Wednesday, October 3, 2012

For when there's just no margin (Day 3)

The clock flickers from 3:13 to 3:14am and I lay quietly, listening. The rain has finally stopped, carrying a chill and the smell of soggy earth in its wake. We forgot to turn off our string lights on the front porch, and they glitter on the rain-flecked window, twinkling through the slats in our bamboo blinds like a galaxy scattered in our front yard. I think to myself that probably, most likely, profound truth is nestled in the beauty of it. But crying begins again in the next room over, and all my mind can register is "boy that's pretty," followed rapidly on the heels of "boy I'm tired."
Some days, noticing the beauty has to be enough. Some days, I have a work photoshoot and I make a book-page wreath, and I take pictures, break-up fights, and help eight year olds learn to count by tens on our front porch. I steal a little margin by sitting in my room and listen to giggles and protests in equal measure from the cracked window.
Some days the blonde-headed ballerinas throw tantrum-upon-tantrum, and the busy baby refuses to leave his spot on my hip. And so I throw a post for today just under the wire, and refuse to listen to the scoffers in my head who whisper that I nearly missed already and it's only day three.
A sweet friend commented on my first post in this journey and said that they were fighting to protect their hard-earned margin. And I realized as I re-read her words today that I'm going to have to fight for my margin.

And so fight I will, even when it seems hard. When it feels like I just dont have the time or energy to think about margin, let alone fight for it.

But space, margin, room to breathe and think and listen . . . They are worth fighting for. Because when we make space for our souls, space to breathe; then Christ can come in, and everything important happens in the margins of a life that we let fill up with Him.


  1. So proud of you for even attempting your '31 days, Margin'! And you, once again, expressed it beautifully. When we don't have hours to fill our 'margin', we must take minutes, or even seconds. Thank you for reminding us that it may be hard, but it IS doable to find a little time to reflect, meditate, and be thankful.

  2. This is so so encouraging to my soul and makes me wish I had tried to get to know you guys better when I was apart of the dream center. I've been in culinary school full time and working and most recently dealing with my brothers lukemia diagnosis and its all so exhausting and I often feel guilty for the margins that I take. But this has reminded me how "hard earned" they are. Thank you

  3. One of my weaknesses is protecting family margin, but not leaving any for me. One of the ways I am fighting for my own margin, is doing my 31 Days series. Reminding myself to leave 5 minutes to chase some beauty I see; allowing myself time to verbally process my journey in a blog post. As a homeschooler newly doing high school, now I am prayerfully considering what margin might look like in this busier season. I HOPE I am open to however God shows that should look. (Even if it means going to bed a little earlier- blech!) :) My youngest is 7, and I want her to have a life with margin, not caught in my whirlwind, too. (Of course I want this for all of them, but 7 year olds naturally have less going on than 11 and 14 yr olds!) Thanks for sharing your process this month- it's very helpful in keeping this topic in my mind and in my prayer!

  4. I call these moments "Self imposed time out"

  5. I need this so bad. Your posts are leading me into something good, Mama.

  6. I wandered over from the Nester and have absolutely loved this series. Keep writing--even if you have to double up on some days--just.keep.writing.

  7. Thank you, Becca. As usual, I feel like you are writing my thoughts. And as usual, I get so much encouragement from your writing. I remember Andy Stanley's messages about margin/take it to the limit, and I don't think I really "got it" then. I definitely get it now- probably because I also feel like I have no margin. Its a challenge to juggle it all, but I know that if we work to create margin we need, He will help us along the way. I'm looking forward to more posts about this theme- thank you!!

    PS- I love, love, love all these new pictures of Caden. He is absolutely beautiful.

  8. Just stumbled across your blog for the first time tonight. I can relate. As a single, working mom who is also involved in several ministries at my church I find myself frequently over-whelmed. The only thing that has saved me this last year is the concept of Sabbath. On the weekends that I have my kids we go to church Sat night and spend Sunday doing nothing. I LOVE it. My kids LOVE it. It restores us. I finally figured out why God commands it - we desperately need it. I encourage you to fight for that sacred time and space. It is worth it!


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