Creating Wide Margins

(I am linking this post at Sarah Mae dot com. Though it was written several weeks ago, it is one of the most valuable things I have grown to know as true for me. More and more, I parent best, and partner in marriage best, and serve best and live my best life when my margins are place carefully and thoughtfully. The prayer of my heart is to look to Him to order my days.)

I remember placing the crisp white paper in the typewriter, rolling it through and setting the margins.

First. And then typing away. The words, the story, the black keys striking the paper void of anything. Waiting for the keys to dance along within the pre-set margins. To form a story. To make order of the narrative.

And at the end, rolling the paper through the metal machine and seeing words in black mounds, like a tower, resembling a city skyscraper, neatly stacked reaching up and out, while the white margins hemmed in the story.

The white wide margins, like white noise, creating calm on the page amid a sea of black marks made by the striking keys. White noise margins, buffering. White noise margins calming and hemming in.

Margins creating a place of calm. Where the eyes see peace on the page, where rest for the reader is found. For a moment at the turn. Slowing the pace.

Eyes move left to right, but find a calm tranquil sea of white waiting. White soothing. White cushioning the turn from the end of one line before beginning another.

Inspiration and restoration are found in the quiet moment, before rounding the corner.

Rest and respite are found in the cushioning soft places of nothing

The keys stop hammering and the bell rings sweet and soft, as the carriage rings and turns down to the next line of the story.

Recharged and re-energized by a second or two in the margin of the turn. A moment of calm in the ocean of clamoring noise and black chatting keys whipping white paper.

And so too, the margins of my life.

The setting of wide margins where possible, when called, to have space to reflect, rest awhile with Him and listen to the quiet. Listen to the whispers to my soul.

Whispers of His will, His desire for my story, that is my life.

The place where the heart beat slows and life wrestles rushing to the mat. Where the soul is at peace with no agenda, plans, or harried list delineating desired to do’s.

The places where poetry and art find a quiet birthplace. And creativity breathes into the dull and the mundane.

The moments where our soul finds balance and steadies the wobbling worrisome heart.

Moments in the margin where our soul catches up to our living. And catches its breath to go on, into the places of living loud with exuberance and passion.

Seeking a steadying of the soul in the wide margins of His grace. Where we feel anew His mercy because we are quiet and still long enough to feel at all. The margins of our lives where its quiet enough to calm a restless spirit in a moment of renewal. A life-affirming pause.

The found stillness where we are in communion with Him in prayer.

Where the still soothes the soul like a salve to the wounded spirt. And we can catch a whisper in the net of listening and savor the words.

Where quiet reflection births gratitude and a re-connection to the Giver of All Good Gifts. Where Jesus sits and speaks into the intentional moments of white noise calm reflection.

Right before and right after the hammering black keys of life go dancing along their page.

The margins, wide and wonderful, where possible, when created, communion with Him, the birthplace of thought, the place where a thought can both find a beginning and an end. The space where patience is restored and rediscovered.

And the soul finds a brief moment of peace.

And all the senses savor in unison the beauty of His creation.

Counting GIfts with Ann.

* New beginnings, a first day of a last year of the last year.

* The first movies in too many years to count in a theatre with The Patient One, sharing popcorn, a big diet Coke and a lot of laughs. Priceless. A treasure.

* The Patient One walking an elderly woman to her seat in church, grace-filled tender. He strong, she fragile.

*Sitting with a friend in a hot high school gym watching my daughter and her daughter play volleyball, and seeing her sweet spirit on the court, not just the motions of the game.

*Getting bloodwork back from the hospital. The calls to say all tests were negative. And my daughter feeling better. No diagnosis, but no words carrying worry.

*Working with a helpful guidance counselor at the High School. So grateful.

*An encouraging email.

*A trip to the bookstore with the Patient One, just us two. A treasured memory.

*A beautiful comment of encouragement.

*Hope for the school year and a helper.

Linking with Ann at A Holy Experience dot com for Multitudes on Mondays (on a Tuesday)

And joining these lovely communities this week too, a privilege and pleasure

Denise In Bloom dot com

Intentional Me, Thought Provoking Thursday and Always Alleluia

18 thoughts on “Creating Wide Margins

  1. wow I too remember the old typewriters and even remember the typing tests I had to take before applying for jobs. Never was successful with them it is hard to work under pressure.
    Your words are calming and good, without margins we all would have much more problems.
    That dog picture is wonderful, tonight we take our sixteen year old ‘old black dog’ in for his last goodbye. He is failing and cannot continue in the condition that he is in. One always hates those appointments. He is my husbands dog please pray for us as we know it is a good thing but ever so sad. My Emma dog is wondering what is going on. We have them apart right now. She is outside he is in the garage.

