white space

by Kristen

Too much white space. That was my first thought.

The image to the left of the text looked awkward and unbalanced. I found another picture to pair with it. It eliminated the rogue white space. The flow improved. The spacing was perfect.

But eliminating white space in my life has never made the flow better. Excess margin is not a problem for me.

My calendar isn’t jam-packed, just full. Yet white space—margin—is more than what’s left around the edges. It’s a way of life. It’s the best yes, not simply learning to say no. It’s respecting that I wasn’t designed to go, go, go. None of us were.

Sabbath. Rest. Stillness. Margin.

It’s more than aesthetics. It’s nonnegotiable.

Quiet moments let me hear the uncertainty and worry thrumming through me. Only then can I trace them back to the source of anxiety gnawing at me.

In still moments I can feel the restlessness and see how it drains me. I can turn it back in fumbled phrases to the One who soothes the places left chafed from striving.

But margin isn’t one size fits all. Neither in quantity nor in practicality.

I need to turn off the TV, to be alone, to let my fingers drum a keyboard until free-form thoughts work their way to coherence. I need to read words of wisdom and listen more than talk as I pray. Those are my regular rhythms to maintain safe borders.

But that’s just me in this season. Sometimes I can handle tighter spaces; other times I have to clear the deck and sit in the openness.

I seek white space. I stake it out and guard it.

White space keeps the text and the images—the noise—from overwhelming my soul.

 

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