I’ve been back in school for three years now. Combine the workload with my day job as a nurse with a season of raising small children with the personality of an introvert, and it’s easy to see how my bedroom became a sanctuary. My husband painted it white for me as soon as we moved in. We went with simple bedding, minimal furniture, no pictures, no clutter. The kids know to always knock first if the door is closed. We don’t even have a lock on that thing. They don’t even touch the doorknob.
I spent hours reading my Bible there, typing out papers, and reading for pleasure before bed. But there were also naps and conference calls that weren’t necessary. There were also black holes of internet scrolling with the blankets pulled up to my chin in the middle of the afternoon.
For some folks, the bedroom might be an helpful spot for a home office or destination getaway. For me, over the last few years, my bedroom became home base. Remember playing tag as a child? If I could just get to home base, I’d be immune and safe. I could close the door and disconnect. It was easy to use my mom voice, “I need a minute – please leave me alone.” But that minute turned into an hour or more, valuable time that could be spent doing more to fill my soul and less to focus on myself and how hard this season is.
So in 2019, the bedroom changes. I still need a space to sneak away for a minute when needed, sure. But I don’t need a black hole in which to numb. My kids understand the complexity of our family’s schedules and respectfully give me time and space whenever I ask, but there’s no good or healthy reason for me to disappear for hours on end to my bed.
Practically speaking, here’s what it looks like for me…
A technology-free bedroom. My phone is out. I bought an alarm clock on Amazon and removed the phone charger from my side of the bed. Sometimes I take calls in there if I need quiet, but I try to park my phone on the hall table every time I walk into my room. It charges in the adjacent room at night, ringer on high for emergencies. Additionally, my computer is out. No more school work in bed. I sit in the dining room with the door closed if I need to concentrate, but I try to do most of my work in the kitchen where my kids can access me if needed.
A task-free bedroom. I no longer take whatever I’m working on into my bedroom. This could be eating, or meal-planning, or reading my Bible. I’m spending a lot more time in the den, even if nobody else is at home. I’m trying to build healthy habits and take up healthy space in my house.
To simplify the bedroom is to engage in spiritual warfare. For me, at least. I know what happens if I lie horizontal too long. I know what happens when all of my lines get blurred and routines run together. Life begins to feel foggy, and I lose sight of the God who called me to this life and sustains me to keep at it.
And so, I fight. I sit upright and read my Bible and find my Heavenly Father in its pages. I plant my rear end on a hard chair to type papers and count the days until graduation. I choose to only participate in sleep and sex (and an occasional argument or two) in my bed, to protect my space and my heart and my family. My bedroom is still a sanctuary, but now the whole house is too. Because my God is big and powerful like that.