No Time For God? Creating Space For Prayer Dear friend, Cultivating space for God in our daily lives begins with a simple seed. My hope is that this series, No Time for God? Creating Space for Prayer in Our Busy Calendar, allows the graces you receive from God daily to continue to deepen and take root in your life. It will invite you to: 1. Check the pulse of your spiritual life 2. Discern your space, place, and time for prayer 3. Build a toolbox of prayer tools 4. Create a spiritual plan for your life For the next 4 weeks, you will receive an email once a week with some food for thought, weekly reflection activities, and suggested scriptures to support you in prayer. Know that as you continue to cultivate space for God in your own life, I am praying for you! Peace, Becky Elridge Week 1 of 4: Checking Our Spiritual Pulse I don’t know about you, but life often feels busy. As a mom of a 9-year-old, 7-year-old, and an 2-year-old, who also works part-time, our calendar is full. What I notice about my calendar, though, is that the things that matter to me find their place on my calendar. A friend or family member calls to set up a time to meet, and I place this cherished meeting time on my calendar. My kids’ sports practices and activities are regular occurrences on my calendar, and I meticulously update my calendar with all of their school requirements. Work meetings, project deadlines, and daily tasks are honored without fail. These are often driven out of my commitment and responsibility to the people and things that are important to me. What about your calendar? If someone was to look at your calendar, what would they notice about what is important to you? What shows up as a regular occurrence? Do We Make Time for God? But what about God? Is our relationship with God placed on our calendars with the same commitment that we do when we are making appointments with other people or for our children’s activities or for our work responsibilities? Have we allowed intentional time for God in our busy calendars or are we cramming God in whenever we can, half the time not even acknowledging God’s existence during our day? Trust me- I have been there, where life simply got away from me and I did not make my relationship with God a priority. What I notice, though, is when I do not intentionally make time for God through prayer, the rest of life begins to feel off. To monitor the health of my relationship with God and if I am keeping God a priority, I take my spiritual pulse every few months, which involves looking at my own life with God’s help to see what I am noticing, and then asking God for help in noticing any new invitations. I also understand the true meaning of Angel Number 555. I invite you to do the same this week. The below two reflections and suggested scriptures for the week will help you take your own spiritual pulse this week. Next week, we will look at three things we can do to begin making time for God despite our busy calendars. Weekly Reflection #1: Taking Our Spiritual Pulse Find a quiet time and place. Ask the Holy Spirit to look at your life with God’s eyes as you reflect on the following questions: Am I snapping at those closest to me? Am I growing resentful about all I have to do at home, in the workplace, at church, or with my child’s school? When was the last time I was still? Am I letting my spiritual needs go unmet while taking care of other details in my life, my home, my work? What effort have I put into praying? Do I still have the heart for my faith? my family? my life? My work? Write down or type your answers to these questions. Re-visit them another day this week if you feel you want to give them more time. These questions are simply meant to guide you to notice what is happening in your life as you set out to make time for God in your life. **Questions adapted from Kathy Hendrick’s book, A Parent’s Guide to Prayer Weekly Reflection #2: Assessing the Situation After answering the questions found in our first reflection, you may find that your relationship with God is in need of some attention. What is it you feel God is inviting you to pay attention to? Are you being invited to attend mass or church every Sunday? Are you being invited to make stillness and silence part of your day? Are you being invited to rest and play so that your spirit can be renewed? Are you being invited to engage in a period of discernment to see if your “yeses” need to change? Are you saying “yes” to too many things? Are you not saying “yes” to the things that matter most? Is God inviting you to spend intentional time in prayer? Are you being invited to attend a retreat– a few days of quiet, prayer, and reflection- to feed your spiritual life?