Breathing Room

IMG_4581Excuse the gap in posting, I have recently come back from a week off where I spent time grazing on treats from local deli’s, meandering the beach in the late winter sun, playing and pottering, doing a few lengths of the pool, and frittering away the hours. I’ve come back refreshed and alert. I feel awake and on form.

The strange thing was, I wasn’t exhausted before I went on holiday. I realised that for the first time in a while, I am in that lovely moment in time when I have capacity in my life. I have some margin. Some space and scope and surplus. The really strange thing is that I feel quite ashamed and reluctant to admit that. We glorify and glamorise the idea of being rushed off our feet, working at 110%, proudly brandishing the title of busy. But I am none of these things at the moment.

I am, however, a little restless. My big temptation is to fill the gap. To eradicate the breathing room. To load and stuff and cram and jam more things into the space that I have. But I’m leaving it there quite intentionally. I know that I’ll have to fight to protect the margin. I’ve recently read Lysa Terkeurst’s The Best Yes, and she shares “A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.” Margin is healthy. Margin is the difference between what you could handle and what you take on. When we say yes to something, there’s less of us for something else. We need to make sure that our yes is worth the less.

I was reading through Genesis the other day and noticed time and time again that “there was evening, and there was morning”. Evening comes first. We begin with rest and sleep and replenishment. Sleep goes before work, not the other way round. We were created to function out of a place of rest. God intended for there to be Sabbath and rhythm in our schedules.

Of course as soon as I press publish, I know something will come along that will fill my time. God will show me a project or open an opportunity and I will look back and laugh at this post. And there will be seasons. Seasons where the days are longer and night resting is shorter. But I’m writing it as a reminder to make breathing room. In the old testament, they made altars as a reminder of lessons that they’d learned and things God did through them. And this post is an altar of kinds. It’s a reminder of the healthy place. It’s a way of living where when God invites me to something, I have the surplus of space to say yes. In every season, I want there to be space.

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