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Sacred Spaces

By Andrea Rediske

“Moooooommmmm!! He’s TOUCHING ME!” one of my children screams from the front room, his eyes glued the latest episode of “Phineas and Ferb.” I sit in the other room in front of my laptop trying to pound out something witty yet intelligent to meet my latest deadline. “Stop touching your brother, or I will separate the two of you and there will be no more TV!” Just then, I hear a knock at the door and a, “Helloooo?” It’s Alex, the physical therapist, here to work with my oldest son who is in another room ten feet away with his nurse. After suffering a brain injury at birth resulting in his medically fragile state, he is cared for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week by these lovely women who, with a key to my front door, let themselves in every morning at 7:00 am. An entourage of therapists, health care workers, and teachers troop in and out of my house daily as well. Sometimes they knock, sometimes they don’t. “Come on in, Alex!” I yell, and turn back to my work. My desk is at the far end of the family room, which is open to the living room and the kitchen – Grand Central Station of our home. But it is the only place I have to work – every inch of our home is spoken for. “My kingdom for an office,” I mutter to myself. If only I had a door I could close to the hubbub and hear myself think.

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“Have a great day!” I call out to the boys as I drop them off at school, pausing for a moment in the car to watch them as they head to their classrooms, clad in identical school uniforms, and nearly drowning in the huge backpacks they picked out for the new school year. I take in a deep breath and let it out slowly, relishing the silence in the car. “Please Lord, give me strength and peace today,” I pray. Praying in the car has become my daily ritual as I drop the kids off at school. It is the one place in my life where I can be truly alone – no children, nurses, or therapists to distract me. The act of putting on a seatbelt has become a sacrament for me, and now I utter a silent prayer every time I get in a car, whether I am alone or not. The car is not the ideal place to have a conversation with the Lord, but if I concentrate on driving while simultaneously steering my thoughts toward Him, I can quiet my mind and have a meaningful prayer with my eyes wide open.

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“Lookin’ good, Lady!” my triathlon coach shouts as she breezes past me on the trail. “Hang in there! You’re doing great!” Usually I spend the muggy morning run under the glaring Florida sun chatting with friends, sharing stories of pulled muscles, workout plans, strategies for the next race, or the latest bit of salacious gossip. But today, I need to be alone. My oldest has just returned from his third hospital stay this year – a weeklong crisis that ended as abruptly as it began. After seven days in the hospital and numerous tests, there was nothing to explain his internal bleeding. He is home now and well enough, but we wait and worry and wonder if the bleeding will start again. I listen to my breathing in-two-three-four, out-two-three-four and try to let the strain of too many nights at his side in the hospital drip off of me like sweat.

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I sit in the South Jordan temple, clad in white, surrounded by some of my dearest and most trusted friends. It has been a long time since I’ve entered this sacred space, and I needed their strength to get me there. We embrace and I feel strong arms and hands holding me, literally and figuratively. There are minor interruptions to the ceremony, and as I sit and wait, I feel enveloped in calm and light. A prayer is uttered – familiar words, punctuated by a phrase that is a direct answer to prayer, and tears spring to my eyes. Melissa whispers in my ear, “That was for YOU. He knows you’re here.” We sit and weep happy tears together. I am awash in the love of my Heavenly Father and my friends. He hears me. He knows me. He loves me.

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Where do you find your sacred spaces?

About Andrea Rediske

(Blog Team) is the proud mother of two living sons, aged 9 and 7, and Ethan, who passed away in early February 2014. She is currently working as a freelance science writer and blogger and will begin a PhD program in Science Education at the University of Central Florida in Fall 2014. When she's not juggling the laundry, her writing work, and the busy lives of her little boys, she likes to squeeze in a triathlon now and then. Also, her husband rocks.

17 thoughts on “Sacred Spaces”

  1. The act of putting on a seatbelt has become a sacrament for me,

    So true, the quiet moment in the car. I have a 25 minute drive to a class I teach on Tuesday nights and it is my most centered time of the whole week.

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  2. I have sacred TIMES–among them are Friday and Saturday nights with my husband. I have to actively work against resentment when other commitments or requests (scout over-nighters, most commonly) want that same time and I don't yield them easily (even for the scouts. :))

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  3. Andrea, I've got tingles. Your magnificent soul shines in your words. My car is sacred space, yes. The temple, always. A spot of sun on my living room floor when everyone's gone but me. Anywhere, anytime I turn my face to Him.

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  4. The temple, of course. Girls' camp, for sure. And I'll have to second Lindsay on "lost in music at the piano." Those are the regular, dependable sacred spaces for me. Thankfully, God also blesses me with random, varied sacred experiences in random, varied places.

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  5. Sometimes – like right now – sitting in front of my computer screen, feeling your words fall like a benediction on my head.

    Late at night, when my sons are fast, deep asleep, and I stretch out on my bed.

    Lifting my voice with the ward choir.

    Walking into the temple.

    Looking at the stars, the dawn, the gloaming and sunsets.

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  6. Oh, the peace of the dark room with Christmas lights on the tree; love the image. It is a favorite time for me. Also love getting lost in piano music. As life gets more complicated I am surprised that I can find a sacred place more often than not when I need it. I have even found it in Africa in a mud hut with a loud boom box blaring. Interesting that the Spirit can find us anywhere.

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  7. Andrea,
    Behind the steering wheel weeping to the slap-slap of the windshield wipers; Sacred. Running in silence but with my husband and preferably near water; Sacred. Shower stall at 5:40 a.m.; Sacred. The frozen food section wearing sunglasses and deep in thought. Sacred. Front row, Music and the Spoken Word at the Conference Center; Also sacred. Flat on my back on the cold tiles of the cellar floor, headphones dripping Gregorian chants like an I.V. to the overcharged mind: Sacred. That quiet vibration of tension between myself and a loved one after quarreling then making up; Sacred. Sitting in the blue glow of my lap top at 3:16 a.m. after having been awakened by a dream that sends me to hotmail where I find holy words from an inspired friend. My lap: Sacred? (Hotmail; Sacred?!)

    But the temple with you, Andrea, and sisters on all sides, no question: Sacred. Sacred.

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  8. Everyone, thank you so much for your comments and for sharing your sacred spaces. I think it's so important to find some kind of place in our lives where we can access peace and listen to the Spirit, whether it's in our car, the shower, the closet, or in front of the frozen food section with our sunglasses on. The temple is the perfect and obvious sacred space, but we're not always able to attend the temple when we need a moment with the Lord. It's important to carve out a sanctuary in our every day lives.

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  9. I am learning that anywhere I can be still can become a sacred space. That is no mean feat in and of itself because the world is loud; my children are loud; the demands on my head are loud loud loud. But if I can still my soul, I can find sacred. I try to write down the things I learn in these sacred spaces in my scripture journal (which doubles as my conference journal and my temple insight journal) so that when I am hungering for the sacred, I can return, if only in my mind, to that sacred space.

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  10. Thank you for this. Finding that stillness and knowing that God is there in any space I see Him. That is sacred. I sometimes find that on my Yoga mat. Sometimes on a run or walk. Or staring off into the trees. Or even putting on my garments in the morning.

    Or looking at my baby (now 3) sleeping. We are so blessed to have sacred space. So many people don't seem to know sacred anymore. But can only mock those who can.

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  11. I stumbled on this post (and blog), and loved it! Years ago, I found a book called "My Monastery is a Minivan", where a busy mom talked about finding her sacred spaces and spiritual moments amid daily life.

    Your post today was a much needed reminder to revisit that idea, and find some sacred space (and time) in my daily life. Thank you!

    Reply

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