Thursday, October 11, 2012

Margin as Inner Space (Day 10-11)

If I'm honest, I dont even know if it's supposed to be day 10 or 11 today so I'm just going to say 10-11 and be done with it. Holla margin (ps - the kiddos think I'm really cool when I say "holla").

Yesterday, as I drove the familiar route home from Jayci's school, the morning air was crisp. I had my favorite scarf loped around my neck and my go-to gray boots on my feet. Brilliant blue sky peeked around puffy white clouds, and all felt right in the world. I slowed to a stop at a yellow light just as it flicked to red. And I thought about how I haven't shared or even learned one practical thing about margin so far. I haven't figured out how to create margin, how to have more time, how to say no to hard and pressing needs all around me. I don't know how to stay on top of the losing battle against the clutter and laundry (both dirty and clean) strewn about the house. And yet, somehow, I had this strange sense of space inside myself. Like I had managed to figure out, miraculously, how to make space for myself even without having any, you know, actual space.

Maybe it's because I've just been more conscious about finding space in my soul, finding time for myself even if it's just five minutes here or there. Maybe because I'm thinking about margin, being intentional about margin, I find myself recognizing those brilliant moments that feel OTHERWISE. The moments that I can step outside of myself, where time stands still. And in the stillness of time, I find space. My soul breathes and I am refreshed.

Now don't get me wrong: sometimes usually these moments are few and far between. But when I start looking for them, I find them nestled between putting Jayci in time-out for the twelfth time today and cleaning already-chewed food from every crevice of Caden's high chair (my most-hated multiple-times-a-day task). Somehow I pause long enough to notice the sun dancing on the hardwoods and glowing on blonde heads as they dance and spin and toss balloons into streams of sunshine.

When so many kiddos pile onto the porch that we can hardly break up one fight before another begins, their voices and questions shrill and grating on my frazzled nerves. So we herd them to the park, where we run and swing and dance, and the sun shines warm on my shoulders. And I step outside of time long enough to recognize the beauty of loving our neighbor as Jayci pushed the most beautiful little punkin on the swings and Caden reaches across for her hand.
When Caden runs around terrorizing and destroying everything in his path. Climbing on chairs and knocking over my diet coke until it fizzes down into the carpet. Scribbling on paper and floor alike. Pulling Jayci's hair and laughing as she shrieks. And suddenly he grabs and kisses a picture of himself fresh from open-heart surgery. And the breath goes out of me and slowly fills back in as I step outside of my mundane to recognize the sacred. And I want to slip off my gray boots in recognition of holy ground. Of redeemed pain and of healing. Of the Father's presence in every mundane moment, in everything we take for granted.
Perhaps I will still learn (and share) some practical things about how we need to create more margin in our lives. In fact, I feel certain that God has some things to teach me on the subject. However, I think first I needed to recognize the space and gifts I already have. And maybe if I keep looking, noticing the margin, for 31 days this month, I'll create a brand new habit and live a life transformed.


  1. I think you are right that we have to realize the margin that we already have even when we feel like we have none. Thanks for making me more aware!

  2. Discovering soul margin is so wonderful. Now if you do manage to hack some quiet time out of your life you can enjoy it! Nothing kills margin like a head full of to do lists.

  3. Love this post. In pondering my own fight for margin, I have been wondering if part of my success would be ME, just being different, in the way I am during this current season. I'll be rereading this one a few times!

  4. Amen, amen, amen!

    I have many of these sacred moments where I suddenly realize that this whole entire life, (laundry, dishes, crying babies, a husband working late again) is 100% undeserved.

    I think of the simple fact that Josie and Gabe are here with us and not in a slum being neglected. That Gabe's tiny heart is beating, and the wonder of it takes my breath away. Thank God they can argue and sass and climb the outside of the banister even though it's not allowed. They are HERE! Growing and learning.

    We just have to see it.

  5. Beautiful word. This part made my eyes well up:

    "And suddenly he grabs and kisses a picture of himself fresh from open-heart surgery. And the breath goes out of me and slowly fills back in as I step outside of my mundane to recognize the sacred. And I want to slip off my gray boots in recognition of holy ground."

  6. OH MY GOSH, that baby on the swing is beautiful!


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