Earlier today, I read an article written by a woman named Anne Dibb. I respect her not only as a woman of faith, but an example of great charity, kindness, and joy! To read her words, I’ve linked it here: Your Holy Places
She talks about spaces where we feel safe, loved, and close to God. These holy places help us draw nearer to Him, and I think we could apply the same principles to draw nearer to one another in our relationships. If we look at how God works with us, we’ll see that often it is in the moments, He reaches us, as opposed to long durations of time. At least that’s how it seems to come in my own life! I can’t remember full days where I felt constantly or overly loved or cherished, even if I was; however, I vividly remember moments throughout my life, that brought me closer to Heavenly Father, others around me, or both.
But what are these “sacred places” in our relationships? I LOVE the photo above, not only because I have a thing for blue-jean quilts, (I made a monstrous one a few years ago, and am half-way done with another one!) but the photo feels peaceful, still, and safe. Sure it is posed, but I think it’s a good example of a holy place. At the end of the day, holy or sacred spaces in our relationships are times or places where we can be loved, vulnerable, ourselves, usually give our undivided attention, and strengthen the relationship between best loves. They are little pockets of time, or experiences that slowly help bind us together. I’m struggling to express the nature of a sacred space, so let me toss out a few examples of what I have in mind:
- Like the photo, finding a spot to wrap up in a blanket, or snuggle up and check in with how your best love is doing, can be a “holy place.” We get so busy, when in reality, sometimes putting on the breaks actually takes us further in life.
- Being in nature may draw both of you towards creating a time you can step away from all the responsibilities and distractions for a moment. Going for a hike, a drive, or even just a walk around the block can become a holy place, when we take that time to be present.
- Every-Day tasks can become gold. Our homes are our own little worlds where we create the atmosphere and our own spaces. Making dinner, or doing the dishes together may become a time to reconnect, and talk. Maybe it’s having a slow dance in the kitchen after the dishes are done. At the end of the day, what do you need to feel close to your best love? What do they need, to feel they are close to you?
- Hellos and goodbyes are sometimes short, but even the routine, and taking a few moments to soak it in, can become a sacred space.
- It could be a literal place, like where you met, where you both grew up, or a place that reminds you of what matters most to the two of you.
- Sacred spaces can be amounts of time. I would still consider them moments, but maybe it’s taking a drive after church, and reflecting together. I read a blog years ago, about a couple who had a timer, and every day they would sit on the back porch together for 15 minutes. I remember the author being entirely amazed at how that 15 minutes seemed to completely reshape their relationship.
A few ideas on finding and creating your sacred places:
- Just try it. It may seem strange or uncomfortable at first, but it helps us each grow, regardless of where we are at in our relationships.
- Set aside the time. These can be small things. Try setting a timer, if you’re so swamped that it’s stressful to slow down. I can imagine a daily 15 minutes is one of the greatest investments we could make.
- Remember that technology is not worthy to be in the sacred spaces of your relationship. Be all in, and leave things like the phone, to the side for a few moments.
- Try consistency, and try being spontaneous. We can’t force closeness, but we can create opportunities for us to draw closer.
- Keep an eye out for the moments. Maybe there are errands that need to be run. Try doing it together. Maybe you bring dinner to share with your best love when they work late. We can each sit and wait for the moments to come, or we can develop an attitude of seeking them out.
Chances are, there are places to create those sacred spaces already in each of our lives. We all have to eat, do dishes, and most of us have to drive places. Netflix may be tempting, but scraping away 15 minutes of what could be social media time, may just entirely change the quality of the rest of our time.
At the end of the day, those sacred spaces are exactly that: sacred. I can’t say what could or couldn’t be a holy place for you. They are between you and your best love, and we find and create our own sacred spaces within our relationships. It’s the little things.