we created white space

white space 9

I’m a little reluctant to write this post for two reasons. 1. I don’t fully feel like I created the white space I wanted to create in these 31 days, and 2. I am feeling very attached to this topic and I’m not quite ready to give it up.

What have I learned about white space and what that means in my life?

I know that a number on a scale and a size on a pair of jeans does not determine my value. Filling my closet to the max with clothes in order to make me feel better about the baby weight I hang on to steals my white space and my joy. It robs me of financial white space and physical white space.

I know that I was created in His image and that being clothed in strength and dignity is so much more important than what I wear.

I was able to clear out my closet and the bathroom cabinets and the toys to create more room for us and to remove the stress that comes with clutter.

We fully intend to do a bigger purge when we move into the house.

I know that I commit to things to please people and to make them happy. And in hopes that they’ll like me. I have commitments that I love and I feel valued there. And there are commitments that make me feel stressed and ignored. It becomes clear to me which commitments are hard on my family and which commitments don’t affect my family at all. I have a lot of work to do, still, in this area. But it’s time to cut back.

I know that I want my home to tell a story and I want the decor and treasures to be things that mean something to me. Not just store bought pieces to fill the space.

I know that I thrive in community and relationships are the most important thing to me. But in order for God to be able to move in those relationships, I have to create space in my heart and my mind to open myself up to people.

And I know that no matter how much space He is given, the Father is forgiving and merciful, and He is always there.

I don’t want to do it all. But I want all that I do to be done well.

So cutting back, focusing on my family, clearing my calendar and my space frees me up to be able to give my attention to my people and the projects that mean a lot to me.

What have you learned this month as we’ve gone down this road together?

This is Day 31 of 31 Days of Creating White Space.

You can read all of the other posts in this series here.

the truth about white space

white space 9

So here’s the thing.

So much of where we want to create white space is in the spaces where we just have responsibilities. And life. And commitments. Jobs, mortgages, finances, child-raising, cooking dinner, doing endless loads of laundry, carpooling, diaper changing, breaking up fights amongst siblings, caring for our parents.

It’s just life. Sometimes it breathes life into us and sometimes it robs us. But it is life.

What I’ve learned, though, is that if I do all of those life things well, and am a good steward of my time in those areas, then there is white space.

And in that white space is where God has room to move. I have room to breathe. We have time for relationship and community and all the really great stuff that breathes more life into us.

The truth is, I didn’t have a lot of white space this week. I did my responsibilities, but I’m overcommitted on projects I can’t get out of right now. In many different areas.

And all that running around has caused me to miss out on really great things. I’ve lacked stillness and margin and, as a result, haven’t been able to hear or see all that God wanted me to this week. What did I miss because I gave my white space away?

This is about being intentional. Being good at what I do. Not procrastinating. Doing my day well. Loving well. Getting that laundry washed, dried, folded and put away so that I can move on to the next thing and hear the conversation that I’m having with my friend over coffee. And give my undivided attention to my child when he confesses something bad that happened at school.

I want to be available to love and to listen and to create relationships. Not to be rushing and apologizing.

Getting the big stuff done leaves room for the really good stuff. The most important stuff of all.

Each day, we’re telling our stories and people all around us are watching how we do it. How we speak, how we spend our time, how we commit and how we love.

Having the time to build relationships, be vulnerable, and create breathing room is the most rewarding challenge of all. It is there in that white space that we’ll see God move and see lives change.

This is Day 30 of 31 Days of Creating White Space

margin & the mama's heart

white space 9

I write a “mommy blog,” and I’ve barely touched on the subject of motherhood this month. I’ve talked about removing the excess from my schedule and my kids’ schedules and what that can do for us in the evenings and on the weekends as a family of four.

But I haven’t talked about motherhood.

About the consuming love. About the fullness that comes over me when Hayes hugs me around the neck. About the way my heart swells when Hudson observes something for the first time and is able to articulate what he saw. About the fact that I’ll have a kindergartener next year and what that means for me.


Why haven’t I talked about my mama heart and finding white space there?

Because it’s not there. I don’t have a solution. I’m afraid there’s not one.

And it’s a place of vulnerability that I’ve actually been afraid to touch.

This love is all-consuming. This love keeps me awake at night as I pray myself to sleep and ask God to guard their hearts and protect them.

As each day goes by, there is a new set of challenges for each boy. New milestones. New developmental goals. New social issues.

My heart carries the burden of whether or not Hayes has caught up on all of his speech goals and how he’s keeping up with his classmates. It carries the burden of how Hudson is treating his classmates and how they’re treating him. Is he showing love, and is being shown the same love?

There are no goals to create white space in my heart. All I can do is pray for them and love them. And I won’t be looking for white space when it comes to that love. I will just trust God’s sovereignty. That He knew them before they were born, and that His plan for them is perfect.

Every day it’s a new challenge, a new milestone, or a new precious realization that they’re growing up.

I’m on my toes, and my heart is always ready for the next big thing. There is no rest for the mother’s heart. It’s just going to keep on loving. No vacation, girls night, clear calendar, or any amount of margin can take that from me.

This is Day 29 of 31 Days of Creating White Space

sometimes He gives us a cross

white space 9

About a week ago, my friend Megan sent me a text that said, “How do we achieve white space without backing out of all of our commitments and alienating ourselves?”

I’ve watched Megan gracefully step down from a commitment in favor of being able to devote more time to her small children. And I know that took so much courage and self-awareness to recognize what was giving life to her and to her family. And she made the decision.

I think the answer to her question is to just ask God. Listen to His call for your life in this season.

God never promised us that things would be easy. We may be called to do things that are uncomfortable and messy. When Jesus tells us to take up the cross and deny ourselves, that’s not supposed to sound like a cake walk. Our calling, following Him, and denying ourselves isn’t about us.

But hearing that calling, recognizing His voice and where He wants us to be takes a full relationship with Him. So ask Him.

I’m making space in my life so that I can hear very clearly where He wants me and where He doesn’t. What is distracting me and making me so busy that I am rushing through quiet times? Rushing through my prayer life.

What do You want me to do, Lord? Where do You want me to serve?

The purpose of white space is not to create this cushy little space where we are in control of all of our commitments and obligations. Where everything is beautiful and clean and without mess. The Lord wants to mess us up.

Our pastor said yesterday, “Sometimes His gifts are pretty and sometimes He gives us a cross.” A cross. That is painful. It’s supposed to be painful.

He longs for our dependence on Him.

He wants to fill us up.

My answer to Megan, and for you, is that I’m leaning into Him and asking Him what to keep. And what to give up. And some of these things I already know in my heart are not life-giving. There are things in my life that make it nearly impossible for me to be filled by Him. And some are commitments and some are just things hanging in my closet.

How would you answer Megan’s question?

How do we achieve white space without backing out of all of our commitments and alienating ourselves?

This is Day 28 of 31 Days of Creating White Space

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