Margins

By Natalie

Years ago Brandon and I heard a sermon on margin. Margin in a nutshell is leaving space and time in your life and schedule, to prevent overwhelm. Margin for us over the years has grown into more than leaving time in our schedule, it’s having margin in our finances for those in need and in our case space in our home as well. This margin we had created was exactly why we could say yes to inviting Zoe into our home. Margin is key so you have time to breathe, you’re on time and so you have enough energy left for your family. It has allowed us to say yes to people in need and it’s something we’ve always tried to incorporate in our lives. Since Felicity started kindergarten I’ve juggled, balanced, scheduled, whatever you want to call the way that I try to manage our lives all while keeping margin. Not having a 9-5 job means that I have the flexibility to do what I want with my schedule, yet I’ve been finding myself trying to fit a whole load of things into my schedule. I’ve realized that I need to sit and revisit my margin for this season of life.

Writing is something that I wanted to take a front seat when Felicity started kindergarten. Yet I haven’t sat here to talk in some time. Once I got all of my feelings written out about Zoe’s departure I felt a weight lifted that I’d been carrying all summer. I haven’t even had a chance to sit here and process my only child going to Kindergarten and how that feels as a stay at home mom. I think that often we can try to fill up our margins because we don’t want to face reality. At least that’s sort of what happened to me. If I made my margins tight and filled my schedule with to-dos I didn’t have to deal with the grief of my time as a stay at home mother being so much shorter than I wanted it to be.

In an attempt to process who I am in this season I’m going to list out all of the hats I’m currently donning.

Wife

I’m intentionally placing this one first because it’s my most important role. Out of everything in my list I was a wife first and intend to have this relationship be the one thing that I invest the most time, love and intention into. Brandon is my lifelong friend and the reality of Felicity going to school even though it’s only Kindergarten, has helped me realize that though you love your children with so much of your heart, they do come and go so quickly. If Felicity remains our one and only, the portion of our marriage together where we raised a child in our home will be so incredibly short. Since Felicity has started school Brandon and I have had the lovely opportunity to go on day dates out to lunch together which we do not take for granted! I love being able to be available to chat with him in the mornings while I tidy up the house and I try to leave a few evenings a week available to spend time together. Brandon and I talk ALOT. We life plan, share, process, encourage, pray, we save a lot of room to be able to communicate with one another and that did not always come easy.

Mother

Motherhood. The one job I knew I always wanted. Seasons of motherhood change so quickly don’t they? From pregnancy to postpartum to toddlerhood to school age to big kid. So many changes in such a short amount of time. I have spent much of Felicity’s past 5 years years not only parenting her but healing my inner child as well.

I had no idea the level of trauma I needed to work through until it was right in front of me. Nurturing Felicity’s little soul has been one of God’s greatest gifts to me and I’m incredibly fortunate to wear this hat of Motherhood. He’s taught me so much through my motherhood journey and I continue to grow and heal as I raise my little girl. Motherhood in this season looks like supporting my little student. Getting her out of the house with a healthy breakfast and packed lunch, telling her she’s beautiful. When I pick her up in the afternoons I listen to her talk all about school and how many monkey bars she was able to cross on the playground. We live for the weekends and breaks where we’re able to spend ample time together making new memories and checking everything off of our seasonal family bucket lists.

Shop Owner – Lux Sensory

Lux Sensory right now is going in a direction that I’d always hoped it would go. I rarely call Lux a small business for a few reasons. The main one being that it is not my one and only focus in life. Lux is largely a creative outlet, a way to be around more children and spread joy to them. It’s a self-sustaining venture that I enjoy which is why I continue to work at it. The work ebbs and flows when I want it to. Busy seasons are typically Spring, Summer and Christmastime. Hello stocking stuffers! I’ve been focusing my sales more to in person vendor markets when time allows and creating sensory bin fillers for events. I’ve also created themed sensory jars for my fave farms to sell in their market barns. That was a huge win for me, selling my product in a store is something I’d always hoped to do with Lux. I’m hoping I can create more themed jars for other places to sell exclusively in the future.

Photographer Admin/Content Curator – Outline

Here’s possibly the most unexpected role I’ve taken on in the past year. In February (which, strange fact I am just now in this moment realizing that I start alot of things in February. I began writing this blog ages ago in February 2014, I started Lux at the end of February 2021 and Outline was created toward the end of February this year. Must be something about the new year/gloominess of February that makes me want to take on something new.) my neighbor and friend Andrea and I kicked off Outline. As a seasoned lifestyle photographer Andrea was needing extra help with her admin work when it came to working with businesses so that she could focus on the creative side of things. We’ve worked with businesses, artists and creatives alike creating content for them and eventually curating their content.

This role looks different from client to client but mostly I’m scheduling shoots, building client relationships, creating vision boards and shot lists, sending alot of emails, attending shoots as designated pillow fluffer, stager, and shot list caller. I also curate the photos that Andrea has taken for a select few businesses social media. It’s taken us for a ride this year and we’ve made some great connections with alot of lovely people. Mostly I enjoy going out and spending time with my friend. Our friendship remains our highest priority.

Mentor

I’m not sure what to call this role because I feel like I’m a mother to these girlies but I’m also way too young to be their mom, so we’ll go with Mentor. I have two sweet girls in my life who mean the world to me. Ana and Zoe. Though we’re not biologically connected I still feel bound to them and care deeply for them. The girls, Brandon and I call them. Ana has graduated from our nanny to a full time teacher in a town just north of us. Our Zoe is a whole world away. We remain in contact with Ana regularly and try to make it a point to have dinner with her a couple times a month. We keep in contact with Zoe through postcards, video chats and the Marco Polo chatting app which works well for us due to the time difference. These girls cross my mind multiple times a day and checking in with them to see how they are and what they’re working through in their lives is a high priority for me in this season. Felicity sees them both as big sisters and I love the little family bond we all share together.

Writer

Here we are, the reason you’re here. A role that has changed me, helped me heal, a role that is all my own, something that began for me and remained because of such a gracious loving audience who cared to listen. I always come back to writing. Here’s my promise to myself to put a high priority on writing because I do feel like my truest self when I am penning my thoughts. Here’s to not abandoning our truest selves to tight margins. Here’s to living out who we are, with each of our unique gifting and leaving space for whatever God may bring along our path. Probably in February.


2 Comments on Margins

  1. Kathie Munro
    October 16, 2023 at 7:01 pm (5 months ago)

    Love your posts Natalie! Keep on living your life for the glory of God!

    Reply
    • Natalie
      October 17, 2023 at 5:01 am (5 months ago)

      Thank you 🩷🩷

      Reply

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