July 14, 2016

The Sanctuary of Space

My Senior year of college I was something that I had been the majority of my life and still am today: BUSY. That led to me being something else I have been most of my life also: EXHAUSTED. This subject...

My Senior year of college I was something that I had been the majority of my life and still am today: BUSY.

That led to me being something else I have been most of my life also: EXHAUSTED.

This subject came up when I was talking to a very wise woman named Jana who discipled me through college many years ago. I’ll never forget what she said to me:

“Christy, your plate is so full. There’s no room on your plate for anything else.
I wonder what would happen if you cleared your plate.
I wonder what would happen if you created space on your plate and then asked God what He wanted to fill it with.”

I took her advice and going into my next semester of college, I created space. I completely cleared my plate and going into my final semester, I had zero responsibilities other than school.

Do you know what I did with that new space?

For one, I got a dog.


That dog happens to be (in my very unbiased opinion) the most awesome dog in the world and he is still the source of so much of my happiness today, 9 years later.

I also trained for my first marathon. I had never run longer than 3 miles in my life and I ran 16, 18, and 20 mile runs through the beautiful rolling hills of Knoxville during the fall when the leaves were changing. Not only did I do something I never thought I could do, but it was also the beginning of my love of distance running. Now, years later, I have over 20 half and full marathons under my belt. (Not to mention meeting the love of my life in a running group years later while training for a marathon!)

And those are just two examples of what happened when I created space.

Sure, I know my life was more simple then. I had less “real” responsibilities.

But regardless of what stage of life I may be in, I control how busy I am.

You control how busy you are.

As a culture we celebrate busyness as a badge of honor.
We’re burnt-out and bitter and don’t know why.
We are pushed to the limits and then a little bit past them.
We run on empty, and instead of filling up, we try to be more efficient to fit more in.

With credit cards, with our schedules, with our energy…we are MAXED OUT.

But what if we did something different?

The opposite of MAXED OUT is MARGIN.

It is unapologetically creating space. 


S           P           A           C           E

~    r o o m     t o     b r e a t h e    ~


What if, instead of running on empty and living our lives perpetually, and quite literally, spent, we had some leftover?

  • What if you had a “free night” and nothing could be scheduled on that night? It was just blank on the schedule and stayed that way…
  • What if you spent less than you made, like – WAY less – and had money left over?
  • What if you purchased a home that was a fraction of what the realtor or lender told you that you could afford so that your monthly payment wasn’t a stretch or strain but was easy-breezy?
  • What if you stopped BEFORE you were exhausted and left energy to spare?
  • What could God invite you to do if there was room in your life for something awesome and new?

What could you do with a little bit of extra energy, a little more joy, some cash in your bank account and time on your hands?

What if?

Space celebrates new possibilities, reduces stress, allows rest and creates peace.

But most of all, space opens up opportunities for God to be invited in… into your plans, your schedules, your money and your mind.

The secret rests in creating a sanctuary of space.

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  • Indy says:

    I so enjoyed reading your article. I totally agree with the concept of creating space. Space for what truly matters in your life.

  • Thanks so much! Needed this today!
    Thanks for Dave Ramsey sharing it!

  • leonard says:

    This really touched me. I work full time and i also have a side business im always tired and have no time for anything. Being self employed has always been my dream.

  • This is right where my live is now. I just got divorced, I need to make better use of my time and money. I have a lot to give I need a push to step out and do it. No day should go to,waste. Thank you for motivating me.

  • Christy says:

    With homeschooling 3 little ones full time and working 2 part time jobs to pay off medical bills from a life changing surgery I had last year; sometimes I wonder where that “space” Can be found during this “season”!

  • Jennifer Haston says:

    The temptation to say yes right now to things is really strong… but I keep focusing on my growing girl in my belly and realize I will have plenty to do soon so I am making sure to make SPACE for me to just sit and relax and enjoy. Thanks for this post, Christy! It’s a great reminder to do JUST that and to keep saying no to other responsibilities, but yes to ME.

  • barbara semento says:

    you are so on point with this blog. i sat here reading it and thought, she is talking to me.
    a new way to think of space. time. energy. and most important god.

  • Marti says:

    Thank you Christy, I always enjoy & learn from your posts! I try to make margin in my life, but find it is a constant battle to fight against BUSY-NESS. I call BUSY Being Under Satan’s Yoke!

  • Irene says:

    In theory, I totally agree with this and am on board! But, the reality is that if I happen to have a free evening, and out-of-town friends want to drop in or someone wants me to take a meal to a shut-in on this free evening, I always say yes. It’s not that I resent doing those things…I want to serve the Lord by serving others; but, yes, I do get frustrated. How do I keep from feeling guilty and selfish?

  • Katie Butcher says:

    This is so good and true! I’ve found my most recent challenge is my fiance (soon to be husband) doesn’t understand this concept, and it’s difficult for him to understand that saying no to things is good. Leaving myself open – is good. My prayer is that he’ll come to understand and for myself to persevere toward creating “margin” even when those closest don’t understand.

  • Kristina Larson says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read today! As a mom of 2 littles, full time employee, wife, and owner of a growing side-hustle, time seems to be the ultimate enemy. But this reminds me to look over my calendar and just start taking some things off. Clear my plate a little. Leave some space. Thanks for the inspiring post, Christy!