Margin (again)

July 24, 2012

in the generous life

I just had one more talk with one more tired woman.

She’s busy all the time. She has no time for herself. She doesn’t do any real “self care.” Her relationships are superficial because she doesn’t have the time and energy for more. Enjoyable sex is out of the question. Time with God? Not really because she is doing, doing, doing.

I don’t mean to point fingers in judgement. I have been this woman at times in my life. Mostly I’m just trying to remind us all that busyness is a killer … of your health, of your relationships, of the joy and beauty that is life.

Slow down. Choose more wisely. Make some margin in your life so that you have time for the important stuff (and then let the rest go). 

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  Ovid

Image credit © Candybox Photography |


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


Great check list for possible reasons ~ For Wives: When You Don’t Desire Sex (from Hot, Holy & Humorous)


Satan decided to have A Garage Sale I kid you not! (from Encourage Your Spouse)



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy July 24, 2012 at 4:10 am

Hi Lori,
I read the link you supplied regarding “satan’s garage sale” and it made me think of a couple of short videos on gratitude that you and your readers may enjoy. I also posted these in the comments on the site you linked to (Encourage Your Spouse). Thanks for all the inspiration!!


Lindsay July 24, 2012 at 4:34 am


I have to confess that I am frustrated by this post. I know that you do not intend to judge, and I know that I am going to sound very ungenerous. I guess I am just “another tired woman” and the implication that being so is my own fault felt hurtful. I am another tired woman, and I suspect so many others are as well, because we are the ones whom our families rely upon to keep everything together and running. We are the ones who get things done. I’m not busy because of selfist pursuits. I’m busy because I have a family to care for and I need HELP doing so, more help than I’m getting. And I hear from many of my friends that they feel the same. Just as an example – I work full time (from home, but on a set schedule as an employee, not working for myself). I get off from work and I care for my 18 month old and 4.5 year old. I do what housework I can, spend what time with my children and husband I can, do supper, bath and bedtime routine, clean up dishes, and by 10 pm I fold my last basket of laundry and then collapse into bed. This month I have been focused on getting (huge) preschool enrollment packets completed, so some of the housework has been let go. I have asked my husband several weeks in a row (respectfully, lovingly – not nagging) to please help me keep up with the dusting and vacuuming because I had to focus on some other things. The house has not been dusted or vacuumed in a month and our boys are having allergy problems because of it now. My husband says that he does not have time. He works part time at a church, mainly on Sundays and Wednesdays, and spends a few hours a day at church. The rest of the time? He’s at home.

I know this sounds like just an opportunity to rant, and that is not my intention. My sweet husband is my best friend and I adore him. But I’m tired, because I need his help, and he doesn’t get it. Our kids are small, and needy, and I’m financially required to work because he only works part time (and is looking for full time work). But dishes have to be done; houses have to be vacuumed at least sometimes. I’m not spending my time chatting with friends or in front of the television or shopping or anything else. My priorities are basic survival priorities. And yet, I read here that I’m supposed to set margins and prioritize.

You imply that you hear this story over and over again and I’m sure that you do. I know lots and lots of tired women like myself. I guess that’s why I wonder if this needs to be a post for the Generous Husband instead – instead of fussing at women trying to do their best for everyone in their lives.


Mollie July 24, 2012 at 7:31 am

I heard a great little radio devotional yesterday that talked about how God made us human BEINGS not human DOERS. We are to be not do… “BE still and know I am God.” He suggested taking at least 5 mins to just BE and KNOW our God!


Elizabeth July 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I wonder what advice you have (or could point me to) for dealing with busy-ness as a new mom. I just had my first baby 6 weeks ago and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the necessities of life (clean clothes, food to eat, dishes to eat it on, making sure everyone is bathed regularly). I do work part time from home on my own schedule (no set hours) and try to go to church and a Bible study each week.

I’m just not sure what it’s possible to cut back on. I know all about using the crock pot, taking people up on their offers to help, prioritizing what I spend my time on, letting go of the vision of a “perfect” house and garden, etc. Maybe, at this stage of life, I don’t need to cut back — I just need the proper perspective for work (work is good, after all, a blessing that God gave Adam and Even in the Garden)?


The Generous Wife July 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm

@Lindsay I hear you. More in tomorrow’s tip.

@Elizabeth Some seasons are just busier than others. Thankfully they are seasons. My only other advice would be to look at each of your responsibilities and see if you can simplify them further. Yes, crockpots are nice, but sometimes you just need to do a few days of sandwiches and fruit. Nap when your baby is napping (your body has been through a lot and you’re probably not sleeping through the night yet). Pick up as you move around the house and let the dust bunnies play a bit. Do spot clean ups and ask a friend to help you do a full clean once a week. That sort of thing.

A few years ago I hurt my back and was flat out for weeks. It was amazing what was really important and what I could actually leave undone. That time has significantly shaped how I see my responsibilities. I do keep a reasonable house, but I’ll drop a broom quickly when my husband wants to go for a walk or a friend needs a listening ear.


Becky July 25, 2012 at 11:29 am

You mentioned that perhaps we don’t have time with God because of our busyness. I understand that can happen and it’s tempting to push aside time with Him in order to get going on the to-do list. However, NOT spending time with God can affect our attitude and His blessing/leading in our life that ends up bleeding over into other areas such as how we treat our family, our love (or lack thereof) for them, our reactions, etc. It’s too high a price to pay. I speak from experience when I say that time with God needs to be put on the list that you mentioned in today’s post of those things that absolutely MUST get done or the house will fall in. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “I’m too busy today NOT to spend time with God first” and it’s true!!


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