My posting schedule is off this week, because sometimes you just need to take a step back. Sometimes you need space.
And how fitting, because today #WholeMama is talking about space.
I see my children struggle with space. Desiring it yet also wanting to be surrounded by each other, their friends. Me. Space is funny that way, isn’t it? We desire space, we need it, but we also need and desire community. I don’t know about you, but I struggle in the very same way. My desire for community and my desire for space at odds with each other. Throw into the mix, 4 children that desire all of me, a wonderful husband that enjoys being around me (crazy, I know!), an amazing community of friends that are more like family, and a God that wants my time to honor Him. And that’s where I am: jumping headfirst into community while keeping boundaries that value my quiet time and my family time.
SPACE = QUIET TIME
I have shared before how I love quiet time. During the school year quiet time comes easy, almost naturally. (You can read about how I do it, here.) But right now, it is summer time. That grand time of year where family vacations, sprinklers, gardens, and backyard adventures reside. And for me, summer is also the time of year that kills my quiet time.
I know, I know.That’s a little dramatic. But really, I’m excited if I get 10 minutes of pure quiet. So excited, in fact, that each of those gloriously quiet times have made it onto my thankfulness list. For now, I will continue to be thankful for those ten minutes. Those glimpes, the reminders of the quiet time that I used to take for granted. I may also be eagerly awaiting the start of school in a month. (Remind me of this when my daughter goes to KINDERGARTEN and I am bawling!)
SPACE & COMMUNITY
I also love community (I shared about my love for community, here). We moved closer to our church about a year ago, and I can honestly say that life has been seriously different. I was battling fierce loneliness. I was struggling with dealing with four children, one of which has special needs. And last summer I just hit the end. I couldn’t do it alone anymore. I needed people. So we moved closer to our church home. And I jumped into community. (You can read more about this journey, here.)
Yes, community can be hard. Yes, community can be awkward. But I knew what I needed, so I
pushed past embraced the awkward and began inviting people into our lives, our home. And I loved it! I so enjoyed meeting new families. Building deeper relationships with those I already knew. This was exactly what I was missing and needed more of. I cherish my Bible study group, the women I meet with during the month, and the women I talk to more on text messages. Each one speaks into my life and is an immense blessing to me.
But then one month I realized we had no open weekends. We had booked our month so full with meeting new people and building relationships that we didn’t set aside any time for rest. For us. For quiet. Community had gotten in the way of our much needed space. We were so busy, so focused on building community (and the oh so many people to meet!) that we forgot about the importance of rest and guarding our space.
Which brought me back to boundaries. I admit, I love boundaries. A lot. And after the month of fun community but no family time, I enacted a new one. We still invite community in a few weekend days a month (this does not include my weekdays), but we keep half the weekends just for family. It means we see and meet less people each weekend, but it also means that we find rest. It means we enjoy time as a family. I rest in knowing that there is time and that there will always be new people to meet. And that, friends, makes me excited. Because it means I can continue to grow in my quiet time, my quiet space and continue to grow in community. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
They just need boundaries so they can both grow. Together.
Which leads me back here. In this space of sometimes quiet. And I remember, that space and community can live together. They can both thrive. They just need rules. They need space. They need boundaries.
What about you? What does space look like for you, in your life? Are there boundaries that need to be created? I would love to hear from you and will be praying that you find your space.
Today I am joining Esther Emery for the #WholeMama link up. I am excited to be in a community of mama bloggers that are willing to be real, vulnerable and honest. But most of all, that can show the amazing beauty and grace through it all. Each week we will be discussing one word and what it means to each of us. I would love if you joined in too! You can find more information on the original #WholeMama post, here.
Love this link up as much as I do? Here are my other #WholeMama posts: