why we need margin.

A few months ago, I read this great quote about the need to rest, to honor the Sabbath. I can't remember the words exactly, and haven't been able to find it online, but the gist of it really stuck with me. The basic idea is that rest, that taking a break from the work is not just good idea, it's necessary. It's so important that our bodies and our spirits will make it happen. If we don't rest, something will come along that will force rest on us - illness, job loss, whatever.

I've never been a stickler about setting apart Sunday (or Saturday) as a day of rest, but earlier this spring, I started feeling a gentle leading to create some space in my schedule and my to-do list. It wasn't so much about following a set of rules, as it was about adding in a bit of margin. Mostly, I stopped writing a to-do list for Sundays, and I started being a lot more careful about what I was willing to put on my schedule for that day. I'm still learning, and I don't always get it right, but it's still been a very welcome and helpful change.

As much as I love this work-from-home gig (and it really is a huge blessing), it is sometimes hard to make the transition from work hours to non-work hours. And when you couple that a house I'm trying to fix up and my tendency to start more than one thing at the same time, it can be difficult to not feel like there is always something else for me to be doing. When I'm home, all of those things are kind of staring me in the face, so giving myself permission (or even a mandate) to ignore them just for one day has resulted in a wonderful new rhythm. I start Monday a little more refreshed and ready for the work week. I enjoy the work more and feel like I'm more productive, like I'm using my time there well. The house projects don't overwhelm me, and I'm reminded that I actually enjoy this process.

I have always had a tendency to over-schedule my time, and in the end, it always leaves me frazzled, short with the people I care about, and so overwhelmed with all that needs to be done that I don't want to do anything at all. And even though I seem to keep forgetting this, the reality is that we can only actually plan so much. New projects come up, old things take longer than I thought they would. People don't usually fall in line with my schedule.

So, I'm learning to create a bit of space around the edges. To remind myself that it all doesn't have to be done right this second. To place more importance on people, not projects.

Really, just this - to rest.

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