Most homes have some kind of “hang out” space. This could be a living room around a fire place, a family room where the TV is, perhaps a sunken den with an oversized comfy couch. It is somewhere were people in the home enjoy gathering. They choose to spend time there. Perhaps in yours there is a bookshelf or game cabinet. This space is not a place for isolation. You can’t expect perfect silence for constructing that card pyramid on the coffee table. If you are video chatting with someone, expect others to join your call.
As we talked about last week, the dining table is a relational place. Families come together to share their day, to talk about what’s going on in their lives. The living room is also a relational space. But instead of a space for talking about what’s going on, it is the space where the going on is happening.
Take a look at your living space this week. What is the focal point of the room? Is everyone able to access their favorite space in the room? Slow down this week and be intentional in observing how your family uses the space. Consider the following ideas to make this space inviting, clean and functional:
- Vacuum under the couch and tables.
- Vacuum or deep clean the furniture
- Untangle and organize any wires, cords or other electronic elements that have become untidy
- If you have bookshelves or other organizers, take everything off, deep clean and then reorganize the materials in a thoughtful way
- Consider adding a plant or flowers to bring greenery and life to the space (artificial is ok!)
- Clean windows, inside and out
- Launder drapes or curtains
- Invite your family to a game night. Make it fun with popcorn or other treat
- Begin a read aloud with the whole family. If you need ideas, the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis is a great place to start. Even of some have read them before, there is something unique and special about these books which makes them worthwhile at all stages of life. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is particularly appropriate for Lent. If you would like other ideas, check out The Read Aloud Revival and take their short quiz on the homepage. We have loved all the recommendations we have taken so far.
What about your spiritual living room? This is where the rubber meets the road. You’ve been fed at the Eucharistic table and been brought into closer unity with Christ. Now you have to go home, go back to work, go out into your community, and interact with people. You have relationships with a great many people. Some relationships are presently flourishing. Others, perhaps in need of tending. Part of being in a relationship is being open to that other person. We listen to their needs and share our own. How well have you been sharing your needs? Are you willing to ask for and accept help from others? How well have you listened to the needs of others and been willing to be generous with your time and effort?
We are also in relationship with God. In the mystery that is the Trinity, we might be interested to discover that there is the opportunity for 3 relationships with God, while still being one relationship overall. We can spend time with God, our Heavenly Father. We talk intimately with Jesus, our Savior and our Brother. We feel the movement of the Holy Spirit deep in our souls. Lest this isn’t enough to contemplate, you also have a spiritual mother in Mary waiting to assist you on your journey to holiness.
Don’t be overwhelmed! This one week will not be sufficient time to cultivate all of these relationships. Spend some time in prayer and ask God for the wisdom to see where He wants you to spend your time and with whom.
Next week, we will travel to a more humble space. It is one of privacy, but is shared by all. There is always an opportunity for cleaning in this room, both physically and spiritually. See you then!