margin

I’m writing this post as a total hypocrite on this topic because I’m currently the absolute WORST at this, but the topic of margin is nevertheless really important.  When my kids write out a long paragraph, it helps me heaps when they leave some space around their writing so my eyes can get a break from the deciphering exercise 🙂

I think this is also true with our daily living.  When we pack each day to the uttmost with events, activities, appointments, responsibilities, demands, etc then it gets difficult to:

  • see where we’re going & ultimately achieve goals that are genuinely important
  • rest – even our sleep becomes fitful
  • listen – the clutter of an overfull life can easily drown out the still small voice from God that we so desperately need
  • be present & our relationships move into shallow mode – sometimes necessary but not healthy for the longterm
  • remain healthy

Dear Sarah, please keep some margins in your life 🙂

Minimizing Distance

I had an interesting discussion w God during my prayer time today about what creates distance or gaps in my relationship w God. I started thinking about the whole Garden of Eden debacle & it seems like that’s a great place to look at the distance dilemma. The conversation Eve had with the snake suggests a few distance “insights”:
*believing lies & distortions about God’s Word creates distance
*talking about God rather than with God can be a distance indicator
*passivity can create distance w God (it looks like Adam was listening to the conversation between Eve & the serpent in Gen 3)
*desiring anything more than God can create distance (Eve looked at the fruit & it looked good to her)
Now my point in sharing these things is that I don’t want to have any gaps or distance in my relationship w God. So if you’re like me, maybe these could be helpful red flags. Do you have more insights or suggestions (not just the normal “sin” answer, please)? Thanks muchos!! 🙂

rejuvenate

 I find that its really important to have times to rejuvenate & perhaps these few days are for exactly that purpose.  Like virtually everyone else, it seems like December is normally packed to the gills with activities, festivities, parties, obligations & general frenzied demands.  But after Christmas, there seems to be an accepted pause or exhale.  For me, this break in activity is very rejuvenating.  It helps me to have some space & time to think, listen, be still, enjoy my family, sleep, read, cook simple things, talk long w best friends and stay warm under a heavy blanket. 

I know that soon enough, the pace will again commence & I’ll get back into the regular groove & routines.  But for this time to pause, I’m thankful.  Furthermore, perhaps when we take time to “sharpen the saw” maybe our work efforts will be more effective & less arduous 😀

margins

I feel like I’m the pot calling the kettle black with this blog – guilty as charged & a walking contradiction, maybe even borderline hypocrite.  Here’s why:  the last 2 weeks have been busy beyond any degree of rational acceptance and now I’m writing a blog about keeping margins in our lives.  A margin is the empty space on a page around the written area.  There are margins in this blog, in newspapers, books, etc & margins are necessary in our lives.

empty space, pause, still

Sometimes life feels like a treadmill on which the pace continues to increase & the incline just keeps going up – so many demands, expectations, deadlines, responsibilities, requirements, . . . . .  Sometimes if we’re not careful, we fill up all of the margins in our lives & then continue to keep the margins full.

However, when I look at Jesus’ life, He was very intentional about keeping margins in His life.  Of course He had MASSIVE demands on His time & person – people squashing Him wherever He went trying to get some of His attention, time, power, healing, love, . . . . .  and His life only became increasingly popular each day of His ministry.  Nevertheless, He carved margins into his lifestyle.  He dismissed the crowed after feeding the 5,000.  He went off by Himself to pray ALOT.  He withdrew with His disciples from time to time to give them some intensive teaching & attention.  When He rode in boats, He slept.  Jesus modeled margins for us with perfect agility & balance.

Here are some things that help me to keep some margins in my life:

  • quiet in the car – it helps me to turn off things that beckon for my attention;  furthermore, when I’m riding with my kids, I want to be fully present with & to them
  • keep some rhythms & routines:  sleep when its time to sleep, wake up early to have some solitude (or stay up late if you’re a night person), grab the spare minutes in a day to look to God & still your heart
  • drink water as opposed to soda & coffee – my body already has enough stress on it with out adding caffeine, etc
  • sitting with my husband or a friend – I don’t need to have a conversation but just some togetherness
  • I also want to add some Bible memorizing to my margin maintenance so I can give my mind some food on which to nibble when it wants to digest various “worries”
Keep some still in your life if you want to remain effective over the long run 🙂