Margin is my word of the year for 2020, and I can’t seem to stop writing about it. You can check out my first post on the topic here, in which my focus is on creating more margin in your schedule and having more free time. The next post about margin can be read here and is more focused on what margin means to me and how I see the idea influencing my year. In this third installment on the topic, I delve more deeply into margin in all areas of life, and what it means to eliminate, and keep something in reserve.
More About Margin
This last week, I realized that I have taken a narrow view of margin, focusing completely on not overpacking my schedule. Then, as I was paying bills (ha!) that God wants me to have more margin in all areas of life.
Breathing Room in All Areas of Life
Margin is about reserves—reserving more time, more money, more resources, more energy. Let’s not deplete ourselves in any area.
A friend is working on decluttering with the belief that too much stuff equals chaos. Eliminate the “extra” and you transform chaos to clarity. I think about margin in a similar way. When you do everything, nothing stands out as special as important. When you invest in everything, it’s not possible to see where your heart or values really are.
Margin is like Pruning
I don’t like the void—the white space in the margin. I like to fill the space with whatever item is relevant—words, activity, ideas. Allowing space is difficult for me, but I believe that is what God is calling me to do this year.
In my mind, I imagine some of the trees I’ve seen in recent years—our own brambly, prickly, but also lush, extremely overgrown knock out roses, and pear trees with branches so abundant and heavy with fruit they nearly broke the tree. We pruned them. We pruned them a lot. For a while, that rose bush looked pretty sad, and we didn’t know if the pear tree would come back. They did, and they’re both fine. They look nicer and still have roses, and pears, respectively. Pruning, cutting off, separating, eliminating are all scary things to me, and part of that may be because we always approach the new year, and goals from the stand point of adding to our lives, and starting new ventures, not getting rid of things, quitting old activities and letting go of goals that no longer suit us. I am walking into this territory in faith, believing that I will find greater clarity and fruitfulness in this less popular path.