This is the easiest thing to say and the hardest thing to do. The last thing anyone remembers to do when they are trying to steer a tornado is to be intentional in their relationships.It feels like another demand on their dwindling time and energy.
Stress tends to cause a stripping effect, where a person slowly shaves away at anything that isn't completely necessary. We leap into survival mode, just trying to make it from day to day without falling apart. But this doesn't lead to wholeness or healing. It doesn't make our days easier to just survive them. We aren't simply co-existing with our roommates and neighbors, we were designed for more. Indeed, we are capable of more. The trouble is that often times in our times of trouble, we shave off time with the One that matters most, the One who can make all things new, who can make darkness light, the one, the only- God.
I know that in my darkest hours I've just crumpled up and waited for the moment to pass. I just wanted to make it and feel as little as possible. But the thing is, this is exactly when I should lose myself in prayer. This is when I should pull out my paints, rip open my Bible, listening closely during a meditation. This is when I need to choose to live into it, not just survive it. I was made for more- to feel more, experience more, to know God's presence in the madness of the cyclone of life.
It is called a "prayer practice" for a reason. We are practicing for when times call for more prayer, more intentionality. It is easy to make time to pray and commune with the Divine when things are going well. The intention of a prayer practice is to teach you to share that space all the time, especially when things get hard.
The more intense your life becomes, it becomes all the more critical that you remain intentional in your relationship with God.
Intentionality with your time, with your listening, with your communication, all of these things will improve the quality of your present life in all of your relationships if you can stick to them. Rather than shave away at intentionality, plunge into it and experience the profound abundance that is available in the moment at hand.