If you haven't been listening to the sermons at First Church in St. Joseph, I recommend them! You can listen to any of them here.
"Margin" is defined as the space between our load and our limit.
This season of staying home with the kids has been a very heavy load. In more ways than one! (mom humor insert here)
I've realized that my margin was very small. I was hitting my limit on almost a daily basis. And really, who doesn't as a stay-at-home Mom? It is honest, hard work that is hard to quantify or measure.
In the way that the dishes were all cleaned and put away and after two meals every dish we own is in the sink once again. Or the toddler is throwing yet another temper tantrum after your "Come to Jesus" talk only minutes before.
I so desperately need my margin to restore me, so I can keep going.
So I am exchanging some of the ways that I spend my "margin" or free time. One exchange is Target for Southshore Health Club.
This is nothing against Target. I do love you so, with your cutesie picture frames and shabby chic throw pillows with birds on them. I love spending mindless minutes adoring the newest seasonal platter or ice bucket, but after leaving the doors, how do I feel?
Still. Exhausted. And sometimes guilty for that needless splurge.
Instead, I go to Southshore. (Membership gift! Yes!) I drop the kids off in the nursery (PTL for that) and pretend I know what I'm doing in the gym for 15-20 minutes. My breathing gets a little heavier and the elliptical tells me I burned like 58 calories! Woo-hoo! This is coming from someone who has always hated the idea of just running. Ew.
Even if my total trip is under an hour, I feel:
That is the opposite of Target. So I must choose this. Why?
Because it helps me to be the Mom I need to be when we pull back into the garage and back into our comfy pants for the remainder of the day. I am less snippy and impatient. I have just a few more ounces of energy than I did before.
How is this of spiritual worth? I think that God is glorified when we take care of ourselves physically too. I am learning that it is often a physical expression of the state of my heart and my soul.
I get that not everyone can make this change. But what change can you make? Is there a sacrifice worth making to make the best use of your margin?
I am still learning. I would love to hear about your margin too.