Creating Our Own Sacred Spaces
Commentary by Jennifer Hicks
My church, like most, closed its doors in 2020 asking people to stay home and stay healthy. Without my weekly worship service, I worried that I might find myself drifting from the anchor that those special meetings give me.
The opposite happened. My teenage son and I held our own Sunday service, complete with hymns, the sacrament and uplifting messages. It was a time never to be forgotten. We were more personally engaged in our worship. It was closer to our hearts and minds, and we felt the Lord was watching over us.
It was because of the pandemic, that I learned to elevate the spirit within the four walls of my home by thoughtfully making it a sacred space. I continue to strive to make my home a place where I feel peace.
Prayer is frequent in our home. From the morning and evening prayers to those offered before our meals, and those given in the heart, there is very regular communication with a loving Heavenly Father.
I do my best to keep our home tidy with a weekly chore list. Having beautiful plants in the house also brings the outside in and freshens the air. Plus, I love the power of essential oils and candles to bring relaxation and positivity.
Taking time to exercise at home shows that I appreciate my health and want to care for my body, which I consider to be my temple. The program “Aging Backwards” is my current favorite.
Connecting with family on a regular basis from home also makes my space sacred to me. Phone calls, reading the monthly family newsletter, video chats and group texts help me stay current with my eight siblings and parents. There is always a lot going on in everyone’s lives.
I have found so many incredibly uplifting programs to watch that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do so. When I choose a positive program, it helps me feel joy and peace. My favorite app right now is BYU-TV. There is a show called “artful” that features artists and how they create. I absolutely love it! I also spend time watching YouTube educational and travel videos and college lectures on Wondrium. And there is also the very popular program “The Chosen” that gives depth to Christ’s ministry and the gospels. It draws me in and makes me feel I was among those that the Savior ministered to in the flesh.
Mindful cooking and eating elevate my spirituality each day. I like to think of all the people that made it possible for me to enjoy the food I have, and I try to prepare it with gratitude and give thanks before I partake.
Writing in my journal and reflecting on the good things I noticed during my day are a special routine for me and help me see the hand of the Lord in my life. In addition to the pages of the journal I write in, I also have a large book without lines in which I draw pictures to help me process things and remember important experiences.
Occasionally spending time on the website FamilySearch.org to work on my family tree or learn about my ancestors also brings a special feeling of peace into my life. I also like to read books about my ancestors and try to apply the lessons they learned into my own life.
I enjoy attending events and going places, but now I cherish the hours I spend in my home more than I did before the pandemic. I’m also grateful that I get to work from home and can control the environment around me.
With my son now in college, it’s just me and our Yorkipoo, Teddy. I still have my daily devotional for roughly an hour each morning, just as I did during the pandemic. I play beautiful, recorded music, and sing and play hymns on the piano or violin. Then I dive into the scriptures, messages from church leaders and uplifting books. I write down impressions and take time to ponder what I’ve learned.
I take our prophet, Russell M. Nelson, at his word. He has repeatedly taught the importance of making our homes a sacred place.
“Have you ever wondered why the Lord wants us to make our homes the center of gospel learning and gospel living? It is not just to prepare us for, and help us through, a pandemic. Present restrictions on gathering will eventually end. However, your commitment to make your home your primary sanctuary of faith should never end. As faith and holiness decrease in this fallen world, your need for holy places will increase. I urge you to continue to make your home a truly holy place …”Russell M. Nelson
I hope that your home also provides you and your loved ones a sanctuary from today’s chaotic world.
Jennifer was born and raised in Spokane and is one of nine children. She graduated with a B.A. in music from EWU and plays the piano, violin and organ. She taught private music lessons and worked in non-profit fundraising including serving as director of development for the Spokane Symphony. She left Spokane for 14 years and lived in Hawaii, Italy, Maryland and Greece. She has been a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is passionate about her faith.