Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tortoise Tuesday - Margins

We live in a day of information and activity overload.  Seems like the most popular answer to the question "How are you?" is "busy".  I have begun to really dislike that word.   All too often, that is my answer... busy.   We over-schedule, filling up our days, running from activity to activity,  cramming our brains with more information... faster, more, ... busy.    We act as if there is just not enough time to do it all.  Guess what?  There isn't.

Here is a new word I am working into my life... margins.  That is a word I am far more fond of than busy.  I have know this word for most of my life but I haven't lived with it.  The margins I am talking about are those that are defined by dictionary.com as:  "an amount allowed or available beyond what is actually necessary".   Leaving space both physically, mentally, and planning-wise is what I am seeking.    White space.  Space to breath, listen, learn, be.... space to be available for the urgent and important.   

Recently I read a good book by Richard Swenson, M.D..  Can you guess the title?   It is Margin.  I would highly recommend it.  The premise is that we need to leave margins in our lives in all areas so that we are not overloaded and overdone.  Hmm... homes uncluttered with space to move around, schedules with room to breathe and for relationships... patience to wait when things don't go according to our timetable... handling one thing at time as opposed to multi-tasking,  quiet to hear God's still small voice...  Sounds like the kind of living we were created for.

Creating margins in our lives requires us to live out our lives with intentionality. We must first know what our priorities are and then cull those things which don't reflect them.  Yes, it takes some work... but the benefits are worth it.   We've all heard it said before that for everything we say "yes" to, we must say "no" to something else.  Living with margins is counter-cultural to our "fast-paced", "on the go", "doing more", "getting more" lives.  I believe it is how we were really created to live.

I'm learning to recognize the need for margins and the gift those margins are in my life.  They help me see little joys along the way - things I miss without them.  And, they help me to focus on what is really important and to be content.  So, when you ask me how I am doing... my hope is that my answer will no longer be "busy because I will be living with margins!

Praying you have many blessings and much joy!

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