Hearts, flowers, flowing vines, and random designs filled mine.
The margins were the free space, the blank part of the paper that had no purpose other than what I wanted it to be.
Our lives have margins as well. There is space in each of our lives that is free to be what we want, or maybe an even better way to say it is, what we need it to be.
Some of our margins are wide with lots of space to be filled.
Some of our margins are small spaces crammed into a busy life.
Some of us think we have small margins but really our margins are filled with “stuff” because somewhere we heard that to be busy meant you were successful or that you were someone.
For the past two years, my life has contained very small margins. Major life events have shifted the course of where I thought my life was going. I went from being a stay-at-home mom to going back to school, working full-time, raising two boys as a single mom, and more. It’s been a crazy life and many days I felt, and sometimes still do feel, like I am just making it moment to moment.
Thankfully, I am walking into a season where my margins have expanded again. There is once again moments of free space in my days. As I find myself with this space, I have a new understanding of the effects of being purposeful in how I fill the margins. It is the free spaces in my life that grounds me in who I am and fills me with hope and joy. It is in these places that I am filled up so I can continue to pour out. I cannot pour out what I do not have.
I find myself fighting against the pull of busyness and filling the margins in my life so I can prove that I am somehow successful or worth it. But the bags under the eyes are not badges of success and the “hurry, hurry, hurry” streaming from my mouth is not how I want to raise my boys or live my life.
Margins can also be stolen away by “good” things. TV, movies, Facebook, Pinterest, even blogging, while not always bad, can suck my time away until the margins are gone. And often I find that instead of filling me, they can deplete me and lure me into comparison game. Rather filling my thoughts with thankfulness and gratitude for the many gifts I have, I find myself grieving or coveting something or someone else.
At this point, I could easily launch into three or five steps for intentionally filling your margins. In fact I had three points written out and while they were great, something stopped me. I stopped because those three points would be me telling you what to put into your margins but they are not my margins to fill. They are your margins, your space to fill with what fills you up. And my margins, well they are my space. So instead of three steps, I have two simple questions that I am asking myself and maybe you will find it helpful as well.
- What are the spaces in my life being filled with?
- How are the margins in my life filling me up so I can pour out?