White Space

Christmas brings out the gift-giver and gift-getter in all of us, doesn’t it?! Just like my friend Janet who ended up with a bucket of Barbies, I have a few things that I want, I need, I just have to have.

Sometimes it’s clothes, other times it’s books and I hate to confess but all too often, it’s a Starbucks – although I have been limiting my supply lately.

My biggest want these days is “white space.” Sometimes it even feels like an addiction. I just have to get some white space! But, it’s not white space in my schedule…it’s white space on my computer screen.

Sounds odd? Well, you see I have this thing about clearing out my email inbox so there’s white space at the bottom of my screen. When there are only a few emails to answer and lots of white space below, it makes my heart happy!! I am a simple person in that way. (Don’t tell my husband because he might just wipe out some emails, so I will be “happy!”)

This addiction is more serious than it may seem. You see, I get a bit ansy when there is no white space, and I get downright anxious when emails start coming in faster than I can keep up with them. Make no mistake, that is almost daily! I really get in a twit when there is no promise on the horizon for time to clear out some space.

Those little emails have voices and they squeal for my attention. They tell me that people will get frustrated and think not-so-nice things about me if I don’t answer some time soon. And the voices tell me that if I don’t manage my white space wisely I will lose all hope of ever having white space in my inbox again!

So, in the midst of laundry and cleaning and homework and answering phone calls, I sit down to respond to a “few” emails. Two hours later the kids are “starving,” the dog is howling at the neighbors cat from our backyard, JJ pulls into the driveway after work and I haven’t even started dinner!

Instead of greeting him at the door with a kiss, he comes in and sees the back of my laptop screen and me scrunched down behind it – trying to get me some white space!

Can anyone relate? Do you love white space like I do? Tell me your secrets for managing this this little monster and I’ll tell you mine :->.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Renee-
    What amazing timing- I was almost going to send you an email and I just didn’t get around to it. What a miracle- I did something good by not doing it! (smile!)

    Seriously, though, will you come over (flying to NY is an invigorating experience!) and help me delete out old emails? I can’t seem to do it! I’m always afraid that I’ll need to refer back to that message later on.

    How do you know when and what to delete!?!

  2. Digging for Pearls says:

    It is so easy to get tied up with things, isn’t it? I guess our constant prayer needs to be, “Lord what is most important for me to do right now and help me to trust you with the rest.”

  3. LAUREN at Faith Fuel- says:

    Renee-
    What amazing timing- I was almost going to send you an email and I just didn’t get around to it. What a miracle- I did something good by not doing it! (smile!)

    Seriously, though, will you come over (flying to NY is an invigorating experience!) and help me delete out old emails? I can’t seem to do it! I’m always afraid that I’ll need to refer back to that message later on.

    How do you know when and what to delete!?!

  4. Oh my goodness! I have this problem too. I remember hearing that the “stuff” that we have actually takes energy from us – just to maintain it, keep track of it, organize it, look at it, etc. They were talking about clutter in the home but I think it applies to the email mess too.

    I do know that I have started setting up more files to store things in that I may need to refer back to like Women’s Ministry, Work stuff, Business stuff, Friend stuff and then I file them there so that it isn’t taking up any space. I only leave emails there that need to have immediate attention or is pending. Everything else is deleted or filed. It’s helped.

    I also quit reading all the forward junk that people send me. That seems to help a lot.

  5. I am just like this about my computer white space– but I never thought to call it that! Very clever! Now when I get on one of my tears to clean out my inbox, I will have a new name for it.
    I actually regularly have on my list of things to do, “clear off emails.” I just can’t stand to have them sitting there accumulating. Thoreau called what you have described, “Becoming a tool of our tools.” I think that says it beautifully.

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