A Walk in the Margin
My son Kaden, at 5 years old, said, “Mommy! I’ve been running around a lot and now my breath hurts!”
I know just how he feels.
So often I run through my days like a hamster running on a wheel. I rush through every item on my to-do list until I finish … or collapse into my bed at night (mostly the latter).
I have heard devotionals and motivational speeches on building margin into our lives. The idea is to not schedule every minute of our days so that we have time to breathe, as well as extra time to deal with the unexpected curveballs of life (like a flat tire when you’re racing to make it to church on time).
I am terrible at building margin into my days.
I have tried over and over to leave intentional holes in my schedule but it’s like setting your alarm clock ahead of the real time. It doesn’t trick me into getting up earlier, it just forces me to do math before I’m even fully coherent.
If I build margin into my schedule, it does me no good. I know that I have extra time so I add “bonus” items on my to-do list (just in case I’m bored and need something to do, I tell myself). I may call them “bonus” items, but I still have to check them off. Otherwise I’m not done!
I’ve decided to try something different this year. I have started walking after meals. I only walk for 10-20 minutes but that time is giving me back my sanity. I am outside in the sunshine doing something with my endorphins–I’ve heard they’re good for you. I am alone (hallelujah!)…able to have a complete thought without being interrupted by my soon-to-be teenager.
These few minutes allow me to “take a breath.” Most importantly my walk gives me a chance to check in with God. Praying helps me to have the right perspective. Are the things left on my agenda a priority or just an attempt at being super mom? It also helps me to keep a short sin account–have I been rude or disrespectful to anyone in my attempt to stick to my agenda?
By the time I get back to the house, I feel recharged, refocused on what’s important to God, and ready to attack the next portion of the day. I have only been attempting this for a week now, but I find myself looking forward to the next walk. I have no idea if this will help me to get into shape physically (I sure hope so!), but it’s worth it to get into shape spiritually, taking time to focus on God throughout the day.