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But in all of the busy-ness, that Still Small Voice has been calling me slow down and smell the roses and stop doing all. the. things.
With these words I walked into 2014. And it’s one of the best choices I ever made.
My journey into whitespace didn’t end up looking like I expected. Because there’s still a lot of “things” I had to “do.” Things like getting all of us into counseling and therapy, which meant doing research. It meant switching providers a few times. It meant fighting for answers and waiting for referrals and waiting long hard days to get the help that we needed. It meant spending a lot of time in waiting rooms and in the car back and forth for appointments. It meant filing claims and sorting paperwork. It meant moving across town and all that that entailed.
My hope and prayer for 2014 is that there be more margin in my schedule, more blank spots on my calendar, less clutter and mess in my home, more stillness in my spirit, more breathing room in my mind, and more room in my heart for God.
More black and white of pen and paper, the keys of a piano pressed in worship and stress-relief, and the printed words of Scripture. Less media mess and color. Deeper connections with a smaller group of friends and less time trying to impress acquaintances, contacts, and followers.
But…in spite of all of the doing that had to be done…this still happened. Perhaps differently from what I expected, but it happened all the same.
Whitespace meant that for seven months there were no pictures on my wall.
Whitespace meant that I quit following blogs on Bloglovin and reading all. the. posts.
Whitespace meant hours bonding with my couch and my Netflix account and being totally okay with it.
Whitespace meant dropping out of choir because my family needed me more.
Whitespace meant connecting more deeply with my three best friends and hiding acquaintances on Facebook.
Whitespace meant keeping a lot more of my junk in my inner circle and posting on Facebook a lot less.
Whitespace meant taking a lot of deep breaths, a lot of hot showers, and going to therapy.
Whitespace meant more journalling and less posting.
Whitespace meant dropping out of Bible studies and saying no to get-togethers.
Whitespace meant less cooking and baking, more macaroni and cheese and hot dogs.
Whitespace meant admitting that I am unable to meet my son’s needs on my own.
Whitespace has given me room to settle into the identity that I’ve spent the last few years trying to decipher. It’s given me room to ask some really hard questions about myself, my family, and God. It’s given me room to doubt and wonder, to explore new ideas. It’s given me the freedom to admit that this process is recovery in its own right. It’s given me room to be a better caregiver to my family members, and yet still care for myself in the process.
Whitespace has given me room to be okay with who I am and where I am, instead of trying to “be better” or get to some better, more put-together place.
As I walk into 2015, one thing is certain: I’m not done with whitespace. If anything, this year has showed how much I need even more of it.
To view all posts in this series, please visit the Whitespace Landing Page.