only want a few minutes of uninterrupted time. And even if I do get a few moments, there is no place to go. I will have to escape to my closet or corner of my bedroom to find some solace.

Maybe time and space are an illusion that we will never have again.

Okay, that seems a bit dramatic.

Maybe finding space is a matter of shifting my perspective.

Mary had just given birth and there was zero space for her to enjoy the newborn with her husband. Visitors were flocking from nearby fields. But...

“Mary treasured all these things and kept them stored up in her heart.” - Luke 2:19

As we read the first Christmas passage in Luke we see a lot of things: angels, shepherds, animals, etc. What we don't read is Mary saying anything. She remains still and quiet. I'm sure some of it had to do with just having a baby, nevertheless, she sits back and observes all that is going on and cherishes it.

In this 2020 season, we may be less busy running around than years past; we also have less alone time because everyone is home. So how do we find space in a crowded house? I think we learn to sit right in the middle of it and breathe.   

If we embrace the chaos and treasure each moment, escaping to another room becomes less of a priority. We learn to see and hear Jesus without needing the “quiet time.” We see him in the smiles of our children. We hear him in the wisdom of our friends. We feel him in a hug from our husband.

When space is hard to come by and time flies by in seconds, take a page from Mary’s book and center yourself through the gift of moments.

  1. Shift your mindset. Start your day with no expectations to be alone. When you don’t expect it, you aren’t frustrated that you didn’t get it. 
  2. Re-calibrate your clocks. No, I don’t mean change them so the kids go to bed early...although tempting. Find ways to utilize just a few minutes a day. Shovel the snow outside or fold the laundry in your room, alone. Think of these small breaks as gifts to talk with the Lord. 
  3. Observe first. Whether you are going into a room or just listening to a conversation, give yourself a few moments to see and hear your family before you enter in.


JL McCarthy

December 15, 2020