Finding the Margin


What is Margin?

Having the time to breathe and notice the beauty around you. Having the freedom to arrive to an appointment and not feel rushed or behind schedule. It’s taking a walk at the end of the day because you’re not fretting over what the next thing is that needs to be accomplished. It’s waiting for your child and not having the urge them to hurry up.

Richard Swenson has a wise quote in his book titled Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, & Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives:

Marginless is fatigue; margin is energy.
Marginless is red ink; margin is black ink.
Marginless is hurry; margin is calm.
Marginless is anxiety; margin is security.
Marginless is culture; margin is counterculture.
Marginless is the disease of the new millennium; margin is its cure (after Jesus).

Margin frees us up to live a life of meaning and intentionality. Margin is something I rarely intentionally seek out in my day to day. Instead I strive for a completed to do list or I distract myself with what is happening in Bermuda Triangle of Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Once I’m bored, I go to my favorite TV series on Amazon Prime and get lost for hours in the dramatic life of Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife.

Finding margin & space for creativity has not been a high priority.


I think it lies in fear. Fear that if I am alone with myself and my thoughts, I won’t measure up. I won’t be the most productive & busy stay-at-home wife as the next girl down the street. I fear that if I engage in creative outlets it will be a waste of time and I won’t be good at it. If I’m not good at it, why should I even start? If it might be a little hard, why not do something easy and mindless?

BUT God. He did not give me a spirit of fear. Nope that fear that I have comes not from my gracious God, it comes from my own striving and from the father of Lies. God gives me a spirit of power and love and self-discipline every single day in Jesus (2 Tim. 1:7). So that striving and worry that I hold on to, it’s worthless.

Every single morning is filled with His new mercies and His grace to embrace and notice the margin in our days. I can receive the grace every day to live a life of self-discipline that will refocus my attention back to what really matters each day: God, His people, His work, and His Word.

May this month be filled with new discoveries of the every day grace that He gives us all. Let’s not be afraid of saying No and pursue a life of margin rather than a life of busyness & noisiness.

So, I’m going to keep that TV off and wait on God…in the margins.


  1. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to reading this each day.

  2. Really looking forward to the rest of the posts!

  3. birthathomemom says:

    I love that verse and had forgotten about it. Thank you for reminding me! I really enjoyed what you wrote here, and I am looking forward to reading more.

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