3 Ways To Create Margin in Your Overcrowded Life

3 Ways To Create Margin in Your Overcrowded Life

I’m so excited to have my friend and fellow blogger Bobi Ann Allen guest post today.  And I love this post!  It’s so refreshing and I SO NEED MARGIN right now.  Find her work at http://bobiann.com/.   Even as you read this post, you are experiencing margin. Margin is the space on either side of the print with nothing–nothing but white. Space where you might add an occasional note or pause to absorb what you read. Margin isn’t necessary only in publishing, margin is necessary for contentment in our lives. Are you experiencing an angst for something more? Are you longing for room for your soul to rest yet nothing about your schedule is relaxing? The ache you feel isn’t there by coincidence. God is drawing you in. He placed a yearning within you for a life lived with meaning and purpose. Yet, many of us have overfilled our lives to the point we don’t have time to experience purposeful living. We need empty space, room for God to move, and time to process what we’re experiencing and learning. Those who live without margin are overwhelmed, maxed out and usually in need of therapy! Creating margin when your life seems to be running off the page doesn’t happen without intentionality and deliberate choices. Here are 3 effective ways to create margin: Prioritize Effectively Run on the treadmill, read my Bible, a night out with the girls, clean the house, feed the dog, volunteer at my child’s school, date my husband … so many choices on how to spend my time, and all of them good! But I can’t do...

Bring Back That Lovin’ Feeling: 29 Days of Loving Your Family Purposefully

Every month in 2012, I’m focusing on being intentional. In January, I focused on Intentional Conversations. This month, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m focusing on LOVE.  Now, I know it’s easy for you to love your kids and your family and your friends– they’re great and you know it.  But do you always show them intentionally?  I don’t!  I often get caught up in my daily live and forget that little, intentional acts of love go a long way. That’s why this month, I’m hosting a 29-day “Loving on Purpose” challenge. Every day I’m going to post a challenge for you to show somebody that you love them in an intentional way.  You do the challenge and tell me about it, you’ll be entered to win one of two cool prizes. On February 17th, I’ll draw one person from all of the comments during the month and give them a pack of 3 Maama Cards. Maama Cards is a company started by my friend Rachel Spies and the proceeds go to support maternal health care in Africa.  It’s a great cause and the cards are really cute. On February 29th, I’ll draw one person from all the commments between Feb 18th and Feb 29th and give that person Divine Chocolate. Divine Chocolate is one of the only chocolate companies that uses equal trade practices with their farmers and never exploits their workers.  So, if you win, I’ll let you pick 3 bars of your choice and I’ll ship them to you. So, today’s challenge: Pick up your phone and call someone that you love and tell them.  Say...

Breakfast at My House: A Look at Intentional Conversations

Here’s how breakfast went at my house this morning: “Joooey,”  I screamed up the stairs and I frantically spread just peanut butter, no jelly onto crustless bread for his lunch.  “Five minutes to get dressed and get down here.” He glugged down the stairs with a sigh, throwing his T-shirt on as he walked into the kitchen and sat down at the counter.  I tossed a banana at him. He ate it.  Slllllllooooooooowwwwwly.  As I said “eat quickly”.  Over and over.  And over.  Toast was tossed on his plate.  And a heap of scrambled eggs.  And our entire conversation was a chorus of “hurry” and “eat faster” and “finish your eggs” and…well, I can imagine the poor boy was stressed by the time he went to school. And, my goal for intentional conversations in January officially failed. So, here’s what I’m doing tomorrow. I’m going to call Joey down for breakfast 10 minutes earlier so I don’t have to rush him.  And, when I call him down, I’m going to be done with making his lunch, cleaning up the kitchen, etc. so I can focus on him and only him. I’m going to sit down with him while he eats. I’m going to have an intentional conversation with him… not just nag at him to eat fast.  Tomorrow I’m going to talk about his feelings at going back to school after three weeks off… and explain to him how I feel because truthfully, I’ve really enjoyed having him home and after one day, I’ve really missed him. I’ll let you know how it goes. What do you talk about...

Happy (Intentional) New Year!

Last year, I was in survival mode. I had a good excuse.  Make that excuses.  A new job.  A new book.  A new house.  A horrendous pregnancy.  A new baby. Sleepless nights.  Relationship struggles. But excuses aside, I’m now realizing that I let things slide.  I let my relationships move to the back burner because I was so busy carpooling and sleep training and breastfeeding to notice.  I let my parenting slide because I was too exhausted to be intentional.  I let my writing slide because I was too busy to focus. But this year, I’m going to change that. This year, I’m going to be intentional.  As a parent.  As a wife.  As a writer. And with that in mind, here are my blogging resolutions for this year. I resolve to be real.  There are days that my life is a mess.  There are days that I yell at my kids when they don’t deserve it.  Days when my husband and I fight.  Days when I find myself sitting on the stairs with tears streaming down my face wondering how I’m going to manage even five more minutes.  But last year, I never blogged about those times.  Because for some reason, I felt like I had to portray myself as put together, sane, perfect.  As if the world would like me better if they thought I was the perfect mom, perfect housekeeper, perfect wife.  But it’s not true.  And this year, I want to be real. I resolve to be intentional.  I’ve decided to focus on intentionality this year—which means I’m going to  intentionally focus on an intentional...
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