To live with margin means …”to live in a rhythm that includes periods of productivity and periods of restoration and refreshment. Not to live with margin means you’re denying your God-given design to get regular rest.”
Discipleship Journal May/June 2009
I framed houses in the early 1990′s with Tom. Tom would work 7 days a week, week after week. I got a phone call on a Monday morning : “Doug, could you come over and talk with Tom.” It was his wife.
When I got there, Tom was sitting on the couch in a dark mood. I found out later, this was not the first time this had happened. They told me, he just needed a break. Tom didn’t know how to pace himself, his mind and body would overheat like the circuit breaker on an electrical panel. He’d take a week off, recover and start the craziness all over again.
I (DM) grew up on 120 acre dairy farm, milked 18 Holstein dairy cows, twice a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I am also a first born. I got married, had two daughters, went back to school in 1985. Had two more kids. Working part time, going to school part time. My boss was also the high school youth group leader of our church.
“Doug, I think you would make a great high school leader.“ It was a 2 evening a week commitment- minimum. I joined.
Our church was also helping us with housing. They had regular Saturday work days. I felt obligated to do that too.
Did I mention, I was also a hard core people pleas-er? I had such a strong craving for people’s approval, I rarely said “NO” except to my wife.
In 1988 I hit the wall emotionally. Here’ the very picture I posted in front of my desk . It was to remind me business is not the same as progress. You can be busy going nowhere….fast
I longed for a more balanced life. A life with margin, some down time. I stepped out of every commitment, everything- I was forced to look my boss in the eye and say , “I have to drop out of the youth group, and Saturday work days…and…etc. etc. “ it was either do that or watch my family unravel.
As I attempted to find margin and balance in my life, I felt like the captain of a large oil tanker, trying to point my ship in a new direction.
Flash forward 20 years…
I’m still busy- there is still a “people pleasing bent in my life, but it does not control me. My life has margin. I have to think long and hard before I add another “good thing” to my life.
If I were a young mom, (I’m thinking of my daughter Angie @ this point) I think it would be 100 times harder to carve out this thing called “margin” so I’m interested in hearing from those of you that are mothers…what would you say to tired young mothers ? What are some practical ways young mom’s can build margin into their lives… is it possible?