A Sanctuary Space


by Rebecca Leonard

1. a sacred or holy place

I don’t know about you, but as a parent, I think the beginning of the school year brings with it a mixture of emotions. One minute I’m ready to get back to some structure—to refresh my children’s memory as to the meaning of the word schedule. The next minute I’m lamenting the end of spending the day at the pool, eating popsicles, and hanging out with friends. One thing I know for sure is that along with the beginning of a new school year comes excitement, hope, new teachers, new friends, new subjects…and BUSY-NESS.

After school club meetings, tennis lessons, doctor’s appointments, orthodontics appointments, therapy appointments, soccer practice, theater rehearsal…the list goes on and on. Somewhere in between the end of school and bedtime, we’re supposed to fit in a bunch of extracurricular activities, homework, dinner…and hopefully, a shower. Then, add kids’ activities, other things that come with being an adult. Work, date nights, dinner with other couples, church activities, dinner or lunch with friends…and that is just the beginning of the list. With the running around we do, and all the good things we pursue, it’s easy to lose sight of the people in our house. We can live life at warp speed, and find ourselves living parallel lives with those we love the most. We are living life at the same time, in the same house, but not necessarily together and connected. Our busy-ness gets in the way of our TOGETHERNESS.

We can live life at warp speed, and find ourselves living parallel lives with those we love the most.

What is the antidote to this busy-ness? I invite you to consider creating a sanctuary space. As the definition above says, this is a sacred place. It’s a place that is special and set apart. What does this look like? For me, it looks like designating a space in the kitchen where electronic devices are plugged in when we come into the house in the evening. It looks like turning off the TV and turning on some relaxing music instead. It means stopping what I am doing to make eye contact with my kids while they talk to me. It means saying no to some plans so that we can spend time together as a family. It means having a meal together around the table. It means communicating face-to-face, planning, praying, laughing, dreaming, sharing, loving, and living. It means creating a space in which our kids (and we) can breathe, take a break from performing, and every family member can be who they are in a safe place. The world and all its busyness are waiting out right outside our front door. The message is, “do more, be more, get more, and people will like you more”. Let’s make the message inside our sanctuary place be, “ be you, exactly who you are, and that is enough. You are enough.” Let’s get to the real living now.