It has been a week. A whole week since we were officially approved to foster love & care to a child or sibling group between the ages of zero and three.
So far…. NO calls.
I was starting to wonder if I heard you wrong God ? Didn’t you tell us to “sign up” for this?Click here to read the whole crazy story!
I pictured a call by now.
But, while reading this afternoon, two words stood out: WHITE SPACE.
In Tricia Goyer’s book, Walk It Out, starting on page 56, she talks about the importance of white space, of rest, of crafting purpose, and of forming before filling. Walk It Out: click for easy link to Amazon ordering
It spoke to me because, well, I have never been one to just be still. Psalm 46:10, Goyer reminds us, states: “Be still, and know that I am God.” It’s perfect timing, this reminder, because this week…God called me to just be. Though I wanted to be, really be, a “foster mom”, He planned for me to form this week rather than to fill. To live with some white space-and to trust it plays a purpose.
In writing, for example, white space leaves a separation between the content, making important things stand out. A blog post or story strung together with no separation of paragraphs or thoughts would lose a readers focus. It is not purposeful, or effective, to just fill up a Word Doc. Instead, writers must carefully craft their document to fulfill the purpose of their writing, to get their point (or story) across.
Similarly, God crafts our lives with segments of WHITE SPACE. And He has a purpose for it. White space makes the important things stand out in our lives. It gives us time to THINK, to BE, to FORM.
In our society though, white space is often filled by busyness and distraction. Our calendars are so full, sometimes it’s hard to even discern what is important. If someone asks, “How’s life”, most people would likely respond, “Busy!” (and then probably keep running onto the next thing). Busy has become synonymous with success, but one may argue that this way of living is not “productive” in the end. No one can “do it all”, at least not well… and not without crashing at some point.
As a nurse, I recall, we were asked to track our “productivity,” to discern whether the rate at which we worked was safe. Research shows that heavy nursing workload, with little white space, adversely affects patient safety. Too little white space in healthcare costs lives.
What is too little white space costing YOUR LIFE?
Time with your kids?
Time with your spouse?
Time to enjoy what you work so hard for?
Time with God, your Creator?
I really enjoyed my WHITE SPACE this past week. In my mind, I was going to have foster kid(s) by now so I had pretty well cleared my calendar of commitments…in order to form our new foster care family life before filling our calendar back up with priorities. We went to parks, the zoo, splash pads, the library, and numerous walks and rides around the neighborhood. We played in the backyard and had my son’s girlfriend over & babysat another friend’s sweet baby girl (good practice, right?). I read books and enjoyed some quiet time. I prayed more.
But now, God, I am ready to FILL. I’m ready to fill this house with more noise, more mouths to feed, more butts to wipe, more love to share.
….And then I will be praying for some more WHITE SPACE I am sure (ha).
Please continue to pray for His timing, His will, & His strength in all of this.
What Are Some Ways We Can All Carve Out Some White Space In Our Lives?
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier to reflect, pray, read, or just be?
- Leave our cell phones charging in the kitchen (or someplace far away) at night?
- Go on a walk around the neighborhood and leave the phone at home?
- Stay up 15 minutes later and dedicate those 15 minutes to quiet time?
- Learn to say no. What could we all cut from our calendars that we are doing out of guilt, or obligation, or to look good for someone else? Imagine how else we could spend that time.
- Drive with no music?
- Delete a social media account or app from your phone?
- Put “me time” or “reflection time” or whatever you want to call it at the TOP of our To-Do lists. That means laundry and cleaning can wait until after…or tomorrow (note to self again!).
What other ideas do you all have? What has worked for you? I’d love to hear- comment below!