Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sandcastles and Margins

After my husband's margin-less, 14 consecutive working days, I kept hearing my four-year-old's repeated request that he wanted to go build sandcastles.  Margin in our home had been replaced with constant need for household income, which is never a good combination for a marriage, let alone the children residing in the house.

Margin - is having breath left at the top of the staircase, money left at the end of the month, and sanity left at the end of adolescences - by Richard Swenson

Years ago, I read the book Margin - Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by  Richard Swenson.  He does a wonderful job explaining how we need to restore margin in our  lives.  I was reminded again about the importance of choosing our pace of life, instead of letting it choose you in Eldredge's book, Love and War.

So, hearing my son's words ring in my ears that he wanted to make sandcastles along with my husband's much needed day off from work, I suggested we head to the lake...to.make sandcastles.

As we allowed the wind to blow through our hair, the chilly water splash upon our bodies and quiet time to listen to nature's sounds, recovery to our souls was felt by all.  Our fourteen-year-old had time to conquer trees...climbing to the top brought a feeling of victory.  The four-year-old just relished the family time, while building his sandcastles.  My husband became light-hearted....I received passionate kisses.

As life starts to crowd out margin, we need to step back and see what we can change.  Can we say "No" to that extra activity?  Can we choose NOT to watch television and instead go out to throw the football with our son?  Can we stop and go for a walk with our husband, instead of filling every waking hour with running someone somewhere?  Can we wait a little longer before we make that purchase and instead put the money into savings?

As a mother who has walked through years with four teenagers at once, it is a constant battle to keep margin in our lives.  During different seasons of struggles, it may feel impossible to slow down our pace...even though it would allow us strength through the battle.  To be honest, we weren't very successful because it didn't come easy to most of the members in our family.  But this season of life, God has given us another chance to step back and make sure our priorities are in the right place... and enjoy life and each other more.  Learning margin will give us a better quality of life...and time for sandcastles.

Summer is here (or at least in Texas)....ENJOY and make sure you put margin in your life and not let your life set the pace for you!!!

12 Joining in with more words:

JillAileenJones said...

So greatly put! I need some margin in my life right now and God is making that happen with things like having to leave my job to homeschool Alyssa next year. We had a ARD meeting at school for Alyssa and she is not doing well-she just learns in a different way at a different pace and public school in working.
I have cried many tears the last few days-praying we are making the right decision and that I will be able to do it-but I am trusting He is in control.
Thanks for reminding me to take a step back today and rest in the wonderful blessings He has given us.
I didn't realize you were so close-we must meet for tea or coffee-shopping-something some day-I would love to meet you in person.

Anonymous said...

That margin is so elusive! But I'm glad you all had a peaceful fun day. I'm still thinking about you and your frog :)


JillAileenJones said...

I hope you don't mind but while I was on your blog I clicked on your pillow story-loved it!! They are so neat. I love doing crafty things and this is so heart warming-I just loved it. So I copied it and put it on my blog to talk about it today-I shared your story and told people they need to stop over and read about these and other things that will inspire them greatly! I think they are awesome. After I did it I thought maybe I should have asked first-hope that was ok!
Happy Day!

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

Hi Jannette, I just found your blog from Carrie's link and wanted you to know how much I enjoyed reading some of your posts. Our pastor quotes the book you mentioned. Remembering to keep margins in your life helps so much.

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

The book sounds interesting. I like the idea of making margins around my life.

Theresa said...

Hi Janette. I didn't realize I wasn't a follower of yours...but I am now. Sounds like a great day at the beach.

Karen said...

THAT is for sure! It's so easy to lose track of time, especially time for the things that matter, that are eternal, like relationships and memories. We just got a travel trailer and we went on one trip already, looking forward to more time together camping as a family. To Jill: You'll never be sorry to get the time God is giving you with homeschooling! Karen

Sewn With Grace said...

Oh how I would love the beach right now! You have a bit of a burn going, but look so happy! Glad you had such a good day!

Debi said...

Oh, my ... I need this book in our 'season'. I'm gona check it out - thanks for the tip!

Warren Baldwin said...

Margin is an excellent book! I read it about 10 years ago and then a couple of years back worked through some of it again. But I'm not real good at applying it. Need to spend more time with that idea of margin in every aspect of life - time, finances, etc.

I linked here from Debbie's blog (Heart Choices).

Debbie said...

What a fun day!

I think I need a little margin too. :)

Greg talks about us taking a cross country trip camping. Some of his most fun memories were when he was camping. We actually spent our first anniversary camping in the White Mountains of Arizona and had a ball. We also spent another weekend years ago on Lake Powell and we camped out under the stars. Awesome!

At least this will be a goal of ours!

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Wise words again Janette - THANKS!
Sure wish you were closer as I think we'd have so much in common! Delighted you had some fun family time! We're all about trying to find Margins here too... Some times we do it better than others. Your post on little ears & fading attentions was also appreciated. Like you, I am known for being too strict/protective often, but then I realize I could be more so... and always better at listening to the Lord! The red spray paint is sooooo me! Love your bright backyard! I just decided that I'll paint our porch chairs each a different color and add some bright oilcloth to a few tabletops. Might copy Cathy at Cobblestone Farms who made some great flags/garden banners out of old vinyl tablecloths too...I also spray paint lots of knobs on furniture fun colors. Cheap/temporary therapy that meets my margins! ;-)
hugs n love,

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