My husband and I recently went out on a much-needed date. We attempt to schedule date nights every few weeks in order to step away from our crazy, busy lives—raising three active children and managing work and home. We had scheduled this particular date night a solid month out when we each sat down to look at our calendars and find a pocket of time when we actually COULD steal ourselves some time away. It was intentional and awaited.
The week leading up to our date night was busy and exhausting. When night finally arrived, we were tired and so tempted to just bag it and cuddle up on the couch with a movie (which would really mean passing out long before the closing credits rolled). But we pushed thru, determined to honor our intention to get away and have focused alone time. As we sat together at our favorite local restaurant, the busyness of the previous weeks just melted away. We fell into easy conversation, eager to connect, loving the laughter, and soaking in the refreshing time and space we had to just be US.
This intentional date night that we had to push ourselves to actually make and honor reminded me of how many times we need to be intentional with our TIME in order to create the SPACE to connect, grow, rest, refresh, you name it!
Our time to do that with God is no different. Whether it be intentionally waking up and going to my quiet-time chair in my home and opening up His Word, or honoring our family commitment to attend worship services each week at church, or marking my calendar months in advance to attend a Women’s Retreat or our annual beloved Kirk Camp, we have to be intentional about creating that TIME AND SPACE.
I do not know about you, but so many times I have these voices that try so hard to convince me to bag my intentions and curl up on the couch instead. Sleep calls to me over my quiet time with the Lord, whining kids deflate my desire to get us all out the door on Sunday morning, and our jam-packed calendar attempts to convince me that I cannot step away for two days for a retreat or drive five hours to a church camp for a week, the drive alone would be too exhausting.
"I never regret the time I have given to Him; it is only when I do not do it that I have regrets. Getting away for a retreat refreshes and renews my soul and my heart for Him, whereas never tending to my soul and my heart dries up my love and desire..."
Yet every single time I intentionally carve out the TIME and SPACE in my days to intentionally step away and grow in the Lord, I do just that. I never regret the time I have given to Him; it is only when I do not do it that I have regrets. Getting away for a retreat refreshes and renews my soul and my heart for Him, whereas never tending to my soul and my heart dries up my love and desire, just like it does when I do not do the same in my own marriage. Our family vacation to Kirk Camp each year renews us as a family, quenching our thirst for Him individually and together, allowing us time together to laugh, rest, and play.
This year, I invite you to create more TIME and SPACE, intentionally, for the Lord. I challenge you to mark even five minutes on your daily agenda to spend with Him in His Word and in prayer or one hour to go to the beautiful chapel on Wednesdays at FPCB and be in His presence during the “Time and Space for God.” Or take it one step further and carve out two days to attend the Women’s Retreat from April 1–3 or step even further away and go to the beautiful Kirk Camp in Swanzey Lake, NH at the end of June. Whether it be five minutes or five days, God will meet you in that TIME and SPACE. He is already waiting.
Jennifer Ragazzo is a member of First Presbyterian of Bethlehem and lives in Tatamy with her three children and husband of fifteen years. She holds a BA in Psychology and an ED.M in Elementary Education and is currently pursuing her passion for ministering through her writing. You can check out more of her writing on her personal blog at http://asoulfullifebyjen.blogspot.com/.