I remember learning to write in school and we always had to make sure we kept space at each side of the page.
“You need a margin,” the teacher would say.
I always wondered why? Why couldn’t I just write all the way to the end of the page?
So I would, and I’d get reprimanded.
I liked my pages full.
I’d get my work back and it would be all scribbled over in red pen, I couldn’t read it or understand it. It was such a mess, I’d be so frustrated. Then I got it.
Space to revisit. Think things over and consider changes. Review. Input. Edit. Make room for improvement.
No margin means no space.
When there’s no space, everything is a mess.
For the last month I have been in transition. It was an unexpected one, but I generally thrive in change and in this season I decided right from the beginning that I was going to make it about the things I often felt I had no margin for. I am often stuck in the place where the space is slim. Trying to do all the things I know are so important and not wanting to let anything slide. Feeling guilty almost all the time and not wanting to let people down. Often rushing through precious moments because I only have so much room on each page and the pages felt full.
I decided to make a purposeful shift.
Time for space.
In my last month of margin I have lived life to the fullest. I’ve gotten up every day and walked in the morning, I’ve spontaneously painted random things in our house, I have joyfully picked up and driven my daughter to school every single day, I’ve cooked and enjoyed making dinner, I have baked countless loaves of pumpkin bread, had a clean house, I’ve met up with friends for coffee, stayed up late and watched Gilmore Girls, I’ve finished my manuscript, I’ve gone after some crazy dreams, walked in the rain, had some great ministry conversations, hung out with a cute toddler, spent time with God, went to my nephew’s hockey games, I’ve made memories with my mom, sat on a cold windy beach and listened to the waves, I had a craft night with a friend, celebrated another friend’s birthday, gone to the grocery store in leggings with holes, I’ve created fun care packages for my son at school, made 4 different kinds of soup, packed lunches for my husband, I’ve bribed my sister-in-laws with dinner to paint my house, gotten addicted to the steps counter on my iPhone, and the list goes on.
I am living the wonderful life of margin.
My pages have never been so empty, yet so full all at the same time.
Sometimes our pages are so crammed that we leave no room for the things in life that give us joy. Right now, I’m basically just one big page of fun and I know that it won’t last forever. I can’t live in this season indefinitely and I’m looking forward to the next chapter. I have decided that what has brought me joy in this season, I need to protect in the next one. It’s been life-giving, it’s filled me up in places that were going dry.
I didn’t choose this season, but it’s been an incredible blessing.
An unexpected gift.
There will always be things in life that demand our attention and responsibilities. In the times when your pages start to feel full, remember to make space. The things that you value, the legacy you are creating, the people that you love and the moments that matter truly happen when you leave room in your life.
You are the writer of your story, you guide the pen and you set the margin.
Value it. Protect it.
There will always be things that you have to get written on your page.
Make sure to leave space for the things that will go on even when your chapters change.