on margins

I was just with my good friend Nadine. Our conversations never leave me un-encouraged – she has been profoundly saved by the Gospel, and it comes through in every word and action she shares.

Today, we were chatting about how we have both recently come through periods of deep, deep rest. It has been holiday-season, but we both felt as though we’d been able to intentionally be on pause – saying no to more things, saying amen to the idea that no, it’s okay, I don’t need to go out and be with all the people for all the hours of all the evenings of all the weeks and weekends.

And she said something that really made me think, which was this: our culture never acknowledges the wisdom of people who keep margins in their lives. We (or at least I have been guilty of perceiving this) are way more likely to think well of the people who say yes and are always available, and are prone to thinking poorly of those who say no and preserve time alone (granted, there are definitely some occasions where a person might be being lazy or negligent in terms of being in the company of others).

But, seriously. During our conversation and on my way home I was thinking: how would it feel to take a whole Saturday (or something – an evening, a few hours, whatever), and say, “I want to and am going to stay in. I’m going to use this time for me.” Or even not “me” specifically, just for being “at home,” not “out.”)

I realized over this recent period of rest that I crave this and enjoy this but I am still so hesitant to pursue it. I am so convinced that I am so necessary in the lives of others – but honestly, and a day of solitude has taught me this – I don’t!

I want to say, “good for you” to people who refuse a coffee date because they already have another one that week. I want to commend the people who take a Saturday to themselves… just because. I want to be part of telling people to keep margins in their lives. We need more of this, I think.

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PS, this is a picture of me and Nadine on a super fun trip we took to Portland in 2012.

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