Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Space We Leave (Day 14)

This morning, I woke up and spent twenty minutes alone (y'all are shocked, right? I am too). During my alone time, I thought about margin and what that looks like in my life and in your lives. See, all of us have STUFF in our lives that just isn't going away. Things like finances and jobs and kids and work and eating and so on and so forth. Those things, we write inside the margins. And I want to write them well. To prioritize and organize and choose wisely how I structure and order and manage all of those things. But that's not, I don't believe, where the most important stuff happens. I think that relationship, and justice, and joyful caring for the poor, and community, and connection, loving God and others, experiencing grace and adventure: those things happen in the margin. When we give God space to move and lead and enter into our stories.
So the question I'm pondering this weekend is this: how can I prioritize and write my story best with the things I MUST include, so that I can maximize the space in my life for God to move?

Because we ALL have a voice, we all have a story to tell. Whether that's the story of a stay-at-home- homeschooling-mom. Or a high-powered lawyer with a full-time nanny. Or a single mother who uses food stamps and section 8 housing to get by. A single girl who dreams of her wedding day. A daughter. Sister. Friend.

We all have stories to tell. Let's write them well, because we never know who listens to the story we are writing. I watch as dozens of neighborhood boys sit around our campfire this evening, and they listen to Adam, they watch him, pondering his story. So maybe the one who will be transformed by our story is the boy they call "Heavy," who has a broken middle finger that he loves to show off. Or perhaps it's the boy who brags to me about his dad getting out of prison and giving him money for $63 shoes and $14 socks. Or maybe it's the little girl running around with the sparkly super-hero cape and finding marshmallow-roasting-sticks for all the boys using her pink super-hero-x-ray vision mask.

Or maybe it's your neighbor, the quiet one whose name you can never quite remember. Or the coworker in the next cubicle. Or the perpetual facebook-watcher. The person in the next pew at church. Your children. Or your parents.

We all have stories to tell. So write them with purpose. Use songs or verse, or tweets, or long conversations over coffee, or prayers written in sharpie in your favorite purple moleskin journal. Just don't be afraid to tell them, don't fear not having anything to say, not having a "real testimony," or not doing anything important.

Because we must remember that anyone can write, and lots of people can write and speak extraordinarily well. What makes our stories compelling, what will draw people into them and transform us all in the process: is vulnerability, margin, breathing room, space for God to move and for His grace to cover mistakes and His glory to shine through success.

So tell your story. Prioritize and write the words and spend your time wisely. And don't forget that all the important stuff happens in the space we leave for God.

This is post 14 in a series of 31 posts (one for every day this month) on margin. Read all the posts here. And visit The Nester to see all the 31 Day link-ups (but be warned, you could literally read for days and never read all the good stuff linked up there!)


  1. Lovely and true. I emailed this to myself to think about more. Personally I am ALL ABOUT the margin, sometimes to the point that the necessary stuff starts to look a little rough. I fight so fiercely for the margin that I lose balance, because honestly the dirty dishes and laundry doesn't compell me at all.

  2. This is so beautiful. I LOVE the idea that we leave margin so that God has room to work. Also, it's killing me that in this post that speaks so much to me, that you would keep mentioning "writing." It seems like God is trying to speak to me lately...consider yourself being spoken through. ;)

  3. Oh how I love this post Becca! Beautiful as always!


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