Friday, February 10, 2017


A dear friend of mine has taught me the importance of margins. It's a tricky concept really. Margins too wide = selfish laziness. Margins too narrow = unsustainable. I tend to swing from one extreme to another, often in reaction to where I've just found myself. Burnout, retreat, burnout, retreat, etc.

A part of the reason we put our oldest two in school this year was to provide me some much-needed margin. As the year has progressed, I've found my brain working again in ways that are exciting but also raise red flags that scream "Warning! Margins narrowing ahead!"

There are difficult questions of priority that I face, having been refreshed by this season, and knowing I am entering a season of significantly narrower margins. A new baby, the how/who/where of the next school year, concerns about our kids' activities that I feel need addressing, a new service opportunity alongside Mark...

All of those practical items vie for my energy and attention, while lingering in the shadows of my consciousness is the realization that I've neglected the fostering of kindred spirits. Years of little or no margin meant that I didn't seek them out, or attend to those I had. Anything that required more of me was too much. It was simply my reality: close friendships were a perk my energy bank couldn't afford. You might say I spent unwisely. I wouldn't disagree.  

 As I live through these remaining months of wider margin, I look ahead and wonder how best to use my resources. What are my goals and how can I count the cost before I set about building the tower, to be sure that I have what it takes to complete the tasks I begin?

I'm excited about what's ahead. I look forward to snuggling a newborn, to maybe again being the teacher of my children, to serving along with Mark, and to spending myself on others in friendship.  ...and somehow doing it all within margins that keep life sustainable.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dear February, do you remember when...

I knew, at the time, that we were enjoying a particularly spectacular Autumn. Now, in the dreary depths of Winter, I'm so grateful I grabbed my newest toy and captured a few glimpses of those days. I share these, many of which have already been shared elsewhere, in case you, like me, need a little reminder of what color and life look like.

And, in case you were thinking that I, as a newbie photographer, have some special skill, I give you this, um, "portrait" of my kiddos. It's all sorts of awful, but I especially love that in an attempt to get a more natural smile from someone, I must've said, "Show me your teeth." Thank you, Lucy, for obliging.