I was once a homeschooling mom who wanted to do it all. I taught my children with a full load of curriculum and then taught dozens of music students in the afternoon. It looked great on the calendar. All the little boxes were filled in with different colored ink. There was just enough time to fit it all in, and take the kids to their baseball games and ballet lessons, too.
But, in reality, too many days we threw a frozen pizza into the oven at 7pm or went out to eat. The extra money from the music lessons was going for the extra food. I was getting more and more exhausted and the kids were grumpy. After a while, we realized this wasn’t a great plan for our family.
We hadn’t left any margin on the edges of the paper.
Someone introduced me to this wonderful book, Margin, by Dr. Richard Swenson, a Christian author. When I read the book, it made so much sense. You can’t just push and push your mind and body the way I was doing. Let me show you what the back of the book-jacket says:
“Overload is not having time to finish the book you are reading on stress. Margin is having time to read it twice. Overload is fatigue. Margin is energy. Overload is red ink. Margin is black ink. Overload is hurry. Margin is calm. Overload is anxiety. Margin is security. Overload is the disease of our time. Margin is the cure. Margin is the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. In Margin, Dr. Richard Swenson provides a prescription against the danger of overloaded lives. Focusing on margin in four key areas-emotional energy, physical energy, time, and finances-he offers an overall picture of health that employs contentment, simplicity, balance, and rest. If you yearn for relief from the pain and pressure of overload, take a lifelong dose of Margin. The benefits of good health, financial stability, fulfilling relationships, and availability for Gods purposes will follow you all your days.” from the desk of Dr. Richard Swenson
After this turning point, we made changes. I stopped teaching the music lessons and spent all the time with my husband and children. I scheduled margin in my life, and it made a huge difference! As I got older and my health got worse, the times of margin grew longer.
I recommend this book to all homeschoolers, young and old. I think it’s important that we teach our children to also have margin in their lives.
@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman