Overwhelmed? Make Margins!

Are your commitments OVERWHELMING?

Are your closets, basement, and attic OVERFLOWING?

Is your spiritual connection with God DRYING UP?

Do you need to MAKE MARGINS?

Yes, I DO!

As much as I don’t like to say NO, or back out of something I had planned to do, there are times it is the best, and wisest, thing to do. 

Open any magazine, listen to any type of media, talk with your friends, and you know that most people live with overload—mentally, physically, and often, emotionally. But it isn’t healthy.

In his bestseller MARGIN: Avoiding the Overload Syndrome, Dr. Richard Swenson says,

“Margin is the space between our load and our limits.”

In other words, it’s having breathing room to stop, be renewed, be mindful of the moment, and have time to enjoy what’s most important.”

Instead of living with packed calendars, multiple activities for each family member, constant activities for yourself, work, committees, and time-consuming commitments, know this: You don’t have to live like this. Your life can be different.

Having found it necessary to weigh just how much I can do in a given week or month, and saying NO to some requests, I have to agree with Dr. Swenson’s comment:

“Many people commit to a 120% life and wonder why the burden feels so heavy. It is rare to see a life prescheduled to only 80%, leaving a margin for responding to the unexpected that God sends our way.”

  • Does the thought of having some margin, some breathing space, some time to relax, fill you with longing?
  • Are you weary of constant juggling, racing home with arms weighed down with last minute groceries, knowing that others want your attention but you don’t know how to fit them in?

Of course we are all different. We have different family structures, job schedules, and responsibilities. But I dare say most of us are operating at full-speed according to our level of energy and capabilities.

What’s Squeezed In? What’s Squeezed Out? 

Overwhelmed? Make margins!

Original Photo Credit – GraphicStock

Squeezing in every activity can leave us with no margin for what is most important:

  • Time being quiet in God’s presence
  • Listening for what He has to say
  • Exchanging our anxiety for peace, our confusion for comfort.

 Author Steve Korch in My Soul Thirsts: An Invitation to Intimacy with God says,

“Spiritual life is progressive. There is no such thing as instant intimacy with God. None of its qualities mysteriously appear in one’s life overnight. It is produced, not be default, but by design and is the result of specific, consistent, ongoing decisions in the daily life of a believer.”

To make those daily decisions and leave time for the unexpected that God sends my way (which is what happened!), I need to build in MARGINS.

How about YOU? 

Let’s Talk: Do you feel Overwhelmed? I’d love to know how you have created margins, or what you plan to cut out or limit in order to create space for God’s unexpected assignments.

Photos: GraphicStock

    As an international speaker, multi-published author, Bible teacher, mentor, and spiritual coach, it's my goal to encourage women to thrive in their relationship with Christ and in life.

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    9 thoughts on “Overwhelmed? Make Margins!

    1. I was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2017, I quit my job that was extremely stressful and since than I have learned to say no in a lot of things. I have time to study God’s word and I’m sure I will continue this after I’m better and a different job. I was at one of your conference at Camp Lebanon a couple years ago it was good and fun. I like this article a lot thanks, I’m going to pass it on to friends.

      • So sorry to hear about your journey with cancer, Tracy, but glad to see what you did to reduce the stress in your life. Thanks for connecting and sharing this article with friends. Speaking at Camp Lebanon was a wonderful experience. I can close my eyes and picture being there in the gorgeous fall colors–and with fun and faith-hungry women.