Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Margin, Defined (Day 2)

If I'm going to spend 31 days writing about "margin," it might be helpful to start things out by figuring out what "margin" means. When I first wrote about margin, I had in the back of my mind a sermon series by Andy Stanley about margin called "Take it to the limit," which I listened to years ago.
I re-listened to the first message yesterday, and here is how Andy defines margin:

The amount available beyond what's actually needed.
The space between our current performance and our limits.

If you're running, could you run faster? If not, you're running at your limit, and you have no "margin."

Let's just say, I absolutely could not be running any faster. I am at my limit emotionally, with my schedule, with our finances, work, parenting . . . you name it and I'm juggling it with no margin for error.

And Andy says that living without margins forces you to be self-centered, because you are constantly thinking about what's next and how close you are to the edge. And I for sure don't desire to be self-centered, for those around me never to feel like they have my full attention. So how do I fix that? How do I find margin? And why? And what does that look like?

A few more quick notes from the first message:
-Relationships depend on our ability to create margin.
-We can't say "no" because we are living out of fear not faith. 
-Our culture pushes us to the limit and God invites us away from the edge.
-As margins narrow, so does our relationship with Jesus.
-We will live within limits no matter what, so why don't we surrender it and let God lead us to a life of margin.
This is day 2 of 31 days of margin. Read more from 31ers.


  1. Looking back at my season of running kids, I had no margins. We were so busy and happy but exhausted. It was all about the kids. As you find you margins, it's ok to say no. They will not remember some things they missed out on. With the time you gain from saying no, read your Kindle and make time to have fun with your husband. He's your best friend.

  2. My problem is, my margin has been eaten up by loving on these other people who have unexpectedly landed in our hearts. I was almost at capacity before that, you know? (I know you know.) So it's hard to figure out what/who to say no to in order to create that margin. Please figure this out for me this month. Thank you. :)

  3. That quote you use at the beginning by Stanley is one I seem to come back to often when I am living outside of my margins. This is an interesting series.

  4. The thing is, the ones the Lord puts on our hearts need the most. Mine was a young man in trouble, I had to learn to let the Lord take care of him sometime. I love it when 2 blogs I follow connect. You ladies are doing a fantastic job....really.

  5. This is GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  6. OMG Becca! I had no idea what this post was about but something told me to read it and it's EXACTLY what I'm dealing with right now. The other day I saw Adam at Juvenile Court and I know I looked a hot mess because I am just so tired. Life just seems overwhelming right now and I'm pretty sure that's because it is. This post is heaven sent. . . I'm in the process of creating my "margin" now. I really appreciate you sharing this and look forward to learning more about how to fix this little (exaggeration) problem I have :)

  7. You have my attention, lady! This is something I've been sitting on lately. So glad to have you sharing your thoughts on it.

  8. I'm looking forward to reading your 31 days! I need more margin in my life too. Like you, I just can't say no for fear of disappointing people and then I wonder why I'm frazzled all the time?? !

  9. Oh, do I need this right down to the bottom of my soul. Thank you. Your loose-leaf paper button pulled this English teacher in, but your words speak straight to my Christ-seeking heart.

    Here's to margins. Here's to loving others so much that you want to never say "No," but loving your self, your family, and God so much that you know you have utter a negative and trust He will work out a resounding positive somewhere else.

  10. love your heart...
    we're in Athens, GA...my husband is on staff at Athens church. We watch Andy Stanley on videos every week...I'll have to check out that message that you mentioned.
    looking forward to reading your other posts on margin.


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