I know people think that I’m crazy-extroverted and outgoing. I do love to chat and have a good time with people. But most people are surprised to find out I can take a while to get to deeper levels with new friends… I’m just a little cautious, I guess.
Once in a while, I meet someone and feel that kindred spirit, and I before I know it, I’m surprising myself suggesting a playdate or get together. The mom I want you to meet today is one of those people – she’s vibrant, enthusiastic, intelligent, and generous of spirit.
Suzanne dove right in to helping out with our local MOPS group, and as one of my Discussion Group Leaders, we had the chance to talk frequently, and found a lot of common ground. One of which was blogging!
Yes, Suzanne’s got a great new home design blog, Designs on the Move where she writes about life and home decor. She has a passion for designing and shares ideas that are so-so-so achievable for us normal, not-living-in-the-Hamptons folks!
Suzanne’s a mom as busy as the rest of us, and she has a real heart for the home and for God’s leading in her life. I asked her to talk a bit about how she juggles business, motherhood, moving, and faith! Here’s her story:
A piece of paper changed my life?
Sounds crazy I know, but it really did. Do you remember notebook paper? We would start each school year with stacks and stacks of this paper. Each page had these red vertical lines on the left and right that created spaces called margins. These margins were where teachers would make notes or corrections. Until recently I had not given notebook paper a single thought. But during a recent message at church I was reminded of notebook paper in a whole new light. It has changed my whole approach to this new year.
What happens if we write all the way to the edges of notebook paper?
There is no room for important messages, corrections or encouragement. Who doesn’t need encouragement (or correction) once in a while. As moms we need it most days but if our days are so filled with ‘stuff’ we never have time to recharge and check the margins for that encouragement. But these margins are also important so we can see when those around us need encouragement (or correction). If we are so busy running past life we can miss critical opportunities to speak into our lives and the lives we impact every day.
But guess what…we moms write all the way to the edge of the page, filling every day with so many activities and “to do’s”. Some of these activities are a necessity of life as a wife and mom. How many of these “to do’s” are not necessary or inflicted by guilt about what we should be doing??
I am a wife, mom to a vibrant (read wild & crazy) 3 year old little boy and a business owner. While I have the opportunity to work from home I still have so much on my plate. I get caught up in the ideas of what I think our family should do or be; what my son should be involved in and what I should be doing to market my business. Some of this cannot be avoided but I often find myself caught up in unrealistic expectations that I have imagined.
What’s happening in the margins?
As I chase my crazy, busy schedule I have no time to take notice of what could happen in those margins. So this year my goal is to leave room at the edge of my page…to leave the margins open for whatever life may bring. When we leave space is our lives and in our days we can be open to the unexpected joys of everyday. I want to be able to stop what I am doing (like writing this post) and play with my son, take a meal to a friend or take a walk with my favorite boys.
I know what you’re thinking…there isn’t time to get it all done and leave the margins open. This is where the hard work begins. I had to determine the priorities for me and for my family. I made a list (yes I wrote it on a piece of paper). I kept it to the very basic things – family, business, faith – and that’s it, no more. I have to keep it simple & purposeful. I have to admit so far this has been hard but the benefits are well worth the effort.
I need these spaces in my life to be the best wife, mom, daughter and friend I am meant to be . I know at the end of 2014, I will be thankful for the ‘margins’ I have in my life and the amazing & unexpected experiences that will come with a little extra time.
Try it and I promise you won’t regret it!
Suzanne Harvey is the owner, designer & writer of Designs on the Move. Her Etsy shop, Designs on the Move, provides custom home designs for the DIYer. She loves to help families make their house a home that is beautiful and functional, as well as fun! She’ll show you how to make your design ideas work in your space. The proud mama of the best little boy and wife to the best hubby “since sliced bread”, Suzanne’s life is constantly moving…not just with all the things they do, but literally moving. With six moves in thirteen years with many more to come, her blog chronicles her journey, with splashes of design inspiration, tips and tricks. Maybe even some real estate tips along the way.
Psst! Here’s an example of the really cool design plans Suzanne makes for the home! I’d love someone to take all that guesswork out for me, wouldn’t you!?