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Discover What Can Happen When We Make Space for the Spirit to Breathe

Not all that long ago I wrote about the need for spiritual whitespace. Actually, I wrote about that need in the context of a review of Bonnie Gray’s new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest. 

I began that post with this quote from Bonnie: “What would emerge from my life if I paused long enough to let his spirit breathe?”

This past week on vacation I let His Spirit breathe in my life. More accurately, I allowed myself space to hear Him. And it allowed my spirit to soar.

What emerged was a renewed desire and plan to pursue whitespace/margin in my life:

>To  become intentional about my time, so it doesn’t control me.

>To open up space to just “be.”

>To use the gift of each day in a way that pleases the Lord and doesn’t just satisfy a temporary desire in my life.

>To simplify my life around four core priorities, God, family, friends, and vocation.

>To create room for the Spirit to breathe more regularly in my life (for me to hear His whispers).

make space

A week of no Internet and no phone connection is good for soul-rest. I prayed and actually had time to listen  to God’s answers. I slowed down, read for fun, had uninterrupted time with my hubby and boys, and took time to notice the grace notes God slips in, like falcons playing far overhead or a toad in the lake or the fascinating dragonflies. 

It was inviting.

I found it difficult to return to an online, connected world. It took my husband’s insistence to get me to just turn on my cell phone. I waited as long as possible before powering up my iPad.

To be honest, I was afraid. Afraid of stepping back into the chaos and craziness of being connected 24/7, of feeling the pressure to perform, of the never-ending bombardment of information and expectation.

I was, no am, afraid I can’t manage the online world within a simplified lifestyle. Because there’s only a certain number of hours to go around. And social media can quickly claim them.

I don’t want to go back to the chaos of a life overflowing with “things” and “activities.” I don’t want to live physically and emotionally overwhelmed and spiritually undernourished.

Make Space for the Spirit To Breathe

So I’ve decided to make space for the Spirit to breathe in my life by bringing a bit of the unconnected life into the connected world.

Make space for the Spirit to breathe in your life by bringing a bit of the unconnected life into the connected world. Click To Tweet

To do so, I have to incorporate a few principles.

  1. Be led. Creating whitespace doesn’t carry much meaning if it’s main purpose isn’t to connect with the Lord in a deeper sense. Listening to the Holy Spirit’s leading creates more whitespace, which allows more connection, and the cycle continues. 
  2. Be disciplined. So I don’t fritter away my time on something of lesser importance. creating a schedule is imperative for me.
  3. Be flexible. Seemingly contradictory, flexibility and discipline are equally important, with flexibility opening up space for the Spirit’s leading and life to be fully lived.
  4. Be reminded. I need to remind myself regularly of what’s important. Not the numbers. Not the accolades. Not the amount of production. But the people and eternity.
  5. Be reflective. It’s too easy to let life happen. Things have a way of snowballing. We say yes when we mean no. We say yes when we mean yes but shouldn’t. We say yes to things of lesser importance, which prevents us from doing the more important. Periodically I need to reflect on why I’m saying no to more, why I’m turning away from Internet more, what soul-rest looks like and why it’s important. I’ll need to take a look at how I’m doing in these areas. Photos and my journaling from this extended trip will help serve as reminders of the freedom found in margin.

Being unconnected for a week gave me a taste for living life in the here and now, not the “what could be” or “what happened in the past.” It cleared away the fog of doing and allowed me a taste of freedom from the shackles of performance.

A taste I want more of in the months to come as I let His spirit breathe more freely in my days.

I’d love for you to join me in structuring our days so soul rest isn’t an exception but a given.

Structure your days so soul rest isn't an exception but a given. Click To Tweet

Then He replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14

Reflection: Do you struggle with the “connected” life? How do you manage the gift of instant/constant connection with the real need to create margin to let the Spirit breathe in your life?

Click here to purchase a copy of Bonnie’s guide to soul rest.

Next Monday, I’m excited to give you a glimpse into my vacation whitespace and share with you the gifts of the past couple weeks.

By His grace ≈

Julie

(There are affiliate links in this post.)

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “Discover What Can Happen When We Make Space for the Spirit to Breathe
  1. Sharon O says:

    wonderful writing. challenging, encouraging and real.

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