We are a few weeks into the new year new me season right? Lol. But it is not too late to wish you a Happy New Year, as usual I haven’t kept to my promise of posting more but that’s going to change definitely this year as I have made discipline and excellence among others, my core resolutions this year. I hope you won’t mind sharing some of your resolutions with me…
So I am coming your way with a few lessons from last year. I believe that our lives consists of an ongoing hand-off of tasks and juggling responsibilities that need strict precision to keep moving. There have been many times when I lived without a pause button, but last year tops them all. I took on four jobs, all with demanding and herculean tasks and that could be your story too. Where days ran into nights and weeks blurred into months without us having any time to relax and catch our breath.
Thankfully, that season of busyness came to an end, but I declared that kind of overload would never, ever happen again. There was absolutely no margin for error or sickness. In the aftermath, I realized I had no non-negotiable boundaries set in place to protect me against that kind of crazy. Everything was secondary to cancel so I could get more done: I gave up family gatherings, leisure time, hangouts with friends and didn’t guard the Sabbath.
That season, and many others before it, proved that unless I put borders around my busyness, I will be a wreck, my family and relationships will too. But it also begs the question: Does life balance even exist?
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12(NIV)
For most of us, there are few non-negotiable boundaries when it comes to busyness. We live without the built-in rhythms of the rising and setting sun that guided our parents just a few generations back.
We could work 24 hours a day if our bodies and minds would let us. Hence, we get drawn into a nonstop lifestyle of work. Although I firmly believe the Bible honors hard work, the Bible does not say we need to be busy all the time. This is where we need wisdom to find a balance between work and rest.
I love how King David acknowledges God’s perfect plans:
“LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places: surely I have a delightful inheritance” (Ps. 16:5-6).
Although David refers to property lines, this is a lovely image of God’s plan for balancing our lives. God has boundary lines established for us that are pleasant and manageable. He never meant for our lives to be a jumble of overcommitment. Rather, God’s plan is peaceful and ordered.
And in order to find that pleasant place, we need to have healthy boundaries on our time with lots of margin built in. Margin plays an important part with a boundary, whether it’s on our property or in our lives. Margin creates safe places, adding beauty, breathing room and balance for the eye and mind.
Did a little research on editing and publishing and learnt this. The beauty of “a well-designed page isn’t just what you see; it’s also what you don’t see. The un-designed area, called white space, carries as much, if not more, impact as the words or graphics.”
A significant value of white space is to make the page visually appealing so you want to read it. As our eyes scan a crowded page, our minds tell us it’s too much work and we disengage. But a page with lots of white space invites you in. It doesn’t feel overwhelming or chaotic. It feels simple, doable, calm. White space gives the reader a mental break while at the same time drawing your attention to what’s most important.
And this is what a life with margin around boundaries does for us. When our lives are overcrowded with “content” and lacking white space, we will feel cluttered and confused. It’s hard to identify what’s most important because it all runs together in a blur. But by creating balance in establishing boundaries for our busyness, we give ourselves breathing room. We give ourselves time to think, dream and plan. Busy gets seriously out-of-control without boundaries.
Finding balance is possible. Establishing healthy boundaries involves editing the content in our lives, carefully identifying what’s most important… what God is asking us to do today and this very season of our lives. Then as we remove what’s not ours to do, we can breathe a sigh of relief at the beauty that’s revealed in our lives.
Lord, thank You that Your plan for me is pleasant and secure. Be with me today as I seek to find the blueprint for my life ahead. I ask often; help me to listen well. Help me see those areas of my life that are crowded and confusing, and give me the wisdom to create a balance… to set boundary lines that bring peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Stay Blessed, Always!