Thursday, August 9, 2012

Living with Margin

God has been exposing me to much on the topic of priorities and creating margin in life.  Without that flexibility and time to slow down, we find we are hurrying through life, forgetting what we're really here for in the first place.

I have several friends who struggle with this concept. If they have an extra night free or even an extra hour in a day, something gets crammed in.  Some of them are overwhelmed, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally, because they never have time to slow down or breathe.  And some of them feel stuck in this mode because of financial obligations.  It's a tough place to be.

But many of us, don't choose a hectic lifestyle because we have to (money burdens), but because we are trying to prove something--to ourselves or others.  We've lost the ability to say "no" or set healthy boundaries even though, the things we often say "yes" to are leading us to give a nonverbal "no" to the essentials (family time, sleep, prayer, etc.).

Cut out that which seems good to invest in the best. ~Ann Voskamp

Thankfully, my life is relatively manageable right now.... mostly.

My area of struggle lies in the emotional tank.  When my reserves are gone and I'm running on fumes, I look at the clock and it's only 2:30: back-up doesn't arrive until 5:00.  And boy, by the time Aaron comes home, he's getting my emotional left-overs.

But the problem doesn't rest with how much my kids are taking, but in whether or not I'm bothering to fill up my tank.

What do I use nap time for anyway?  Shower?  Good thing.  Blogging?  Nice outlet.  Exercising?  Keeps me feeling tamer.  Facebook?  Hmmm...

When I use my nap time to invest in my connection with God, I'm freed up to live in love, to be more patient, to understand my purpose, to cope.

But I have to say "yes."

I read this morning some quotable lines from Brother Lawrence.  "We are to be pitied for our willingness to be satisfied with so little. God has infinite treasures to give us and still we are satisfied with a brief passing moment of piety. There is no mode of life in the world more pleasing and more full of delight than continual conversation with God."

We need to remember our purpose and invest in that which has the highest return.  That doesn't mean we have to sacrifice the mundane (laundry, cleaning, etc.) or trivial (dance class, volunteer service, etc.) but focus on our motivation and leave room for the most essential in life.

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