It’s All About the Margin… {Personal Goal}

Happy Monday, friends… I’m off for MLK Day today and what a delicious gift a simple day off can be!  I know — I just returned to work after two weeks of Christmas vacation, but if you recall I was traveling heavily and also dealing with serious turmoil at my school so my “break” was not a restful one.  And oh, how I need rest.  Don’t we all?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to restore some margin in my world — you know — that space to breathe, reflect, rest, and nurture my creativity.

Last Friday, I read The Nester’s post about just that — finding margin.  It’s only been in the last several years that I’ve even become aware of my need for it.  After all, I’m an extrovert, a people person, someone that loves to have *stuff* going on and lots of balls in the air.  The problem with that is when life’s usual stresses crop up — job struggles, family problems, money strains — it’s harder to deal with those things when you don’t have margin in your life.  Not only that, creativity that requires margin begins to wither.  And for me, that means a funk is headed my way.

We’ve had lots thrown at us in the past year and a half or so.   Hardships with our children, job stresses for both of us, injuries, money worries.  I bet you have had those, too.  And my creativity has taken the brunt of it.  Last year, my DIYs were fewer, my finished projects scarce, my to-do lists long, and my physical and mental energy limited.  And that discourages me.  It threatens to steal my joy and my glass-half-full way of looking at things.

So my primary goal for this winter is to restore my margin.  And hopefully restart my creativity in the process.

The Nester pointed me towards this 4 step e-course as an aid to rebooting my creativity for the coming year.  I’m already loving the wonderful thoughts and advice delivered into my inbox so far!  If you’re interested click HERE to sign up for yours — it’s only available through Jan 20th, though so hurry!

goals Winston Churchill

The bonus of reclaiming some margin in my life goes beyond recapturing those creative juices though.  It encompasses more time with my people, which is harder to come by with each passing year.  It facilitates finding peace and joy in my every day — both of which are elusive right now.  And, God help me, it will begin with Him.  He wants us to have margin — that white space to return to the Word, to seek Him in all circumstances, and to listen for Him.  And oh, how I need to hear Him!

So there is no long list of personal goals this year… only one.  But one that could change everything.  I love Jen Hatmaker’s take on New Years resolutions this year…

So go ahead and lay down any outrageous NYR you will abandon by January 26th. We don’t need to manufacture failure, for the love; real life will see to that quota. Instead, let’s go small, quiet, still, let’s listen to God and see where He tells us to go and say YES, even if that place turns out to be our own kitchen, our own porch, our own people; sometimes the best journeys are short ones. Maybe this year starts not with more but less. Your heart will eventually tell you if you heard right. Moving toward wholeness creates peace, contentment, and gratitude…not stress, fear, and displacement. You’ll know which is which pretty quick.

For those of you with lists of resolutions, my hat is off to you!  I love goals and having things to work towards and strive for.  This year feels different — it’s time for me to carve out space to breathe.  If I can do that one thing, this year will be a winner.

Ok, let’s hear it!  What are your goals for the year?  Do you need more margin in your life, too?

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  1. God never promised us a smooth path in life – BUT He did promise to be with us always. I do hope that knowing that He is there will give you what you need to get through these tough times and restore your joy.
    Years ago, a friend started doing little to nothing on Sunday – going to Church and enjoying the remainder of the day with family and friends. It was quite hard for her to stick with this at first. Then she began to see how much more productive she was during the week by having this day of rest before tackling the world on Monday. Maybe this will work with you and your family.
    Take care of yourself knowing that if you don’t, you can not take care of the others who depend on you.

  2. Always could use a bit more margin. I don’t set resolutions…just goals that are part of maintaining a happy balanced and fulfilling life. Thinking about you.

  3. My resolution is to band together with all the middle-aged women in the world and take the whole thing over. If that doesn’t work, I may just clean the attic.

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