Make Some Margin

March 22, 2012

in the generous life

Which page does your life look like?

Yesterday I mentioned “margin.”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, creating “margin” in your life means not cramming your life full, but rather creating some free space around the things that you plan to do (a lot like you have open space for margins around the printed words on a page).

That margin gives you room to change your plans, take advantage of an opportunity that suddenly presents itself or just gives you room to relax and play. If your day is packed full, it’s far harder to change direction and, for most of us, it means that we’re hugely stressed much of the time.

When it comes to being a generous wife, there is the temptation to do, keep on doing and do even more. It is somewhat counter intuitive to say slow down and simplify so that you can bless your sweetie, but it’s true.  If you simplify your life, make time for the important things and create a bit of margin in your life, you will be more relaxed and more able to express love to your husband.

For me, it meant giving thought to what was really important and intentionally cutting out less important activities so that I would be more rested and have the time for the people and things I love. At times those choices have been difficult (so many fun things to do). I have a limit on how many evenings I will be outside the home, I have a limit on the number of activities I will engage in, etc.  I only have so much time and so much energy and I want to make sure that some of my best goes to my husband and our marriage relationship.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.   Hans Hofmann

Image credit (c) Lori Byerly


Won’t it be nice to breathe a little easier? 5 Ways to Create Margin in Your Life  (from TooDarn Happy)


If the concept of “margin” is speaking to you, the book by the same name is a good resource ~ Margin (aff link) by Richard Swenson 


Create the prayer habit for your marriage (April 16th – June 1st) ~ A Surrendered Marriage Challenge (from Intentional by Grace)


Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori Ferguson March 22, 2012 at 3:24 am

Great advice. I have a hard time saying “no”. Actually it’s something both Robert and I need practice doing. We’ve tried creating a “do not do” list, but it’s continually hard sticking to it.

My favorite book that really changed some perspectives is “Ordering Your Private World” by Gordon MacDonald. So far it’s changed perspectives… not habits. ;-)

Thanks for the reminder and the good reasons to keep trying.


Annette March 22, 2012 at 8:37 am

I can not find the new button. Give me a clue,


The Generous Wife March 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm

@Annette At the end of the post, right after the quote, is a small button that says “Pin It.” It’s for those who are into Pinterest and want to add the blog post to their boards.

If you are interested in Pinterest, these are my boards. It’s a great way to collect creative ideas and connect with others with similar interests and likes.


Kim March 23, 2012 at 7:11 am

Thanks for the link to your Pinterest boards. I will be checking those out.

Simplify. It just sounds so, well, simple, but so much clamors for attention, and so we have to separate the important from the urgent.

It reminds me of what Dave Ramsey says in Financial Peace. He notes that if you want to see what is truly important to folks, just look at their checkbook. The same could be said of our lives. To see what is truly important, look at our calendars. Where is the set aside for our spouse and our children? If we do not value them enough to set aside time that is sacred for them, that speaks volumes about our priorities.


Heather March 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm

This is a difficult one for me right now. We just purchased our first home (yay!) and are doing some remodeling before we move in next week. We also have 3 kids and my hubby works 2 jobs–so it’s challenging to find any margin at all, though I know it’s possible. Will you pray for us regarding this? Thank you!


Leigh Ann @ Intentional By Grace April 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm

I just wanted to stop by and thank you for sharing about A Surrendered Marriage Challenge. I’m just now getting around to checking “referrals” with our cross country move. But I am thankful for your help in getting the word out!!


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