Photo1Maybe, it’s because I love writing. Maybe, it’s just because I’m weird. But, I think margins are a beautiful thing.

Margins are the matte for word art. Margins are the space that makes words legible. (Along with those magical spaces between words that I’ve never quite gotten the hang of. I can still hear Mrs. Keith: “Leave a pinky space between your words, Tracey…..” ) Margins are the place where doodles become ideas, and ideas-become art.

Lately, I’ve noticed a lack of margins….. not on my pages (I have auto-formatting for that. And Pinky spaces are pretty inconvenient when writing on a me- I’ve tried.) My pages are fine margin wise… my life? Not so much.

My life is crammed:

Speaking engagements, parenting, marriage, volunteer work, healing, my netflix cue, doctors appointments, travel, laundry, cooking, bible studies, baby showers…. I should probably schedule toilet cleaning just to make sure it gets done. There isn’t much margin on my calendar. It makes me: cranky, stressed and controlled by a to-do list. When a friend needs or wants to talk- I feel like I need a 2 week lead-time and a calendar invite.

I’m not the only one. My friends are busy too. My family is busy. My neighbors are busy. (Or dead. I rarely see them….I’m going with busy though…sounds better.)


Too busy, if you ask me.

So I’ve been doing an experiment in margins. I’ve been leaving some on my calendar. (FYI: saying “No,” won’t make you popular.  But, it WILL give you the time to spend with the people who are most important to you and to them.)

It’s given me some wiggle room. If something comes up… I can be flexible. If my kid or spouse needs (or wants) to talk… I can be there.

If I meet someone at Target who needs a little encouragement… I can take time to give it. Without missing the carpool. (well, Except for that one time…..)

Margins. I’m starting to enjoy having margins in my life.

I hope you’ll give it a try.

It’s okay to say “NO.” To good things. So you have time for the best. It’s Okay to say “No” to things… just because you COULD do it doesn’t mean you SHOULD….

Children don’t need to be in so many activities that they forget they are in a family. They will still be able to go to college if they aren’t in AP art in Preschool.

They can: take turns with activities. (One night a week is about all I can handle…you don’t have to have each kid in an activity at the same time….)

Having margins means you have time to eat together. Talk together. Be together.

Calendar margins are the empty time where relationships can doodle, without plan or focus…and the doodle time sparks love- the art of life.


Ephesians 5:15-17

New International Version (NIV)

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.


Lord- help me to keep margins in my day…. help me to focus on the moments you bring me into- and make the most of every opportunity… I love you lord- amen.


We’ll talk about the Marginal…….the things that need to stay out of the center of the pages of our lives…. the things to say “No” to… and the things to let go of….