Making Margin

It’s easy to allow the busyness of life to consume us. There is always more to do, and often those things are important. But there is also a time and a place for making margin.

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This past Thursday I boarded a train for Chicago with Leo. He sat on my lap as we talked about our upcoming adventure, read the Bible, ate some snacks, and waited for Lake Michigan to appear in the window.

Upon arriving we checked into our hotel and explored a bit. He loved being in charge of the elevator. Afterwards we headed out for Cloud Gate and Crown Fountain. We found a sweet playground, then took the lakeside trail to see Navy Pier and the Children’s Museum.

On Friday we played hide and seek in the hotel room, watched cartoons, pretended to be sharks in the swimming pool, and spent more time in the park.

All in all it was a really great trip. My main agenda was just to have fun together, and we accomplished that. Honestly, we probably could have gotten similar results in Elkhart (give the boy a ledge or a slide and he’s good to go) but it was nice to be somewhere new. In addition, we were able to do the whole thing for under 130 bucks which made frugal me happy.

But none of this would have been possible without creating space.

I had to create space to plan our travel, book our hotel, map out our itinerary, and go with the flow. Kim had to create space to pack our meals and get us to and from the train station. And Leo…well, he just got to sit back and enjoy the whole thing.

It’s easy to allow the busyness of life to consume us. There is always more to do, and often those things are important. But like Mary, there is also a time and a place for making margin.

Pause and think:

What do I need to create space for?

Who do I need to spend time with?

Where do I need to slow down?

If you haven’t done so already, consider picking up a copy of Richard Swenson’s book Margin. It’s a fantastic read. In addition, you might want to try completely unplugging once a week and making Sabbath a part of spiritual rhythm.

Whatever it looks like, give yourself permission to get what you need, prioritize relationships, and make the most of the life you’ve been given. For me, it was a trip to Chicago with my son. What does it look like for you?

Author: Dave Mierau (Meer-oh)

Christ follower, family man, lifelong learner.

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