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...

It’s On 2015: The Stay-at-Home Date Night Challenge

As part of the launch of Hot Mama, Kathi and I have teamed up with our podcast producer, Eva Daniel for a little romance challenge.  Every month that we release a book, we’re challenging each other to a little romantic stand-off.  This month, we’re going to see who can plan the best romantic night in. And you guys, I WANT TO WIN. Like really bad. So will you help me?  I started looking for ideas on Pinterest today and you guys, I am so out of my league.  This girl on Pinterest made a blanket fort in her living room with twinkle lights.  TWINKLE LIGHTS.  You guys, my brain does not think that way. ALSO:  Did I mention that the winner of this little competition gets a gift card to Whole Foods?  To buy chocolate and wine. I really want to win. So I need your help! If you have a brilliant idea, share it with me in the comments.  Or, even better, volunteer to be a guest pinner on my Pinterest board and share your favorite ideas. Oh, and don’t forget to find us on Hot Mama’s Facebook page as we each reveal what we did and vote on who wins.  (Which, have I mentioned, HAS to be me?!)...

What I’m Going To Be Doing While You Stand In Line at the Ticket Office to Watch 50 Shades

A girlfriend told us last week that she’s planning a girl’s night to go watch 50 Shades of Grey with her friends in a few weeks. And another friend is planning on going to the movie with her husband for their Valentine’s Day night out. We hope they have a great time. Really, we do. But we won’t be going with them. Because we’ll be at home having sex with our husbands. We’ll just come right out and say it: We’re not feeling overly enthused with the entire 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. It feels so wrong to be glorifying this relationship where a woman is abused and the man is sadistic. Are these the kind of romantic heroes on which we want to base our love stories? It doesn’t make sense to us. We don’t want that for ourselves, but even more, we can’t stand the thought of our daughters believing that 50 Shades of Grey is a modern fairy tale. But we’re afraid that’s exactly where our culture is headed: Christian Grey has been elevated to some sort of modern Mr. Darcy and the true romantic heroes of our time—men like our husbands who cherish us and have never demeaned us—are labeled as… boring? It really doesn’t make sense. But we don’t have to let it make sense. We can stand up and say that we don’t want Anastasia and Christian to be our romantic example. Not when we have so many better examples—examples of men and women who have chosen to love each other fully, to never demean, to never demoralize, to keep sex as a...
Failing at Life

Failing at Life

I’m totally and completely failing at life right now. And not just a little bit. Take today, for example.  I didn’t pay close attention to my two-year-old at the park and he took off his shoes and stepped in something prickly.  When we got home, I spent 45 minutes with tweezers picking splinters out of the poor guy’s toes.  This put me behind at work, so I frantically spent the afternoon trying to catch up while Will slept and Joey and Kate played Legos.  I had promised Kate 4:15 Zumba so I woke Will up at 3:30 only to have him take one step on his foot and find more splinters.  More tweezers.  More crying.  More frantic rushing.  I left at 3:55.  I forgot my wallet. I got to the gym and they let me in (without my card) but realized that I had to go straight from Zumba to basketball and get the kids dinner in-between.  I begged $20 off of my friend Rebecca (thanks!) and headed to Chick-Fil-A, where I told my kids to eat fast in the back seat.  They did.  I brought the kids to basketball and sat Will on my lap where he promptly… threw up.  All over me and himself and the gym floor and my kind friends who happened to be sitting next to me chatting. My friend Monica saved me by running for paper towels but I was still a total disaster. I sulked out to the car and wiped us both off the best I could and proceeded to sit in the dark car with a squirmy two-year-old who suddenly...

This is the Day That I Start Being a Little Bit Amish

I confess:  I’m hardly a scholar of Amish culture. I’ve been to Pennsylvania once.  I was thirteen and my family went to Bird In Hand and ate chicken and dumplings in a tiny roadside cafe.  I petted the horses hitched to buggies in the parking lot.  I tried (and loved) Shoo Fly Pie. Aside from that, I’ve spent very little time contemplating Amish culture, the Amish lifestyle and the Amish faith. Until last week. This is going to make me sound very unscholarly, but my unlikely foray into Amish culture came in the form of a novel.  A fantastically interesting and really fun novel. My friend Olivia Newport just released her latest book, Accidentally Amish. The book, set in Colorado of all places, explores the contrast between city-dwelling, technology-loving Annie and Amish-born cabinet-maker Rufus.  The book is great– without spoiling the plot, let’s just say there’s a fantastically romantic love story, some danger, some suspense, some money, some tears, some laughter and a huge dose of hope. But aside from a great story, I also got a glimpse into Amish culture that was so different from anything I’ve ever read or heard before.  Like this:  Do you know why the Amish people avoid modern technology like cell phones and computers?  It’s not because they believe they are inherently evil but instead its because they don’t want anything to stand in the way of God, family and community.  Before allowing anything to become a part of their lives, they ask “how is  this _____ (fill in the blank with a modern contraption) helping me to become closer to God, family...

Guest Post: On Hitting Rock Bottom (and Bouncing Back)

I guest posted this weekend on Warren Baldwin’s blog The Family Fountain… here’s what I said… When my 21-year-old husband and I found ourselves on the road back from our honeymoon and with $3.56 to our names, we weren’t concerned. We’d live on love. We had no problem knocking on my parent’s door and lugging our honeymoon suitcases back up the stairs into my old bedroom less than two weeks into our married lives. We didn’t need money or a house or new clothes. We loved each other fiercely. What else did we need? Click here to find out....
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