A dear relative is staying with my husband and me for the winter. We are introverts who enjoy a quiet house and value our alone time. My dear one is an extrovert. There are lots of phone calls coming in from family and friends. We have lots of conversations about everything under the sun. We take walks together. We run errands together. The three of us are finding we have lots of opportunities to learn about communicating and setting boundaries. It’s an adjustment for each of us. Mostly, I think it’s going pretty well.

hot-air-balloon

As grateful as I am to be able provide a source of refuge, I occasionally find myself feeling a little annoyed by the presence of another person in my sanctuary. I love this person and value sharing time with my dear one. I don’t like having these negative feelings.

As I brought this concern to God during our quiet time together, it occurred to me that this situation could be made into a spiritual practice. I’m asking God to use it to help me make more room for others in my world. Here is a prayer I say when things feel a little crowded:

Loving God, help me to create more room in my spirit for others. Breathe a greater capacity for love and tolerance into my heart.

As I pray, I visualize God’s Spirit gently blowing love and light into my being as though blowing up a balloon. Afterward, I feel lighter and more available—more capable of enjoying this precious season and the company of this person I care so much about.