How Creating Space in Your Life Cares for Your Soul
I’m feeling uninspired lately. To be honest, even figuring out what to blog about these days has been tough. Typically, I have lots of things I am thinking about, questions I’m asking, and ideas I want to put out into the universe. But lately…I’ve got nothing.
The definition of uninspired is “to lack spirit, creativity, or zest.” Have you ever felt this way? Like your spirit is tired, your creativity is kaput, and you just aren’t really interested in anything? I’m there.
I was talking to my husband about this particular dilemma the other evening while we were lying in bed. He casually suggested that maybe I was feeling uninspired because I wasn’t creating enough space in my life to feed my inspiration. Dang. I hate when he is right.
How could I ever expect to be inspired when I fill every empty space in my day?
My days are pretty jam-packed. Not only do I have a husband and two girls who keep me busy, but I also work from home. So basically, when I am not doing the mom thing, I am doing the work thing. Not to mention all the other things that need to be done in order to run a home.
Let’s be honest, we all have important things in our day that need to be done. We need to be attentive to our family and friends; we need to get our work done; and we need to do the humdrum tasks that are required of being an adult (taxes, paying bills, cleaning, etc.)
However, I began to wonder if there were small spaces in my days that I choose to fill.
For example, how many of us take our phone into the bathroom? Turn on music when we get into the car? Say “yes” to things that crowd our schedule because we are afraid of saying “no"? Check social media when we have more than a millisecond of spare time?
The other day, I was sitting at a long red light and found myself reaching to check my phone. Don’t judge. You have done it too.
Our culture has made us become uncomfortable with just “being.” We feel anxious when we resist the urge to be productive or take in information. We believe the lie that we “should” always have something to show for our time. This is the best way to smother our spirit, creativity, and zest!
Not every moment needs to be filled, and not every day needs to be scheduled.
Perhaps the empty space in our day isn't meant for us to fill. Maybe it is meant for us to be filled.
I think creating space falls under the spiritual discipline of “Self-Care.” God did not design us to always be “on”, connected, or engaged in constant activity. Our brain, hearts, and souls need some quiet space in our days.
This is how much God cares about us making space for the good of our souls…
“Be still and know that I am God.”
“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.”
“You let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”
Psalm 23:3 (MSG)
We need space to be still and remember that God is with us.
We need space to rest and be filled with God’s strength and peace.
We need space to reflect on how God might be specifically guiding us.
Here are a few practical and simple ideas to help you create space for inspiration:
1. Creating space away from the phone.
Resist the urge to pull out your phone when you have space. Choose instead to be present. I often find that inspiration comes when I am truly present with others or emotionally in tune with myself. Therefore, don’t check your phone while waiting for your drink at Starbucks. Set the phone aside to watch your kids sweetly playing together for those rare three minutes. And for the love of everything pure and holy, DON’T check it when there is a lull in conversation with someone else. Just choose to fully be wherever you are.
2. Using pockets of space you already have.
We all have small pockets of space that we don’t need to (or shouldn’t) multitask in. Showering, cooking, or driving just to name a few. Recently, when I get to drive without my kids in the backseat, I drive in silence. It feels like my own personal, little space where I can breathe and recover from the busyness of the day. So this week, allow yourself to rest in those carved out spaces. Don't clean out your purse while you are cooking dinner (yes. I do this for some odd reason). Don't catch up on email in the bathroom. Don’t listen to music or your favorite podcast in the car. Just be. See what thoughts or ideas come to mind in your carved out spaces.
3. Protecting your space around bedtime.
When you get into bed at night, choose to do something life-giving instead of turning on the TV. Trust me, I totally understand that watching “The Bachelor” and “This Is Us” feels life-giving. And sometimes a show is exactly what we need. However, I am going to go out on a limb here and maybe suggest that TV doesn’t fill our souls as much as other things might. And if you are in an inspiration rut, mix it up a bit. Read a book. Watch a TED Talk or sermon and talk it over with your spouse. My husband and I played Jenga the other night, and it was a fun way to break up our TV show routine.
What inspires your spirit? What sparks your creativity? What gives you a zest for life? How can you intentionally create space in your routine to allow these areas to grow?
Remember, creating space is not about disconnecting. Creating space is a tool to help us become more connected.
When our days aren’t filled to the brim, we have more capacity to feed our creativity, be present with others, tend to our own souls, and be attentive to God being with us.
May God renew your spirit, bless you with creativity, and give you a zest for life as you seek out small spaces to find inspiration.