We Need Margins


Margins. They make reading easier by framing words on a page. Margins in our lives serve to keep our existence from more than a hurried, crowded narrative of our daily attempts of self preservation. But it seems that we keep adding just a little more activity, more goals, more work, more debt, more fun, more stuff until the story of our lives reads like a jumbled mess of words filling every white space on the page of our existence. I’ve been reconsidering my own margins. Here’s what I want:

Life with No Margins

Margin in my schedule. That’s such a struggle. I’m in a season of my life that a lot of the work I have done for decades is finally paying off. That translates in opportunities and those commitments need my time. I’ve worked hard for this and now I’m struggling with it. Without margins on my schedule I can’t find time to volunteer, mentor, and be a friend.

Margin in my finances. If my entire pay check is spoken for before I even get it, then I can never help a friend in need, fund a mission project or just bless someone with a nice dinner.

Margin in my faith. Too often I treat God more like Santa Claus: I come to him hurriedly with my list of needs and wishes and I dump them and just run away. But God often speaks in the still small voice during the quietness of introspection of a prayer that listens as much as it speaks.

So how are the margins in your life? Be honest. Are you trying to fill your schedule with just a little more of __? Are you spending every penny your earn? When was the last time you stopped to listen to God’s voice? I know I have to consciously manage these margins, because left unchecked, they disappear.

What area of your life you’re having the most trouble with creating margins?

Posted on
By Maurilio Amorim


  • Landon Bradley

    This is timely. I'm been feeling convicted on all three levels. Finances hit me the hardest. I need to do so me soul searching. Thank you for this post.

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  • Great post, Maurilio. So true and timely as we start a new year. Thanks for the reminder!

  • All three resonate with me, but the largest of the three for me right now is schedule. I have to constantly remind myself to manage my time well and keep my priorities straight. I'm thankful that my wife helps out with that a lot.

  • Margin is a big word for me in 2011. I certainly need more of it. The good thing is that I, like you, am in a place where the lack of margin is because business and life are good but I know I can't keep up with the pace and do so effectively without retooling how I work and live. I need more time to think, be still and just BE instead of DO. I'm a doer, a take action guy but more margin would help me do it better and do it more effectively.

    For me it sort of ebbs and flows. Margin gets tight and I recognize it, feel it's weight and retool. Then I'm good for a while and it creeps up again so I rinse and repeat but even then it's never really the amount of margin I should probably have. : )

    • You're right about having to retool often. "Stuff" just creeps in all unannounced

  • Patty Huckabee

    Thank you for speaking my, and others, language. Right now it feels like my margins are out of the scope of paper and I am getting the error message asking if I want to "Fix" or "Ignore" them. I have been "Ignoring" my lack of margins for too long.

  • I am definitely in dire need of some margins.

    1. Between graduate studies, a full time job and time with family there is no wiggle room in my schedule.
    2. My wife and I completed Dave Ramsey's program in December and are excited to be on the path to managing our finances instead of them managing us.
    3. Definitely guilty of the "dump & run". I want to spend more time being still, but I feel like I'm always moving.

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