I do believe I've found my margin.
It's a funny thing; lasting change is so subtle. You never really notice it until you stop and look around.
A few years ago, I ran breathless. Part of me loves living on adrenaline and part of me was hooked on the productivity of busy.
But in my soul, where it counts, all that rushing was making me miss my life. I was so focused on the To Do List and the Next Thing that I missed the Right Now.
When my heart started to whisper that it wanted something more - a slowing, a stillness, a Sabbath - I didn't know where to start. It seemed so overwhelming, after a lifetime of preoccupation. How do I stop? How do I find some time to just be?
It started, as all change starts, with one step.
I decided to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from my life. That meant I had to cut a lot of things out of my schedule. So I did. Together, Corey and I decided to enroll the big kids in just one extracurricular event per year, instead of one per season. We decided to pull out of AWANA and other midweek church programming, because the hours were too hard on the little kids. I decided against a weekly Bible study for me, preferring instead the easier schedule of my twice-monthly moms group. I even made the somewhat draconian decision to say no to all evening events for the time being, because it's just not worth the fall-out of not being here at bedtime. (I hate putting four kids to bed by myself when Corey travels. So I can't justify making him do it because I want a night out with the girls.) (And here I should note: This is MY decision, not one I made lightly, and I am not asking you to do it. But this works, right now, for our family.)
All of this means I have exactly two mornings a month when I am committed to something. Every other morning, every other day, is at my disposal.
Which means I can do nothing if I chose. I can color all morning and do puzzles at lunch and then fold some laundry while Kieran naps and Teyla watches Team Umizoomi. I can bake cinnamon bread and whole wheat muffins and stir up big pots of chili and pork apricot stew. I can sit and cuddle my last baby when he falls asleep in my arms. I put off going to the grocery store unless absolutely necessary, and I don't run to Target just to get out of the house. I'm just fine here, thank you, sitting by the fire with my people and playing Candyland.
Wide margins. Oh how I've changed.
Suddenly, I understand why my graphic artists friends are such fans of white space. Without it, you don't really focus on what's important.