margin [mahr-jin] - the space around the printed or written matter on a page; an amount allowed or available beyond what is actually necessary
Margin is the space required by your professor in order to receive full credit on your written assignment. It makes a paper look crisp and clean, perfectly spaced with plenty of room on the edges. Some think of is as leaving margin for error, space to mess up just in case something happens.
I have been learning the importance of margin in my life recently. Leaving room for God to present opportunities to serve Him. I am notorious for filling my schedule to the brim. I think somehow as a society we have gotten it wrong. We pride ourselves in having a busy schedule, thinking it is ideal to fill our lives to the brim with activities and hobbies and objects. Whether it is Candy Crush, scrolling through social media, finding a friend to hang out with, or driving around for no apparent reason, we attempt to fill the need to always be entertained or occupied by doing something we think is Instagram-worthy.
Normally this is my life. However, this summer I said no to a few more things, which left time for me to invest in some really meaningful experiences God brought to my attention.
The first was time to pursue meaningful relationships with people. During the school year it can be difficult to find time to grab a cup of coffee with someone while trying to balance classes, work, sleep, etc. The summer is an awesome time to catch up with friends and invest in friendships with new ones.
The second was ways to serve Him, by teaching kids. I also have had the privilege of helping with a sports camp in July in Baltimore through Grafitti Church. As well as VBS in Edgewood through Mountain Christian Church. Both of these opportunities were unexpected, but became one of the highlights of my summer. Working with children is one of the greatest passions the Lord has laid on my heart. Because my schedule wasn't filled to the brim this summer, I could fully invest my time into telling kids about Jesus. What a blessing!
But how can I apply this same mentality when the school year starts gearing back up again in just two short weeks? I have been brainstorming some ways to create more margin in my life. Things that give my soul rest and ease in the midst of a busy season in life. So instead of trying to cure stress when I feel overwhelmed, I am going to schedule in down time so I can make sure to have margin in my life during the school year. Here are a few ways I plan on doing this: walks, running, taking time to get ready in the morning, making playlists that make myself happy, spending time with God, working out, playing my guitar, journaling, etc.
Hopefully I can apply this new found lesson in to my life when things start picking up pace once again! Thank you Lord for margin and space for You to work.