Consumed with Life = No Margin

There’s this scary idea that what’s most important about our lives will be captured by a “dash” on our tombstone … he/she was born in 1960/70/80 something, followed by the dash before the date of death. The real dilemma is, we all want to make our “dash” count, right?

cool tombstones
Photo by Jo Naylor

But the “dash” is often more of a blur than a journey well-lived, isn’t it?

We often don’t allow for enough rest, relaxation and meaningful refueling in our livesthose sabbath rests that God has ordained for us from the beginning. After all, even God rested on the seventh day. Who are we to think we can keep going 24/7?

Over the years, I’ve tried to develop more margin into my life, but it’s still a work in progress. Even though I don’t know as much as I’d like to about creating and prioritizing margin, I do believe without a doubt, that without it, you and I will …

  • Miss opportunities to engage with our kids.
  • Miss opportunities to engage with our spouse.
  • Miss opportunities to engage with and learn from God.
  • Miss opportunities to share what we’ve been given from God and others.

Without margin, we will be existing or simply “surviving,” rather than really living or thriving.

I want to take this “Labor Day” (the name seems appropriate!) to really slow down and be with my family, be with my spouse, be with God, and soak up the experience of being knownliving and loving well. For I know that’s a path away from a messy marriage!

How about you? Are you tired of being consumed with the hectic pace of your life?

In the days and weeks to come, I will be reading, researching and developing a plan to build more margin into my life. And I’ll be sharing what I learn with all of you in a later post. So stay tuned!

But I’d love to hear … what is one thing you do to build margin into your life?

Please share your ideas with all of us in the comments section below, because one way I want to build margin into my life is by learning to draw upon the help and accountability of others. Please be one of the first to get me going on this important journey!

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ Mark 6:31 (NIV)

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Gen. 2:2-3 (NIV)

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10 responses to “Consumed with Life = No Margin”

  1. margin is so good…If I feel my self being driven to do something…i step back and see what is driving me…I am learning the difference in being driven and led. Have a great day~


  2. I like that rule of thumb, Ro. I’ve not thought of it that way before, but I think that’s a good way to determine if I’m getting off track. Thanks for stopping by and have a great Labor Day!


  3. Hi Beth,I try to take the pause to pray. That always builds in more margin for me. It’s tempting not to do it, though, when I’m busy. Your post is a reminder about how important it is! You’re absolutely right.Blessings and happy fall,Ann


  4. We live a very hectic life of extra curriculars with our children. Between sports, music lessons, friends, etc for 3 children there is little time to slow down. I have been working hard to build down time into our days as being homeschooled allows for that. This is great for the kids and I but the husband kind of loses in the deal :(. Always a work in progress I guess! Thanks for sharing with all of us over at NOBH!


  5. Leaving space in our lives seems like a counter culture decision we make. I have struggled with feeling guilty for having space in my life, angry at others for creating a hectic norm, and now I have found peace that I am just wired differently from some of my friends. I need more down time and that is okay.


  6. I’m so glad to see you back at the blogging thing again, Ann! And yes, prayer is a great way to slow us down and help us to focus on what’s most important. Great suggestion! Thanks so much for coming by! 🙂


  7. It’s a start, Heidi! I’m just glad you’re finding ways to slow down and enjoy your life and relationships. Thanks so much for coming by! I’ll have to check out your blog next!


  8. You have hit on something that I’ve felt as well, Jen. There’s a subtle guilt that we feel if we aren’t busy doing all sorts of things. But I’m committed to living purposefully, not busily! Thanks so much for coming by and adding to the conversation!


  9. I keep my weekly sabbath on Saturdays and try to spend those moments cultivating my relationship with God. It has been a hectic couple of weeks with the start of school and all it entails. Thanks for reminding me to rest in Him every moment!


  10. I know from your blog that you make this a priority, Laura. You’ve often inspired me to focus on the most important above the urgent. Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me!


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