Have you ever wondered to yourself, how in the world am I going to get all of this stuff done? Work meetings, grocery shopping, school pick-ups, church meetings, house cleaning, vacation planning, the list becomes endless and 24 hours seems like it’s just not enough time. With so many things to do on our schedules we’re lucky if we can even find a moment to breathe, much less find time every single day to do something consistently. But in order to truly live an abundant life, the life God has called for us to live, we have to make room.
Making room – seems more of a wishlist item like taking a long trip to Bali or maintaining a spotless house at all times with multiple young kids. But it actually is something that we do all the time whether we realize it or not. When you schedule that nail or hair appointment, when you accept that interview, when you RSVP to a party, you are making room in your schedule and finding time to get something done. In the same way, we have to make sure that we are making room in our lives for God. God wants us to spend time in His presence. As a loving Father, He wants to talk to us and fill us with more of Him. He wants to tell us secrets and warn us about things to come and direct us on what decisions we should make in life, but this all comes with the relationship that we establish with Him.
Any relationship you’re in can only be sustained by consistent effective communication. Communication is a two way street of talking and listening. If you have that friend who always talks and talks and talks when you have a discussion with her and she barely lets you get a word in, you’re going to eventually dread having a conversation with them and probably try to avoid conversations entirely. Communicating is not just about getting your point across but it’s listening for feedback and listening to hear what the other person has to say as well. With our spouses, it’s so important that we become excellent listeners, more so than we are speakers. Now do not get me wrong here. You should absolutely speak up in your marriage, either when something is wrong so your partner understands that there is a problem or when things are going good so they understand your current state of mind. Talking to our spouse is essential. However, listening to their understanding of how they think you feel or what they think you meant by what you said is even more crucial. Listening allows you to understand your spouse’s thoughts, to empathize with him, and determine the best response to what they said. Now our episode today isn’t about communication in its entirety, we’ll do another chapter on Communication in the coming episodes. But communication is key to any relationship.
The two way communication equally applies to our relationship with God. We should be spending time in prayer not just to talk and ask God for our requests but to also wait in His presence and listen for His voice and His instruction. Also, with communication consistency is key. If our spouses only communicated with us once a week, our marriages would be in trouble. Big trouble. But that same concept applies across the board including our relationship to God. But sometimes, if we’re honest, if we take the mask off, sometimes, we find ourselves in a once a week relationship with God where we check in with him on Saturday or Sunday when we attend church – no offense but because I’ve been there, I will talk about it, even if I’m just talking about myself. Our Bible gets cracked open a little during the reading of the word and some of us more tech savvy readers can’t probably remember the last time we opened up a physical Bible. But sometimes our communication is limited to Sunday worship. Or we find ourselves in prayer only when we need something or when we’re in trouble. I heard God say to me one time I was in prayer that His people treat Him sometimes like a genie in the bottle. You rub Him only when you need Him. No one wants to be that girl or that guy who only gets a phone call when someone else needs us to do something for them. It’s not a good feeling, nor does it classify as having a good relationship with someone. So let’s not treat God in that way.
We have to learn to make room for steady prayer, for God this is how my day went, these are the things that frustrate me. For a, thank you God for creating me in your image, thank you for sustaining me throughout the day. Thank you for everything that you have provided, thank you that though there are many things I may want, you still supply all of my needs.
We have to make room in our lives, in our busy schedule to spend intentional time with God. If it takes setting a specific time of day that is your dedicated prayer or devotion time, if it takes blocking off time on the calendar, whatever it takes, it’s time to make room for God. And be consistent and persistent with it. Treat it like a hair appointment or an upcoming flight. You can’t miss it, you won’t miss it; you’re rearranging other events to work around it. Mentally set your time with God.
Now the good thing about making room is that it extends to every area of our lives. Spiritually and figuratively.
For example, it’s time to make room in that closet that is filled with clothes that you haven’t worn since 2001 or ones that were a gift that you know Aunt Sue bought for you that you would never pick for yourself & you would never wear, you’re just keeping it in your closet because it was a gift. Listen to me, you are not doing anyone any favors. Give that outfit away to someone who will love it and get it out of your closet! Donate to good will, find some women in your neighborhood or your church you can donate and bless their lives. You know, I learned an illustration years ago about giving and receiving. And it goes something like this. Imagine you have something you’re holding on to, it’s in your hand. It’s yours, you received it from somewhere. If your hands remain close, and you keep everything to yourself, you’re not in a position to receive. Because you can only be in a position to receive when your hand is open to receive, and when your hand is open to receive, it’s in a position of giving and when you’re in a position of giving, then there’s room to receive. So back to the closet, when you make room, you open the door to receive new clothes because you cleared the space. Make room in your life.
Make room in your heart to accept your husband’s faults. Especially the ones you met him with. Sometimes we marry knowing the things we dont like and we expect those to change when that’s just the person that he is. None of us are perfect and we’re all growing in our own ways every day. I’m certainly not the same person I was at 18 or at 20 when I married my husband than I am today. And over the last 13 years we’ve had a lot of room making to do to understand and accept where we both were in life and in our marriage. Make room in your mind and increase your level of patience to accept some faults.
To that degree, make room in your life to forgive others. That friend that said something to really rub you the wrong way or maybe it was a close family member who did something that you find extremely hard to forgive. The Word of God tells us that we should forgive in the same way that God forgives us. It’s a mandate that comes with the consequence of not receiving forgiveness from our Heavenly Father. Forgiveness is something else we’ll cover in other episode because it’s so crucial to living an intentional abundant life that God wants for us and it is yet again something we need to make room in our lives for. Colossians 3:13 says to Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. We have to make room in our hearts to forgive.
Another important area in our lives where we need to make room, and sometimes it’s overlooked, is for our children. What are you talking about Corain? I feed my kids, go to work to make sure they have a roof over their head, we make sure dinner is on the table and kids have what they need. All that is part of the job description of being a parent. But along with providing the daily things that our children needs like food, shelter, & clothes, we must make sure we’re making room to actually spend quality time with them. Listen to what they have to say. Find out how their day was. Take a keen interest to the music they’re listening to, who they’re spending time with, and what their hobbies are. Have a mommy daughter or mother son day every month where you do something fun together and just talk about life. With there being so much work to do, we can get so caught up doing things for our children that we forget to spend quality time with our children. And it’s so needed so we know what’s going on in our kid’s worlds. So we have to make room for our children to be able to come to us and be vulnerable and open about their fears, their goals, their wishes. We should be their go to source for the truth and for encouragement and agape love.
Finally, we have to make room for ourselves. Make room for yourself to breathe, make room for you to make mistakes and learn from them. As I said before, none of us are perfect. We are going to drop the ball, miss the mark, say the wrong thing at least at one point in our lives. But we thank God for His Holy Spirit and for his grace, compassion, forgiveness and love that trumps all. So make room for you. Have a me day every now and then. Give yourself the opportunity to rest and relax so you can continue to pour into your husband, your children, your family and ultimately into others you may meet.
So cut through the noise, put down the phone, turn off the TV and make room in your life. Spend intentional time in God’s presence, covering yourself, covering your husband, covering your children, covering your family in prayer. Make room for your spouse’s faults, make room to spend quality time with your children and make room for yourself. Oh don’t you forget that closet!