Her Story: From Doer to Dweller

Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

I felt for many years that productivity = achievement.

  • Likes
  • Friends
  • Comments
  • Platforms
  • The number of groups I was leading or attending
  • Performance
  • Activities
  • The list goes on and on


Busy isn’t always best.

The Holy Spirit has been tapping on my heart to shift my steps from striving to letting go and waiting. 

Sisters, it has not been easy to cut out and make room for rest and restoration. To remove Doer as my title, and replace it with Dweller. Click To Tweet

My new rhythm of life is to pen in white space for the “just in case.” To bud relationship building with God and with others. White space is intentional, not idol time or laziness. It is holy and sacred. 

The season I am walking in allows me to sit with a friend during chemo treatment.

It has freed me to help with my grand-girlies on my off days from watching them.

I’ve had the blessings to say yes to an afternoon walk or have coffee with a friend—unplanned—not written on my calendar.

White space is intentional for God to create community with Him and with others.

Friends, this frees me and spurs on peace. It allows me to say yes to God’s best—to show His love to others with my time.

I am still learning this pace of life, and I still fumble around a lot. God is doing a good work in me.

This is my today season. Tomorrow may look different.

You, too, are in a season of life, sisters.

You may be a young mama who cannot think about white space. Your calendar is color-coded and jam-packed. You barely have time to go to the restroom without little fingers slipping under the bathroom door. Take a breath and allow God to slip around you.

You may be a single parent who is just treading water and hoping for a life-vest to stay afloat. I pray our Father will send you someone who can be your life-vest here on earth to help you and relieve you from time to time.

You may be in the sandwich season of life—taking care of kids and aging parents. You want to breathe, and the thought of “white space” is a pipe-dream. God sees you, and I pray He sends someone your way to give you some rest and refreshment to keep you going.

For us gals who are in the season of more time, is there a way to use our extra to help others?

That is the why behind the “white space” of life.

Love God—Love Others—this is His greatest command.

“Time isn’t something you seize; it’s something you sacrifice. It’s not something to grab; it’s something to give.” – Ann Voskamp

Something to give—what does that look like in any season of life?

Each “give” looks different for each person. Some might be wiping a runny nose. Some might be helping a Gigi check out at Target because her littlest Little is fast asleep in her arms (true story that happened to me not too long ago). Some might be sitting with a friend who lost a loved one and not saying a word—just being with them.

It may seem simple but in God’s eyes…

Simple is vast and important.

Today, lookout, lean-in, and allow the “give” to grow and blossom in your white space.

Reflection Questions

1. Share a time when you were on the receiving end of someone sacrificing their time to help you in a season you needed it most.

2. What are some ways you can be the giver of the gift of time?


Jesus, we thank You for setting the example of what it looks like to make room for our Father and others. You came to earth to love and to serve. Please equip us to do the same with our white space of life. When we give, we shine You to others. We love You. We need You. We want You. Amen.

11 thoughts on “Her Story: From Doer to Dweller


Love this so much, Michelle. Such an important point for all of us. One good thing about this pandemic is that we’ve all been forced to dwell more than do. I’ve always appreciated how well you do that and am trying to be more like you and more intentional. Thanks for the beautiful reminder. ❤️


    Michele O’Leary

    Laura, the Doer in us can sweep away what is best for us–God. To be a Dweller will help flow out the rest of our day in a way that is honoring our Lord. Thank you for your sweet words. Love you.


Kimberly F Sheppard

Michele these words!! Oh my, just had a conversation yesterday with a friend about this topic. During prayer this morning I was asking God help me to balance all this out. Help me to have a recharge, reset, relaxing time and not loose me!! I am so with all the gals that feel the same. Looking at the calendar how do I make time?…. you have to pretend its part of your JOB and you have to make time or you LOOSE THAT JOB. This is a necessity to feel full inside. To feel worthy like God says. We don’t want to forget who made us and what God made us for.
We are to FELLOWSHIP with others through happy times, sadness, celebrations, promotions, be silly and laugh with, etc. You get the picture. We have to adjust things like we would for anything else. We have to be dedicated to ourselves in life. Lets all look at that calendar today and do some ADJUSTING!!


    Michele O’Leary

    Kim, you are so wise and I love your words, “you have to pretenct its part of your JOB and you have to make time or you LOOSE that JOB.” So true, sister. To create white space with our Savior will fill us up time and time again and then we can flow out on others. Love you, friend.



Michele, “white space for Jesus” was something I learned at a Confernce years ago and I am so grateful. My time with Him as more important than anything else in my calendar. I fight the “doer” in myself to keep this time sacred but never regret doing so. I am so grateful for my big sis reminding me of the importance of dwelling with God. Love you, BIG!


    Michele O’Leary

    Jodie, you are a wired doer. Your obedience to be a dweller shines through and through to so many of us. Thank you. Hugs, Your Big Sis


Cindy Wilkins

Michele, these words resonate so with me!! The adjustment from being and OVER-doer to having more white space than has felt comfortable is slowly happening in my heart and mind. I’m learning that doing can be a prayer said, note written, or text sent; it doesn’t have to be an activity written on the calendar or that requires an elaborate plan to be meaningful. You have given me much to think about and I’m grateful for the wisdom you’ve shared here!


    Michele O’Leary

    Cindy, I used to look at others and see these grand things they were doing with their lives for others (I still struggle with this from time to time). Oh, the trap of comparison (which is a whole other post). But God reminded me as a Dweller to allow the Holy Spirit to have my time and my calendar to make sure there is space for His assignments. All we do, we do it for our Lord. Hugs to you, sweet sister.


Kathee Wheeler

White space?? Michele, I’ve been thinking about the words you pinned this week! Over the years I’ve struggled with being an “over-doing”. Looking back these last few months, God has helped me reevaluate my life and slowed me down to be with Him more! Sometimes my old habits begin to creep in but God draws me right back to Him! I’m more aware of my walk with My Lord. I like who I am looking forward being and doing what He leads me to do!!
** My doing is praying, listening, reading His Word!
** My doing is now reaching out to encourage others through making and sending them a card or calling to check on them and have prayer with them. God is so good! Love you Michele!


Tara Horsley

I am a Doer who Dwells: I am a Doer and there are many things I like to do .But being Quantine in my home right now has been really hard on some days. Other days I am good. I’ve Dweller reading a chapter a day in my Bible every morning, read my Devotion for the day and pray. I Dweller a lot on God when I am sitting on the front porch with a cup of coffee, my Bible, and my spiritual journal. So after I read my Bible I can write in my Journal with God Prenese in all the beautiful things he made for me and you.



I love this post and I’m thankful that through your words I can see myself. Doer to Dweller—I pray for that. These words hit home: WHITE SPACE IS INTENTIONAL FOR GOD TO CREATE COMMUNITY WITH HIM AND WITH OTHERS. There’s not been much white space in years, but I am trimming back so there will be. I don’t want to be so involved with the clutter that I miss the beautiful moments with family and friends that I can’t get back. Time to relinquish the doing for the dwelling. Thanking God for His unconditional love. Hugs to you my friend.


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