As I mentioned last week, there are more changes taking place in our house. One question Pete & I are often asked is how we do everything we do. Pete is in residency, which often requires 80 or more work hours a week. I’m in grad school, take care of the house and our family schedule and such, run The Little Yellow Kitchen, and am on leadership with our Mops group. Together, Pete and I teach the six-week premarital counseling class at our church a couple times a year, and we regularly meet with individuals or couples to encourage and support them during challenging times. And, most importantly, we have Ella & Sam. The thing is, we love everything that we do. We flourish in times of busyness. So much can be accomplished! But two months ago I started feeling something wasn’t quite right.
|rose cake – most requested style|
It was about that time I really started struggling to keep the house in order, something that helps me feel that this home is a place of rest rather than a cube of anxiety. I couldn’t keep up on laundry or dishes or the mail. I was constantly rushing from place to place and had a hard time focusing on class work when I really needed to. I felt awful when I would forget to return phone calls or emails. And then I got sick. And when mama gets sick, everything stops.
|very first batch of cupcakes – August 2010|
I had a lot of time to think during my week in the hospital. I couldn’t do anything at all. Even writing a simple two-sentence text to my sister was a challenge because my meds made me so tired. It was during that time that I had the first quiet opportunity in a long time to reflect and to ask God what he thought of my life. I don’t think that he thought I was way out of line or deliberately ignoring him in any way. But I did feel like he was telling me he has something better for me. And then I remembered the concept of margin.
Margin was something that come up in a book I read while studying with a group at our church last year. You know, like the margins on a piece of paper or along the edge of a page in a book. The margin is blank, empty space. Having margin in life means we have time to breathe, time to soak up the good stuff all around us, and time to simply rest. I went back to the book (The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith) and read the chapter on margin. Three sentences really stood out to me.
When we lack margin, it’s our own doing and a sure sign we have stepped outside the kingdom. So be honest and be ruthless with your schedule. Your spiritual, relational, and physical health depend on it. (Smith, p 130)
This hit me. My crazy full schedule really was my own doing. It was all great stuff, but I know from plenty of personal experience that even if things are good, they aren’t nearly as amazing as what God has for me. I really don’t want to be outside his kingdom. After praying about it and talking with Pete, I started to realize that, yes, God has better things for me if I follow his direction and make more room in my life.
|first fondant designed cake – my favorite|
And so, with a full and content heart, but a little sadness as well, I am announcing that I will be closing The Little Yellow Kitchen at the end of December. I have absolutely loved seeing this little hobby turned business take off through the past two years. I’m so glad I seized the opportunity to go after it and see what I could do with my baking. With each project I completed, I was amazed and pleased that I could create something so beautiful. It was fun being a part of so many weddings and parties, special events that people remember for a lifetime. It’s been wonderful, and I truly do feel ready to set it aside for now.
My hope is that I won’t fill the space with busyness. Instead, I want to slow things down and enjoy small moments. I want to sit and eat lunches with Ella in the nook and focus on Sam’s development as he grows. I want margin to be a real thing in my days and to continue to seek God’s guidance for what it is he has for me.
|first wedding – for my cousin|