I am smack-dab in the middle of menopause. For years, I’ve had night sweats. And now I get the daytime flashes, too. No problem. A little hormone therapy helps relieve most of the symptoms. But lately, I’ve had these pesky 5 a.m. flashes that wake me up and keep me awake. (My snoring husband contributes as well.)
As a working woman in the big city of Chicago, my time is precious to me, as I am sure it is to you, too, no matter where you live. The drive to and from work eats up about two hours of my day. And when I get home from work, I’m committed to some type of exercise, either at the gym lifting weights or riding my stationary bicycle. Or walking my hound dog, Louie. When I’m done with that, it’s almost time for bed.
The other daywhen I woke at 5:oo, rather than fuming about not being able to sleep, I decided to use the extra time I had been given. So I got up, tugged on my sweatpants, sneakers, and long-sleeved shirt, and went for a walk around my neighborhood. I did not take my iPod to listen to music or books. I wanted the time just to think. For a block or two, my mind was filled with static: small tasks I needed to accomplish, what I would wear to work, how I need to lose weight, what I would take to church for hospitality hour on Sunday. But after a while, my mind cleared, and I observed the beauty of the leaves changing colors and the gorgeous Chicago skyline.
And then I remembered that I could use the time to let God speak to me. And so I did. Sometimes, if I ask, “Hey Jesus, d’you have anything to say to me?” he answers. (Not in words I can hear, mind you; menopause hasn’t completely shoved me over the edge.) Today, he said, “You know, you could use the time in quiet contemplation. You can walk, sure, but you could also make a space in your home to sit and listen to what I have to say to you.”
A sacred space. That’s not a bad idea.
How do you let time find you? Where do you go to chat with God?
Terri Lackey is managing editor of Lutheran Woman Today magazine.
If you want to make a sacred space in your own home, Women of the ELCA can help. We have a free, downloadable resource, Sacred Spaces, on our Web site. It’s a helpful guide to creating a personal sacred space that enriches and supports your practice of regular worship within a community of faith. Learn how to select and create a sacred space, whether that space is a whole room, a quiet corner of a room, or your garden.