A Little Breathing Room
Happy New Year!! It is a tradition in many cultures to open up the windows and doors on New Year's Eve right before midnight to say goodbye to the old year and usher in the new one! The new year makes way for new beginnings. Over Christmas break, my husband challenged us to be thinking of goals that we hope to accomplish in 2019. Chris suggested that these goals span a few different categories such as faith, health, finances, family and personal. His idea was for us to plan out these goals over the first week of the new year and then meet up for a "goal-setting date" to share and pray over them. It is definitely hard for me to keep my goals to just a few because right away I can think of at least 20 that I would love to accomplish. However, a few really stick out and need my attention. One in particular, I want to share with you because I think we all can benefit from it's implementation - MARGIN!
Have you ever run into a friend that you haven't seen for a while in the grocery store and he/she asks you how you have been doing? If we don't answer with the traditional "I'm fine.", we tend to skip to our other go-to and say "I've really been busy!". Isn't it true?! We are always busy. It's part of our culture. Whether you are a college student, a working professional, a parent, or even an empty-nester all of us seem to have the busy factor in common. It doesn't seem to go away with each passing season or life stage.
I am on staff as a director of kids' ministry at our church and a few weeks before Christmas, my pastor announced that the church is to remain closed between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The staff was to be on break and not come in to the office to do work of any kind. This truly was an amazing gift from my pastor but when a friend asked me if I was excited to be off from work I responded saying that I was afraid that I would be bored. Ughh! Then after saying this, I realized that this is a real problem. I don't know what to do if I am not busy with work because I love my job so much. I realized that I keep myself so busy even at home that I have forgotten how to relax and just be! During a few nights over Christmas break, my husband and I made no plans to hang out with friends or go to an event. We just hunkered down and stayed in. Chris and I got in our pajamas early like around 7 o'clock . We read books, played games, made hot cocoa or tea and watched movies. It was my favorite part of break because I was so relaxed and we could just be together.
I decided that this rest and relaxation NEEDS to be part of my life in 2019. I need margin and white space! We all need it!! Imagine receiving a letter in the mail. Perhaps the page is so crammed full of words, thoughts and ideas that the margins around the letter are almost non-existent. There is no white space on this page! I feel exhausted and overwhelmed before I ever even begin reading. Isn't this often a picture of our lives? We can fill it up so much even with good things that the margin starts to fade into the background. When do we find time to breathe, rest and refuel? Where is the white space? This year, it is my goal to intentionally schedule down time into my life. I want to make more time to just hang out with my husband or to do more of the things that feed my soul like gardening, hiking and being creative. I have started a bucket list just for this winter of craft projects, recipes to cook/bake and simple dates to go on with Chris. I find that when I find time to rest and refuel, I can give more of myself to others and be fully present in the situation.
So ask yourself...
Do I need more margin in my life? What are some ways that I can rest and refuel? What are things that I need to do that feed my soul? Let's make room in our lives in 2019 for margin!