Today could have been a disaster…but it was beautiful.
My son Shaun is a master at “creating space”. I first began to learn about this phrase over the summer months during a Scholé in the Home class with Christopher Perrin of Classical Academic Press, and, since then, I have spent time thinking about the phrase and wondering what “creating space” means.
As a seasoned Mom, I create special places all over our home. We have places to sleep, to eat, to study, to craft, to clean, to store, etc.–yet, had I stopped to create space in our day…EVER?
I have spent lots of money, time and energy (oh, that last one’s so valuable!) on learning how to be more organized, how to be a better wife/teacher/mother/prayer warrior, how to be a better therapist/mom to a special needs child…
Until this summer, I hadn’t really pondered what it means to make time to simply just be.
My 18-year-old-son-with-Down-syndrome, Shaun, is a master at creating space. At times, this has been difficult for our family to handle. We get so very caught up in getting out to the car, grabbing water bottles and bags, shoveling down a quick snack, racing to get to that next lesson…and, sometimes, there Shaun sits. Normally, he is thinking over what music he just listened to, food he might next eat, or hugs that he will offer when we get to where we’re going. In other words, hospitality is everything to Shaun.
Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.
Shaun feels no embarrassment in seizing the opportunity to simply be, to create space, in the midst of chaos, stress, pressure to perform, others’ delusional expectations, and, basically, the ridiculous rat-race we call life. Our culture in our family should authentically be a celebration of life, always resisting the pressures thrust upon it by a culture that measures everyone, even the weary and downtrodden, by their productivity.
But how does one create space? Trusting in the Creator, not in myself, to light the path to follow while keeping my eyes gazing upon the cross opens up space to just be his little girl right where I am today. It is enough, when I trust in Him. It is being at the foot of the manger, where the wonder of Christmas always is, another truth that is clear to Shaun.
Today, we each in our own way followed Shaun’s lead and created space. This week was a “disaster” in the measuring kind of sense…not many items were checked off anyone’s list. However, much happened in the spaces we created: our family prayed in a meaningful way together for several families that joined us spiritually from afar; one child started an online business; one child began to giggle and laugh and be more joyful; one child began to remind us at prayer time that we hadn’t confessed our shortcomings aloud in awhile; and one child who had known for awhile the joys of creating space smiled bigger than all the rest at dinner tonight.
And I, well, I found new friends unexpectedly who gave me the courage to set thoughts down right here at Juniper & Willows, where I hope to share all kinds of things I’m learning about Scholé in the Home and teaching with a joyful heart. Please pray for me, as I pray for you!
Till then, blessings and seek scholé moments today!