Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Margin

I've read a LOT of articles and blogposts about margin in the past, but this morning I'm wondering what you all do with yours (and by "you all" I mean the 2 people who actually read this blog- ha ha ha).

It seems as though I haven't had much margin lately so I am trying to use it the best way I know how. Right now, Ezra and Ki are at school, and Cody's gone in a meeting. I should be showering... I REALLY should... but my spirit needs to write so here I sit. I am trying, the best way I know how, to choose the "best use of my time" over the "most pressing use of my time." It's not always possible, but when it is, that's my goal.

Some people are people-oriented and some people are task-oriented. I am the latter. It's difficult for me to sit here writing when I'm stinky (I'm telling ya, I really NEED a shower), there's unfolded laundry in baskets at my feet, my bed's not made, and there are dishes in the sink. It's completely counter-intuitive for me to choose to write at this moment, but I believe that when we make the "best use of our time" priority over the "most pressing use of our time" the first gives us fuel to accomplish the second with more efficiency and energy.

I recently started an devotional called, "Parenting By Design" through YouVersion. It's short (which is helpful these days) and always refocuses my thoughts about parenting that day. I could just as easily spend that 3 minutes reading facebook updates, but I'm finding this tiny change in the use of my margin to pay big dividends. I even have the app on my phone so it's always available to me when I have a moment. I'm also trying to intentionally spend 10-20 minutes a day holding my boys. I do this most of the time anyway, but when I make it intentional, I'm more apt to put down what I'm working on when they're talking, pull them up on my lap and listen fully to what they are sharing. It's not that I care more, but it definitely communicates that I'm invested in them, that they are of vital importance, and that I love to hear what they have to say. It's a small change, but it feels like something huge in our relationship.

I was thinking there were more examples, but now I'm at a loss. Maybe looking at the laundry or smelling myself has finally gotten the best of me... ;) I'd love to gather more ideas from you- maybe there are things I could do that I've never considered!

What do you do with your margin? How do you take advantage of those little pockets of time when life is flexible and you have choice about how you will use it?

2 comments:

Cristi said...

I am struggling with this idea of what to do with my time. I have all this time "off" for the summer and I want to read a book yet turn my brain off. I want to cuddle with my kids yet my house needs cleaning. I want to reorganize my classroom, and think about school things but feel guilty because I'm home. And most of all I want to get back my time with God, and just started reading the book, "Jesus calling" which is a short devotional but God has already spoken to me through it in the few days since I started...

Amanda said...

C- I've heard a LOT about that book, you'll have to let me know how you like it! I think I'm learning that life will always have these tensions. Learning how to manage them gracefully is what I'm working on. We can't do everything we want everyday, but we can do something meaningful each day... even if that "meaningful" thing is cleaning out the refrigerator with a smile. :) It's good to know I'm not alone in my struggle for balance. :)