Thursday, July 24, 2014


Years ago, at a conference for moms, I heard a speaker talk about a topic I have no memory of.  In the midst of that very inspirational and memorable (ha!) talk, she casually mentioned the idea of margins.  She talked about her family's quest to keep the margins of their life together clear.  Just as a book with little or no margins on the edges would be difficult to read and impossible to take notes in or add to, a life with no space in the margins can be difficult to navigate.

As a young mom, I heard what she was saying, but, honestly, I felt powerless to change much of the stuff creeping into our margins.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to change it.  Our ministry to "big kids" was both challenging and fulfilling.  I liked the fact that high school kids might stop by at the drop of a hat for frozen pizza.  I didn't mind the margins being full because they were full of things we were doing together.  We only had one kid of our own, so he joined in with whatever was happening.  Our lives were full, but I didn't feel a need to change anything.

I am a firm believer that life, just like the weather, comes in seasons.  And so, as our home got more full and the babies started turning into boys and the boys into young men, I started resonating more with the margins lady.  This summer, in particular, our family has cleared the margins.  We have intentionally made space to just "be".  Oh, we're still throwing the camping chairs and bat bags in the back of the Pilot for baseball tournaments, and Mr. Wood has still been going to his job, and the big boy has had Open know the drill, they're never "required", but they are oh-so-required.  However, we have said "no" to things we easily could have said "yes" to.  We have carved out time to sit together by the fire pit.  We have slept in.  We have done projects around the house, not in that "we-are-so-stressed-out-cause-the-floor-is-falling-in" sort of way that we often find ourselves working, but in a relaxed, "just-because-we-want-to" way.  We have even said no to some fun things and important people in order to be with "our people"...the five of us...not because those other things and people aren't SUPER (cause they are...mostly!), but because the five of us will not always be living here together in this old house and the clear margins are sometimes the only space where we can love and be loved, know and be known.

Join me, clear the margins.  Make space.  Chances are, we won't regret it.