Confessions of a Tired Over-Achiever — for SheLoves

 

IMG_3565Can I tell you a secret? I am a very slow learner.

I am also a quick study — which is not the same thing at all. I can gather facts, read articles, enjoy rich and satisfying discussions, even occasionally try out a practical application of whatever it is I’m studying.

But to truly, deeply learn something?

It seems to take me a lifetime.

A case in point: over a decade ago, I actually preached an entire sermon on the topic of margin, creating white space at the edges of life, space for breathing and listening and looking. I read a book on the topic. In fact, I read two books on the topic, I wrote a decent sermon about it and I prepared a series of lessons, which I offered in several different settings over the next year or so.

And I meant every word, too. I believed then — and I believe now — that busyness is the biggest single scourge of the last 100 years. Over-scheduling, unrealistic expectations, the constant addition of just one more thing to an already well-scribbled calendar — these are the things that lead to death. Like a farmer’s field that is never allowed to lie fallow, a life lived without margin leads to total depletion of the good things that replenish the soil/soul.

Preach it, sister!

And I did.

But somehow, I didn’t manage to live it very well. Too many days pushed right to the edge, too many notes jotted on the calendar, too many obligations, expectations, commitments and appointments. Slowly but surely — and with alarming regularity! — that necessary white space began to shrink. And I began to fumble and flail and eventually, to crash and burn. Instead of a calendar and a life lived in balance, with sufficient margin for stillness, silence, gentle community with loved ones, reading, writing, bird-watching, sitting at the beach. . . whatever might help me create room for that margin of fallowness, I lived my life at full tilt pretty much 24/7.

I knew about margin in my head, but I hadn’t learned it in my heart. 

Please follow this link to read the rest of this post. I am so pleased and honored to be writing for the good people at SheLoves today. This month’s theme? MARGIN — and it’s been looked at and defined in such a rich and wide variety of ways. These are the ideas and memories that came to me when I pondered that word . . . 

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