Confessions of a twenty-something whose schedule is constantly filled to the brim
I drive up to our apartment, eyes weary and head heavy from being gone between the hours of 7:30 AM – 10 PM. In the silence of my car driving home, I prayed, Lord, I want to be everything to everyone, and I fail every single time. My problem is not that I say yes to things that I don’t want to do; my problem is that I want to do all of the things. And so my days swell to maximum capacity, being pumped fuller and fuller until I am about to burst.
I have been praying about what to share this month, and I am blank because I am learning a blur of lessons all at once, which translates to having no words at the moment. The Lord stirs in the recesses of my heart, telling me to write about margin. Who am I to write about margin? I ask. My days are filled to the brim with job #1 to job #2 to cooking dinner to coffee dates to dinner dates to weekends away from home to every last hobby that I am exhausted trying to nurture.
Here is the thing: I love being busy, and I always will. I adore checking things off of my to-do list, and my heart soars when I get to have time with friends. As a raging extrovert, I think my spirit will always long to be both involved and intentional with other people and other things. But I also believe in the absolute necessity of margin – the refueling so that we can be refilled. Our spirits crave this, and I believe that a soul without silence is an unhealthy one.
I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I am acutely aware that I am in the infancy stages of learning how to add margin into my busy-bee schedule. But I also know that as someone who is often on the go, it is easy to beat myself up over not having days at a time of rest. I am slowly starting to understand that margin can be 5 minutes, or it can be 5 hours – and the most important thing is simply that it is there.
So, I have created a list of recommendations to fit moments of margin into your day. These are tools that I personally utilize to create space in my life for rest, and as someone who loves being busy- these are a wonderful way to rejuvenate in a realistic manner.
- ALWAYS make time for devotions.
Rain or shine, this is absolutely the most important factor of the day. There are some days where I need to get creative with this. I listen to the bible in the car (pro tip: if you download the “Holy Bible” app, there’s an option for it to read to you). I will pray in the shower, while I’m driving, while I’m waiting for someone to show up for coffee. If my day is absolutely packed to the brim, I have to get creative with my Jesus time, but it always, always needs to be there. (Disclaimer: this does not mean that I am perfect, only that I strive daily for this to be the highest priority).
- Spend at least 15 minutes a day in activity.
I work out every day, with some grace days sprinkled in on the weekends. Go for a walk with your husband, squeeze in a quick jog, or do sit ups before bed; but exercise clears the mind and provides energy. It’s wondrous what physical discipline does spiritually.
- Utilize the quiet spaces throughout the day.
I talked about this a bit under number one, but this is just so important to me. Paul tells us to pray continuously, and this is a practical way that I attempt to stay connected. It’s a cool way to talk to God about the little things in your day, and sometimes it just sounds like a thank you Jesus after an uplifting talk with a friend, or a help me Jesus after a difficult one.
- Spend Sunday evenings at home.
I understand that sometimes Sundays can become filled up with different chores or activities that overflow from the weekend, but it is important to spend at least the end of the day at home, relaxing and recounting gratitude from the weekend as a way of preparation into the new week.
- Take a bath.
If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I am a HUGE fan of baths. Soaking in the warm water is a physical way of cleaning away all the build up in my life. I have taught in countless group therapy sessions that taking a bath with your favorite candle scent lit up next to you is one of the best coping skills. Engaging all five senses, this forces us to focus on the present and just spend time in complete rest.
The balance of busy and margin is important, and it is rare that I meet someone who truly does well in both worlds. I hope these are some practical ways to be more intentional with margin and rest, because countless times the Lord tells us to rest in Him. Why is that so hard some times, amirite?!?
What are some ways you practice margin? We would love to hear in the comments below!