Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Embracing Margins

How do you spend your margins? Those brief amounts of time you have to yourself in day....what do you do with them?

Well I'm noticing that this seemingly simple choice is having a profound impact on my days.

To be a bit vulnerable, I've been having a hard month or so. Life has felt pressing, days too short, sleep too little, and flesh too present. The big red flag goes up when yelling begins to happen on a regular basis. Ugly. These scenes of me yelling in my exasperation is what led me to be desperate for change.

How did I get here? Lots of logical reasons came...one, we just came out of the holiday season. Which, as glorious as the celebration of Christmas can be, this equals stress for a lot of us, right? Trying to get everything back to "normal" and finding a home for all the new items (5 gift-giving Christmases adds up with 4 kids!) was enough to keep me busy for a month while still trying to keep everyone fed and safe. Also, colds have hit...everyone, but me, thank goodness. Yet, colds mean less sleep for a coughing, congested baby (and their momma) and little boys on steroids and breathing treatments for their breathing issues. And, I was behind by a long shot in our homeschooling. OK...that's enough. Not to be a complainer, but that's the real life I was facing. And you know what, it really wasn't any of this at the heart of it all.

More than all the circumstances of my days, I was spiritually starving.

Seriously. And my flesh rose up again and again. I had stopped recording my gifts. I had not had the refreshing truths of God's Word check my mind and heart. My prayers were more like going through the motions, checking of my "to-do" for the day.

At first this reality felt so defeating! But, I didn't have time to read! I couldn't wake up early with my erratic sleep schedule and I fell asleep over any attempt to read or listen to the audio Bible at night. Life felt too fast and furious with four little ones to be able to carve out this time!



But wait....was the morning or night the only time I had to steal away to be with Jesus?

Nope.

I have other margins in my days that were getting filled with things that were fine, but not necessary, and especially not helpful, for the state of my heart. I needed Jesus, whenever I could get a moment. Waylon so wisely gave me the analogy that was like a light bulb going off..."When you're hungry, you sneak in a bite of food, whenever you can, right?"

YES!

So I've been saying "no" to another load of laundry and flipping to the book of John for a chapter. I've been leaving the lunch mess to sit and journal a list of gifts that I've seen given to me that day. I've been getting off the computer (and some days, not even getting on it!) to get to bed at a reasonable time so I can more likely face the quiet early morning hours to pray and read. 

Even just 10 minutes is so, so, so worth the fight.

Because even more so than making sure my growling stomach gets fed, is the importance of feeding my spirit.

This has been ringing in my head:  "...'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4)

So wherever your need may be, here's to embracing those sweet 5-10 precious minutes each time they come.

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