Thursday, December 5, 2013

White Space

When I was a marketing major, I learned how the careful arrangement of each element on an advertisement contributed to its overall design appeal and visual effectiveness. One of the most vital, yet perhaps overlooked, elements to good design is simply white space.
There are actually two types of white space: undefined white space—which is simply a blank sheet of paper or opened document with no ascribed purpose, and active white space, which occurs when an object is strategically placed in an undefined white space.
Spaces between images and words are crucial for creating harmony and achieving balance. If too many elements are crammed onto a page, essentially the overall message will be lost in the clutter. Itishardertodecipherthemeaningofmessageswithoutspaces. Similarly, I believe many marriages are unable to breathe because they are unknowingly suffocating under a big pile of distractions. Life becomes one big run-on sentence, with no pauses for breathing, or borders for definition and meaning.
Just like a room in a house needs habitual cleaning, a marriage does not exist in a vacuum, but rather an active environment that requires regular attention. Sometimes a couple’s schedule can get so over-crowded, and valuable quality time begins to shrink until it is almost non-existent. Regular date nights are important to protect each week, so the territory of your marriage is not unintentionally occupied. Sometimes your schedule can be crowded by seemingly “good things,” but the simple truth is, there are only twenty-four hours in a day. If your priorities are not protected, others will schedule your life for you.
So many unforeseen sacred moments float inside the active white space of our marriage. Laughter. Unexpected kisses. The unspoken excitement of hopes and dreams begging to take shape. Moments longing to be memories.
Remember the elevated sense of expectancy you felt on your honeymoon? Two souls forged together in spirit with the burning belief that anything was possible. Sometimes we must intentionally erase the corners of our soul that are cluttered with negative impressions and images from the past. Perhaps you still have to forgive your spouse for a disappointment, or maybe you have to forgive yourself for not meeting an unattainable self-imposed expectation.
Whatever it is, determine to travel to the destination in your heart where you feel free once again. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 31:8, “You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place” (NIV).
My husband and I spent our honeymoon on a Paradise-like island called Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. It was a surprise honeymoon—I packed my bags with no idea where I was going, but I knew in my heart it would be incredible. I recently learned that the literal interpretation of “Punta Cana” means “white point.” :)



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