Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Margin: I'm working on it.

Our pastor preached on this a few weeks ago. BIG impact on me. See, I have no margin. Or had none, anyway. I've been trying to create some.
What is this concept of margin anyway? 
To me, it's having downtime. The space to be me. The time needed to take care of urgent matters that come up. Having time to invest in the people who are important. Not having so much to do that there's never a free minute to pause and enjoy life.
As I said, I didn't have much. I'm quite good at scheduling every moment full of interesting and important activities. But when something comes up, like a roof replacement, not a single moment exists to try to handle the details.
I am in the midst of making some difficult decisions about what's essential and what's not. One of the things I let go was my study of karate. Was it good? Yes. Was it essential? No. Was it stressful? Yes. That helped me decide. I will be making more of those decisions and hopefully creating more margin in my life. (The kids are still studying karate, by the way.)
Chris Davis, former owner of the Elijah Company and noted homeschool author and speaker, recently spoke at a homeschool convention in my state. I didn't get to attend, but I've heard him speak before. He has been influential in many of my homeschool choices over the years. Because I needed a quick and easy blog entry, I browsed for a quote from his book, I Saw the Angel in the Marble, thinking I'd find something educationally inspiring to enlighten you all. 
Instead, I found this.
Our culture encourages us to live beyond our means financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Many of us are under-rested and overwhelmed, feeling constant stress and time pressure. What we need is margin, a term used by author Richard Swenson to describe the space that should exist between where we are and our limits. Margin is having time, energy, and money to spare. It is having physical, emotional and spiritual reserves. Margin is living within our limits.
Yeah. Limits. We all have them. We need to live inside our limits and not beyond our means.

I'm working on it.

1 comment:

Wee Pip said...

It's tough. We all are having to choose between things that are really good because there are a ton of options out there. I'm sure dropping karate was a hard decision for you:( We're having a difficult time with margin this year, too. I really needed to leave more space between things. Having 2 kids that *do not* want to leave the house and do not come willingly has made me realize the need for margin. I need time to deal with those upsets that arise during the day. Instead, it's just rush, rush, rush. I meet my children with a "I don't have time for this" attitude and I don't think it's godly.