Saturday, October 6, 2012

Margins, in Practice (Day 6)

I have a confession to make: it's possible I have a problem with salted caramel mochas. They're just so delicious. I had a coupon, and so I'm sitting here sipping yet another couple hundred calories. Zack has Saturday school and he's staying with us this weekend, and I'm waiting for him to be done. And I'm enjoying being kid-free for a few minutes, thinking and grumbling a little. Because, I understand how desperately I need to create some margin in my life. I realize that I cannot keep going at the rate I've been going, I cannot sustain it. The problem, however, is figuring out how to get some margin in the midst of a margin-less life.
I've been trying the past 6 days to make a conscious effort to spend time doing things that give my soul space. To sit outside and enjoy the cool fall air, to take the kids to the park and watch them run hand-in-hand with the neighborhood kiddos. To read, to journal, to study. And I've been able to steal a minute here and there for these things. And they're good for my soul, undoubtedly. However, I sit there trying to read and all I can think about is that the dishes are literally overflowing from the sink, and my bedroom still looks like this.
Or that Caden requires me holding him at all time, or at least closely supervising him because he climbs up on and stands up on things and pulls out cords and has bruises all over his head as a result and so on and so forth. And Jayci decided to stop being quite so delightful and has taken to yelling "NO never" anytime we request anything of her.

And I think about how sometimes you can borrow from one area of margin to help create more space in another area. For example, borrow from financial margin to free up time by hiring someone to clean your house or to babysit. Unfortunately, we don't have any time, but we also don't have any financial margin to borrow from. And I work 20 hours a week for my dad's company because we will always need health insurance for Caden. And I have to do some photography work (I have 2 weddings tomorrow, sigh) because we still own our stupid-upside-down house in the suburbs and throw away nearly $500 because we cant rent it for as much as our house payment.

On top of this, there is also the undeniable fact that in our type of ministry there are a lot of crises. A lot. And every need seems urgent. He is going to jail. She is fourteen and pregnant and has nowhere to go. Their electricity is off. He is suspended again. They are hungry because there is no food at home. Poverty leaves little margin, and we try to stand in the gap for them. But we need to figure out how to create more sustainable solutions, how to love our neighbor without destroying ourselves.

I dont have any answers. I dont want y'all to think that I've started this "margin series" and I have all the answers now. My life still looks margin-less. I'm just more aware of it. I'm praying a lot, seeking God's wisdom in creating margin and saying no and leaving space. So I hope you'll continue to join me on this journey, knowing that I dont even really know where we will end up.


15 comments:

  1. Your raw honesty and is refreshing and gives us all hope that we, too, can make a difference and it won't always be neat and tidy and tied with a bow.

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    1. Goodness, could we be more alike? I am running on fumes, too--with no margin at all. Sometimes I need the margin and literally zone out because my body mind want it. The result is a few lost hours between between napping and combing through blogs only to get further and further behind on all of the "have-tos."

      My husband is a pastor and a few years ago we had to sell our house to move to another ministry in another state. We lost a lot of money on our house, and I had the hardest time understanding God in those moments. Why would He not swoop in and save us with some kind of mysterious check in the mail like it was happening to all of my other ministry friends? Instead, we walked through the desert together as a family, and it is still hard to think about to this day. I am praying that you will get rest somehow--that the margin would increase like fishes and loaves.

      I almost never comment on blogs but feel such kinship with you in your writing! Also, I'm a photographer as well! Blessings to you on your weekend!

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    2. Oh Alison, I totally get it and feel you, particularly on losing some hours between napping and reading blogs. Sigh, I should work on self-discipline too . . . And thanks for commenting, I love hearing your heart :-)

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  2. If I lived closer, or we didn't pretty much live on the road, I would offer to do your laundry and babysit. Maybe the next time we're in the area, that will happen. Or, we could just drink yummy coffee and talk about the ups and downs of ministry and then laugh about it. For now, prayers for you from Nashville! Love this series you're doing =)

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    1. Oh my goodness, you are the best, but I totally vote for drinking yummy coffee and laughing together! :-)

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  3. I am with you friend, it is so hard to balance everything. You want to give your all... to all, and it is so hard to figure out how to do that. So thankful for His grace and I am praying for the same things. And I will be praying for you too! You know I think think the ministry you guys are doing is just so wonderful. Praying blessings on you so you can (continue to) bless others! Hugs!

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    1. Thanks sweet friend . . . and I just got your sweet letter today - Cant wait to sit down and read it! :-)

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  4. Oh, yes, Becca. This is a tough one. I'm right there with you.

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    1. I'm not even kidding when I constantly think "what would melissa do?" :-) we need to invite ourselves to your house again sometime soon so we can see how you do it! haha :-) love you!

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  5. I just read your entire 2nd to last paragraph to Cory. Girl, when can I join you for coffee??? You and I need a vacation together. HA!

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    1. Vacation together? yes please. Somewhere where no kiddos can find me ever. ok? :-)

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  6. You have created a margin, ever so small, by being aware and taking some moments!

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  7. I think it is your honesty and the fact that you don't have it figured out that draws me back to read your posts :)

    Thanks. And I am now craving a salted caramel mocha!

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    1. Thanks girl! Oh and I'm always craving those, it's probably not good . . .

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