I know it’s trendy and cliché, but I like the idea of having a word or phrase of the year. It can be a good way of helping me keep my focus and make needed changes. Last year I struggled to decide on a word, but this year I knew before December 1st what my phrase would be for 2023: Making Space.
When you hear the phrase making space, your mind might immediately go to physical space, and we probably need to do a bit of decluttering, but my main focus is going to be space on the calendar and space in my mind.
What Does Making Space Look Like?
I think Making Space will look different in different areas of my life, but it will mean taking a good look at our priorities and goals and making sure that we are saying no to things, even good things, to make the space to say yes to what we are called to
Making Space in Our Homeschool
I had been thinking and praying about my daughter’s high school years and felt God lay those words on my heart. I realized that I needed to make space for her to achieve her goals and move forward with God’s plan for her life.
That will look different for each child (and I’ll be praying about that for each one), but for my daughter, it means making more time for her to focus on her music studies. In practical terms, it means she isn’t going to do some of the other electives and extra courses my son did, even though they might be included in a typical college prep course of study.
She will, of course, complete all of the requirements, but she will skip some other classes, like Spanish, to make room for more music courses and practice.
Sarah Mackenzie once said, “The sky is only the limit if you are an airplane.” I think we often forget that when we plan out our children’s homeschool schedules. We believe we can do all the things and add the extras, but sometimes we need to step back and make space.
For my oldest, making space may look like finding him more time to focus on his business. For my eight-year-old, it may be more art time. I just want to make sure we are giving them the time-space in which to pursue their callings and passions.
Making Space for our Family
Over the years, we have made some decisions to keep our outside activities manageable as a family. For us, that meant that we mainly chose activities that the family could do together, we avoided activities that kept us from family dinners multiple days a week, and we turned down some otherwise good opportunities.
However, even with those safeguards, the past year has felt super busy. We are active in our church, our AHG and Trail Life troops, and 4-H. When you add on extended family activities, the teens running small businesses, my oldest being dual-enrolled at the community college, etc., it was becoming too much.
We plan to sit down, re-evaluate some of the extras, and make sure that we are making space for us to be together as a family and to rest and recuperate. When we are too busy or away from home too much, tensions get high, attitudes get poor, and there is no peace in our home.
I am making space on our family calendar by allotting at least one or two days a week that we are home together for the entire day. This will allow us to rest, keep up with chores, and complete schoolwork without feeling overburdened.
Making Space in my Spiritual Life
I know the importance of Bible study and prayer for my spiritual life. I also know the importance of service, and I think making space for all three is vital. However, I have been off balance and need to make time for all three.
We were in a season of heavy service (which isn’t a bad thing). We also have been focusing on Bible study and discipleship within our home (which is vital), but I feel the Lord is convicting me that I need to make space for more personal Bible study time. I must ensure that I am immersing myself in His word so that he can guide me as I teach my children. So I will look at my days and make sure I make space for that personal Bible study.
I am looking forward to this year of making space, and I think it will bring renewed energy and refreshment to our homeschool, more peace in our family, and growth in my spiritual life.
If you have ever gone through a similar season, I would love to hear what worked for you. I would also love you to share your word or phrase for 2023. Let’s cheer on each other!
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