Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Sanctuary

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Good morning friends, I'm wondering the last time you felt scattered? When is the last time your calendar wasn't really full? Can you remember the last time you needed one big heap of rest? 

The month of May, at least as I experience it, with young kids in tow is a month full of all of these things. There's end of year programs and teachers who need to be appreciated. There's appointments to schedule. And there's one last push of activities that must happen before the summer comes. I have found myself in need this week of our word of the week: sanctuary. 

Sanctuary: a place one goes to find protection, rest or safety. 

If I were to ask my 7 year old what this word means she'd probably tell me it's the place we go on Sunday for "big church worship."

But this morning, I'm not talking about a building or anything associated with church at all. I'm talking about sanctuary as a place we go on the inside when we are in need of protection, rest, or safety. I'm talking about the feeling of being at home and at rest within ourselves.

Where do we do to find space when we need it from life's ebbs and flows?

Rev. J. Dana Trent in her book, ​For Sabbath's Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship and Communit​y offers these suggestions about finding our sanctuaries-

  1. Step away from the phone.
  2. Practice humility. I am not the Creator; the world will not fall apart without me. 
  3. Be intentional about rest. Take a nap! 
  4. Relish time in community (I only have this moment!) Be present and give thanks for your gathered tribes of family, friends, church, neighbors and strangers.

I love the practicality of this list as it reminds me that finding sanctuary begins with making space! Space to dream. Space to re-charge. Space to feel the grounding that my body can offer me from all the things constantly changing in our world. 

You can offer yourself this gift any day of the week, any moment of the day and anytime you need it. Truly. And this is the place where I believe that God lives within you. 

If you find yourself on the struggle bus this week with the busyness train, I love what Meister Eckhart has said about finding sanctuary: “God is at home, it's we who have gone out for a walk.”

So breathe in and breathe out and remember -- there is a home within you, a sanctuary where you can go anytime you need rest. God is already there! 

Your heart can be full of peace no matter what comes in the week ahead. What a gift to take in! 



P.S. If you happen to be in the Athens, GA area, I'm thrilled that my friend Dana has written a new book and is going to be preaching at First Christian Church, Athens today. You can also find our service on ​livestream here.​ Also, we are hosting her on Monday night for a book conversation/ signing of her latest memoir, ​Between Two Trailers.​ Would love to see you in person soon!