Monday, January 6, 2014

Creating Margin.......

My friend Jenn introduced me a few years ago to a new approach to the beginning of a year.  Instead of making a list of resolutions, she would pick a "word" each year that she felt God wanted to develop in her or teach her more about.  I have done this the last two years and it is a great perspective on a new year.

I have struggled pin pointing my "word."  I was just not leaning towards a specific area God is wanting to teach me.  I am sure there are too many to count....but I couldn't narrow in on just one.

Jenn and I went to lunch on Friday and I had mentioned to her that I wanted to discuss my "word" because I was struggling a bit.  I told her I felt I needed to increase discipline, but that I didn't like that word because I felt it was too vague and too easy to not really work on.  She asked me great questions and we discussed what areas I felt were my weakest.  I said that last year left me feeling dizzy and not very "centered" and that I also felt that my follow through of commitments was lacking.  She was a little surprise at the latter comment....if you know me, you know if I say I will be there, I will be there!!  I was lame and completely forgot to bring CL a meal when she had Baby Madelyn (still owe you a re-do CL) and it was SO out of character for me that she was concerned something had happened like a car accident or something.  Anyways, I further explained that when it comes to other people, I will follow through completely, but often at the detriment of myself or my hubby.  I continued that my struggle comes when life gets crazy during the year and then she introduced me to "creating margin" and hence my word was discovered.

What in the world is creating margin?

Well, it means opening up space within your time.  It may or may not be a new concept to you, but it has been really empowering to me. [keep in  mind, this is MY interpretation of this phrase] I mentioned wanting to not feel rushed in my mornings before work.  To have time to read the word, walk Spencer, prep lunches and even relax a little if I so choose.  Well, Jenn was like "What keeps you from doing those things now?"  For me, it is over snoozing.  She was like, you can choose to have that time, you just have to choose to create margin.  I don't know why, but this morning I was able to get up in time for all the things I wanted to do before going to work by creating margin.  It was my choice!  Tonight, I was able to work a little late, pick up dry cleaning, drive by the lot, cook dinner, clean some, and now blog all while also chatting with the hubby and playing with Spencer.  PLUS, I hope to get into bed before 10.  What a great day.  All because I chose what I wanted my night to look like. I picked the things that were most important to me and created margin for them in my evening.

This view of making choices is already something that keeps coming to mind.  Every day we are FILLED with choices....productivity choices, whether or not to partake in office gossip, whether or not to get stressed out, food choices, choices of whether or not to sin.  What is our source of decision making?  How do we decide ALL these things....

When I was at church yesterday, I started thinking back on last year and the miscarriage and the impact I allowed it to have on my year.  The rest of the year I stressed over so many things like "Are we pregnant this month?" "Will we ever get pregnant again?" I had breakdowns some months and some months where I was completely fine.  I was an emotional roller coaster at its best.  I wasn't consistent in the word.  I was sad about miscarrying but felt that I had to have the "I trust God attitude all the time."  Although I believe this full-heartedly, I did not always feel like having a good attitude about it.  When I didn't feel like believing it, I allowed satan to cripple me with fear....fear that my dreams of having a baby would NEVER come true.  Fears that I will continue to just be an on-looker as my friends learn about this parenting thing....fears of always being left out.  I am not pregnant yet, but after spending a lot of my holiday reflecting on last year, I have really realized how much I gave up last year and let satan have his foothold in my life through fear!  In prayer and meditation, God revealed something to me that I will cling to each time I feel fear sneaking in....

Regardless of how I feel, I choose to believe that God fulfills His promises.  I do NOT know what 2014 holds for us and I am ok with that.  I am excited to see how God will grow me individually and us as a marriage.  I hope to create margin in my day so that I keep my time with God a priority.  In a world of uncertainties, ONLY he remains unchanged.  He wants to prosper me and not harm me and give me a hope and a future.  I hope to be a better wife to Alex by not being spread so thin and so emotionally raw that I can support him the ways that he needs.  I look forward to a season of being filled by God through prayer and His word.  I look forward to using what I have learned to encourage others.  God is intricately weaving my story for His glory and I want to try and share that story more this year.

What are your hopes for the year?


Ashley King said...

It's like you were reading my mind when you wrote this...Thank you for this entry, it really uplifted me!

Valory Tessmer said...

Thank you Tonya,
You have a very easy way with words. I can share a story about how your grandpa Farm used to do to fill his "margin". While he was driving the bus or rather waiting between his rounds, he carried his daily bible verse to study during the down time. I have always kept his habit in my list of resolutions.

Bianco Trio said...

Thanks for you comment and letting me know of your blog! Looking forward to getting to know you more in 2014! Praying for you friend :)

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well."

~Psalm 139:14