    1. How my heart hurts. We are big dog people. Can’t tell you how many we have 🙂 Well I could but you might judge me. 🙂 LOL.. I will pray Sharon, for you and your husband, it is a difficult place to be. I have been there more than once. May this be a holy time, of remembering and letting go. I pray God gives you peace in these moments of releasing. They do bring so much joy and so much love, these furry people, into our worlds. Cherish your time today and tonight. He had a loving and wonderful home.:)

  2. Margins. Wonderful post. Will be praying for your daughter, hope all is well for her and you. The thought I had, as a semi retired admin… when you change the margins to a smaller width, hoping to fit more onto the page, you have to shuffle and work hard at fitting everything in and making it work. So true in our life when we crowd out the margins of our daily activities, we have no peace or calm. Great reminder to me to leave the margins be and spend the time with my Creator. Love stopping by your blog, it is comfort, peace and encouragement. May our Lord walk with you today and fill you with His presence. Thank you, DAF

  3. Your post is echoing God’s words to me as this is the 3rd post on the need for margin that I have read in 2 days…so my heart’s ears are pricked up and listening…Thank you, for your beautiful words and photos…so glad your daughter is well…so sweet how you call your husband, The Patient One…I can relate because my hubby is like that with me…Blessings, friend 🙂

    1. Oh Dolly, your presence here is always a gift. Thank you for your support and kindness. This has been a “theme” in my life for a long while. Hope there was a nugget of blessing in it for you and others. That would be gift and to God be glory if it is so.

  4. I read your comment you left at my place, so I hopped on over right away. I didn’t reply to yours yet, but I wanted to read what was on your heart. You spoke it in a much more beautiful, poetic, graceful way than I did. I loved ever word of it. I will bookmark this one and come back to it often. Just beautiful. Thank you 🙂

    I love this line… “The setting of wide margins where possible, when called, to have space to reflect, rest awhile with Him and listen to the quiet. Listen to the whispers to my soul.” <— Yes, this…

    1. Thank you for the book reference “Margins”. Sounds like a great read and one that dovetails this theme in my life right now. Your words are dear, sweet and humbling. Someone wrote in my comment box that they had read 3 posts on Margins today and their ears were perking up (loose translation:) Love coming to your place for visits, friend.

  5. I love this visual of wide margins. You describe it so beautifully and it makes perfect sense for our everyday life. Thank you!

    1. Theresa, its so very nice to meet you. Thanks for coming over for a bloggy visit. Privilege to have you. I have had margins on my heart for a very long time. Wanted to share a bit of the tugs on my heart. Thanks for reading.

  6. Margin…a beautiful thing that I am stumbling my way into implementing for my family! This is a beautiful post. I am coming to you from Denise in Bloom, but I am a part of Ann Voskamp’s gratitude community as well. I enjoyed reading this, and it was so welcoming and peaceful just to do so. Thank you!

    1. Such a pleasure to meet you Mandy. Yes I have been nudged to create margins in my life and the life of my family too. Thanks for your kind kind words. Peacful and welcoming? How very gracious of you. See you at Ann’s and Denise’s. Again, grateful you were here.

  7. This is a gorgeous piece of writing. Beautiful and poetic and so true. I’ve been thinking about margin a lot lately as I feel my life has been lived rushing about so often with so little room to really breathe and reflect. These thoughts prod at my heart. Thanks for the beauty shared today.

    1. Oh my, thank you. A say thanks with humility. May the glory be His. Margins have been a long running theme in my life. I wanted to share a bit of my story. Hope to write more of margins. Margins tug at my heart often, that is the notion of savoring and not rushing. Thank you for being here. Your presence here is a gift. Would love to have you join the community over at my FB page, wynnegraceappears, if you’d like. Its great to meet you, friend.

  8. This is the space I want to inhabit:

    “The places where poetry and art find a quiet birthplace. And creativity breathes into the dull and the mundane.”

    I dont have enough margin in my life these days. Trying to make more, trying to find the discipline to walk away, to be still, to be quiet, to abide…. Elizabeth, your writing is so lovely. Just so lovely.

    1. Kris, the Lord has lovingly worked this concept out in my heart, my mind, and my life. And still so sweetly whispers encouragement in this area. Be encouraged, friend. Its all a balance of the passions and the want-to’s, for me. I have found peace in my much wider margins. And I can hear Him better there. Love to you, friend.

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