Margin

I used to tell my family, “No matter what you do in a day, there are only 24 hours in it and it will be over at the end.” I would also say, “Everyone is busy; either busy sitting around or busy doing stuff. We might as well do something.” That was my rationale for being too busy.

Today, we were swamped. First we had to lay in bed. That took until 9:00. Some of that time we had to multitask; cuddle with kids AND lay in bed. Then we had to loaf until about 11:00; again multitasking along the way. At 11:00 we went out to eat. It continued with this kind of busyness until now. Wow, I’m beat. A day with this kind of busyness refreshes my mind, body and soul.

Of the many lessons I have learned in this season of life, a big one is that life is too short to be too busy; to not to have margin. Margin is the leftover time or energy that you have after the stuff you must do is done. Since life is unpredictable, margin is essential. If you want time or energy to have a spontaneous conversation with your wife or children, you cannot spend all your time and/or energy doing something else. If I want to help a friend in need (like you have done for us), I cannot fill up our schedule with “stuff”, no matter how good that stuff is.

This week is busy with clinic appointments for Tara. Tomorrow is the thyroid and upper chest lymph node biopsies. Wednesday we meet with the Oncologist to discuss results of the biopsy and with the Gynecological Surgeon to look at the abdomen to get official clearance to lift, walk, run, etc. Also on Wednesday we have a genetic consultation to discuss how this cancer came to be and what that means for our children. Thursday we have a CT scan of her body and blood work. Friday is chemotherapy.

Thanks for having margin in your lives to be able to help us. I hope it is not using up time you need for your family. Pray with them tonight. Tell them you love them several times. When your child asks to tuck them in, even if you are tired, find that last bit of margin to go for it. At the end of the night, it will be over either way, and you will have either done it, or not.

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5 thoughts on “Margin

  1. Continuing to pray for you and your family. Thank you for your honesty in your blog, it is an inspiration to my family and I, good times and struggles! I would love to help you with rides either to or from kids club Wednesday night, if you need.

  2. So true! Over the past year or two, I have been feeling very convicted about the whole issue of honoring the Sabbath. My uncle died in mid-January, and at his funeral I was reminded of his conviction (and my father’s, as well) not to work on Sunday. My 92-yr-old uncle was quoted as saying, if I’m forced to work on Sunday, well then I just won’t work on Saturday!” I determined that I would start treating Sunday as the Sabbath again and do no unnecessary work. A big part of the reason is that so often when my kids ask to paint those magnets they got for Christmas 5 years ago, my response is, “Now is not a good time.” It’s not a good time for the mess. It’s not a good time for me to supervise. It’s not a good time for me to clean up the mess created if I don’t supervise. I want to make time to play games with my kids and to enjoy them before they are all grown. I’m so glad YOU are. You will never regret it!

  3. We have been touched by your story and situation. You might not remember us but we have met you at your church. We are Angela Pankratz’s parents. We live in Nebraska. We have been moved to pray for you and your family regularly. We so appreciate your honesty and transparency regarding this journey you are on. It helps us to know how to pray for your family. Just know that we are standing with you in prayer for Tara’s healing.
    John and Gloria Weir

  4. Amen and amen. You’re speaking my language. It used to not be my language, as I am a “busy” person myself and used to thrive on it. I have learned (the hard way) over the years, though, that we are all better off and can hear God’s voice much more clearly when we have margin in our lives. But although I KNOW we shouldn’t be too busy and have our family too busy, I still find myself getting back into that pattern all too quickly. And unfortunately I am finding myself in that pattern even as I type this. Just too busy. No margin. I needed to hear this reminder tonight. So thank you. Love you both.

  5. Jay, I like your comments on margin on our lives. We all need to take time for each other. –multitasking– .Your blogs are an inspiration to us. God bless you and your family. We are praying!

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