A margin is part of the page that you intentionally leave blank. You don’t write all the way from on edge of the page to the other. White space is typically left all the way around, and we call those margins. This makes what is written on the page easier to read; it gives clarity.

Everything in our American culture is telling us to ignore margins. Stay busy. Don’t stop. Microwave your fast food. You must have the latest gadget and fad. Keep up!

Spend more money than you make and you will have no financial margin.
Fill your schedule from early morning until late night—and you will have no time margin. Surround yourself with needy people and constantly react to their expectations—and you will have no emotional margin.

Mark Batterson wrote, “You need margin to think. You need margin to play. You need margin to laugh. You need margin to dream. You need margin to have impromptu conversations. You need margin to seize unanticipated opportunities.”

I want to live a life with margins.

With financial margin I can respond in the moment to a need; I can give generously and cheerfully.

With time margin I am flexible to help or listen or wait or just be with someone.

Margin makes you pleasant  instead of cross.
Margin allows you to be generous instead of Scrooge-like.
Margin helps you listen instead of seeming not to care.
Margin gives you the space to live instead of just getting by.
Margin increases the chance you will hear the still small voice of God when He speaks.

Where are you feeling the lack of margin in your life? What should change?

how to create margin…

  • Carve time in your week for margin.
  • Tithe,  save and pay your bills – live beneath your means.
  • Know yourself; take time for self-care.
  • Choose relationships wisely. Avoid those who take without giving!
  • Periodically go dark; turn off the noise. Be intentional to listen to God, others, and yourself.