It can be a habit to push oneself to the limit, but consciously carving time out of paid work, housework and childcare to rest, tend to yourself and others, and listen to God’s soft prompting will keep you happier and at peace amidst the busyness of life.
Life has been crazy busy since Phoebe was born. At the beginning of this year, I was able to source some writing work which has often kept me up until the middle of the night to complete as well as trying to keep my blog going on here. Both these freelance opportunities bring in a small income which has allowed me to stay at home with the girls.
But honestly, I’m huffing and puffing and not getting anywhere close to where I want to be. The days with three little girls at home are hectic. The housework is never-ending and the bills keep coming in like the tide. And while I don’t regret the life that I’ve chosen and the curveballs that have been thrown my way, there are many days where I wonder, is life going to get easier? Will I ever feel ‘ahead’?
You see, I’m a planner and a doer and I can’t relax until ‘all the work is done.’ Which frankly is a terrible predicament to be in when you become a mum, because the work is NEVER done. Those standards I set for myself haven’t been reached for a long while, and it’s taken me time to be kind to myself and realise that I am only capable of so much. Can you relate?
When I went down to Melbourne for the Kidspot Masterclass, I ran into a good friend while entering the female bathrooms. This seems to be a common occurrence — walking into friends in the toilet. Anyway, we got to chat and have a good catch up while we waited for our flight out in the lounge (and would you believe, we were flying on the same flight with a few rows of seats between us!). We talked about the busyness of being a mum and why having a margin is essential in life for when the unexpected happens or when the unexpected happens to others.
No Time for Others
I have been living life with a limited margin. If I’m honest, there has been no margin at all. I don’t have time to help people because quite frankly, I don’t have enough time to help myself.
It’s been refreshing to read Kelly Exeter’s book Your Best Year Ever and two recent blog posts that resonated with me. “How to achieve big goals when you’re a mum” and “5 Easy things we can all do to look out for each other better“. Both of these posts spoke to me, with where I’m at.
The thing is, if you don’t have a margin in your life, you have no time to look out for others and help them where you can. You miss opportunities to bless others, and most importantly you miss out on the satisfaction of being able to help someone.
No Time for God
If there is no space in life to just be, how can we hear from God? I have no doubt God can speak through noise to get our attention, but how many soft messages are we missing out on if our schedules are full to the hilt and our brain is constantly ticking over on what needs to be done next?
Being a Christian in this world is counter-cultural. While the world says work harder and be better, God says talk to Me, rest, stop striving, I’ve got this.
While I don’t think God will send down an angel to hang out my washing, clean the floors and watch my girls to give me more time to work on my goals, I know if I make a margin in my life to spend quality time with Him, I will be at peace when I do those things that need to be done and I will get clarity on what can wait.
I think it’s also important to see if the expectations we place on ourselves correlate to the expectations God has for us.
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a business or a stay-at-home mum or a dad working long hours to help make ends meet. We’ve all been placed in our current situation for a reason and while those grand goals and big expectations can be Godly driven, our timing and expectation to see these come to fruition may not be in time with His.
The more out of control I feel with my life, the more I’m prompted to stop and be. And if I believe God is for my good (and He certainly is for yours, whether you believe it or not), we can do the little that we can and choose to ‘float’, because God is in control. He can gently lead us to the right place at the right time where an opportunity will present itself to take us further than where we could have ended up striving on our own.
I’m working on ways to create that life margin. It’s a little easier now that Phoebe is older, but it will take effort to say yes to the right things and no to those that will hinder the presence of that margin.
Do you have a life margin? How do you fight to keep a margin in your life?
Originally published at The Plumbette.
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels.