Margin and Order…and Priorities

Weight-loss update: As of today, January 24, I’ve lost 9 pounds! Praise the Lord! If you’re praying, thank you!

10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might…” Ephesians 6:10
(And the following verses speak of putting on the whole armor of God, which we all need to do in order to fight these spiritual battles we are in!)

Yes, I am still here.  And I’m ok, in fact I’m doing great!  Finding out that the earth still turns and life goes on though I have not blogged in two plus weeks.  I needed to know that. Perhaps all bloggers need a vacation sometimes–a break.  In pulling back, I maintained my sanity over Christmas.  The pull of the blog and computer, in general, needs to be balanced.  The past month has been a wonderful time of “catching up” in my real life. So many areas needed attention, either a little or a lot.

PRAYER=purging, reflection, asking questions of God, yielding, evaluation, and refocusing, that’s what I’ve been doing.  I’m looking to obtain margin and order in every area of my life.  Assessing what God’s priorities are for my life right now.

Margin is the “white space” on the “paper” of life.  I need less of all the black marks on the page:  possessions, commitments, pressure, food, and spending.  We need margin in our lives, and if we don’t plan for it, our bodies will just make it happen, one way or another.  Our bodies (minds, souls and emotions, too) can’t live without it.

And what I do have in all these areas must be managed and orderly.  I feel a deep, deep need to have my life in order.

Officially, no New Year’s Resolutions have been made. However, change and earnest resolve is taking place, praise the Lord.

  • First of all, I’m getting more sleep!  That was the first thing that resulted when I didn’t feel the pressure to post something!  I guess I blogged when I should have been sleeping! I’ve slept and slept and slept!  And I’ve realized how much more productive and stable emotionally and effective for the Lord I am, how much nicer I think I am to live with, when I am rested!  Really quite amazing!  Now, if I can just get a regular bedtime (earlier), and have a morning routine (shower, dress, hair, makeup, bed made, Quiet Time) solidly in place, and get to morning devotions on time every morning:)  Thankfully, the Lord never gives up, or stops working, on me.
  • Reading the Bible through in a  year has begun in earnest using this Bible-Reading Schedule, (there are three plans listed here for you to choose from–I use the third), as well as memorization (working on Isaiah 53 with our church; I think I finally have Psalm 145 down).  Praying for a heart to love His Word more, and to have a hunger and thirst for righteousness.
  • People and hospitality have become more important to me.  You may say, “You were having people in your home constantly before! How could it get more important to you?”  I felt God showing me many people who I really wanted to have over, and even some who I had promised to invite, and because of other commitments, “urgent” and “must-do” events in our home and life, it never got done!  That had to change.  So, I’ve been very intentionally taking the initiative to invite and plan times together, catching up on birthday luncheons, having loads of fun with groups of young adults laughing and making music in our home, looking forward to having young couples with little babies to our home for dinner, and making absolutely sure I see and talk to my best friends–who I barely saw last year, because we were so busy!  Lord willing, I go on record that that will not happen this year.
  • God gave me a zeal to work on two “temples” that need attention:  my body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the “temple” that my family calls home!  As to the first, while walking through a bookstore a couple of weeks ago God ordained that I see a book on the shelf that addressed and taught me to watch how many servings of carbs and grams of sugar I consume each day. In a serious intentional way, I’ve begun planning and recording what I eat which has resulted in 6 pounds lost this past week.  I don’t know if it’s because of this, but I’ve been doing more of the cooking and planning of meals than before.
  • Margin and order in my home means I’m determined to go through cupboards, closets, and clothes first of all, though for now in an unsystematic way.

    Every day I try to put something in a state of more order, and the places that bother me the most are getting dealt with first.  So far, that has resulted in my upstairs freezer and oven cleaned out, the floor of my closet almost in order, two shelves in my upstairs pantry straightened and organized (though they won’t stay that way–it still makes me feel good:), and dozens of little corners which had been ignored too long have now been looked into.  I’m not sure anyone but me would notice.  There’s still so much to do!  I’m also attempting to use up food from my freezer and downstairs pantry, rather than going to the grocery store.  I’m making plans of organizing other areas after that.  It’s really the same principle, gain more margin and order in my life.  There’s so much more to do, that I can’t see when I will be stopping or get “done.” But, I’m excited at the progress.
  • Plans are in place for completing and crossing off “To-Do” items that have been on my list for months, freeing my mind to be able to think better–decluttering my brain!  I keep throwing away and sorting, planning systems of organization, moving things around, storing them differently, trying to have a sense of being on top of things again.  Just seeing progress in my home: decluttering, organizing, and getting rid of, feels very good!

I’m determined that the hidden spaces of my home will receive my attention!!  I will get rid of, give away or put back in an orderly fashion what I keep.  I am on a mission! And I don’t want to lose momentum.

And that’s why you haven’t seen me here.  When I’ve finally been able to be really focused and have an urgency that, “I’ve got to do something about this now!!”  I know that it’s something that the Lord desires me to do for His glory, and I have to become single-minded and push away any distractions in order to see it through to completion!

Many new thoughts and feelings have come, for instance, no desire to blog (for the first time in almost 3 years!). I don’t know what the Lord is planning for me to do.  I just need to put some things higher up where I can see them:  My family, my home, stewardship of my body, being a good testimony in how I handle my responsibilities…

I’ll post when God moves me, or I specifically sense there’s something I’m supposed to say.  Please stay in touch through comments and on facebook.  Love you all and miss you!

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15 Replies to “Margin and Order…and Priorities”

  1. I just recently came back from a very LONG blogging break and it’s so nice to get back! I loved my “vacation” from blogging but I also really missed it. I’m so blessed to have made so many friends with blogging (like you!!!) and I’m glad to be back. I hope you plan on coming back soon too because I really miss your teaching, your heart, and your words of wisdom :).

    I love your goals for this year so far. Hospitality has been a HUGE topic in our household the past couple of months. My husband and I are part of a new ministry in our church that we are launching ( we still need a name if you have any ideas) and we are forming a core group of couples and families who will spread hospitality throughout our church. Grassroots movement I guess 😉 Anyway, this has really been on my heart and mind lately and I think March or April is going to be devoted to hospitality on my blog. i.e. books, resources, tips, recipes, ect.

    Did I mention, I have a new BLOG! Yup, I am so excited about it. Just launched it this week. If you have time check it out and let me know what you think?? I so value your opinion 🙂

    Thanks Wendy, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. James! Oh so good to hear from you:) You’re too sweet. How wonderful about your new Hospitality ministry! I’ll have to think on names:) I love that kind of thing! “Homes of Heart”? (maybe not) “Come On In!” “Open Doors of Hospitality” Well, I’ll keep thinking:)

      Hopped on over to your new blog, and I love the look! I’m excited for you!:) I really wish you all the best. It was so, so good to hear from you, James. Thanks,

  2. Hi Wendy and welcome back — I noticed 🙂 It’s a good time to make some changes with the New Year and all, isn’t it? Congratulations on your victories so far! Love you, sister…

    1. Lisa, we have been praying for you all so much! How are things now? Good to see you’re here:) That must mean things are better! If you’re at the wedding, I have something for you (from the church), and am sorry that I haven’t gotten it to you sooner. (If not, I will send it Sunday with Mendenhalls.) So sorry for all Johnny’s had to go through–poor little guy! And poor Mama!! Love you, too, sister! (And…Thanks for noticing:)

  3. What a lovely post, Wendy. I understand about the break from blogging and online time. When I left facebook last October I felt such a relief – the first week or so was hard because I was so used to keeping in touch with everyone through social media but it was very freeing to let it go. I felt quieter and calmer in my spirit and less cluttered. I have a hard time remembering all of my own things let alone reading updates from so many others.

    Congrats on the 6lbs!! 🙂 I would love to catch up this Sunday if your at church. I can’t remember which group is out for small church… we were out last week.

    God bless you as you walk in obedience to His will for you.

    1. Thanks, Theresa! It was your comment yesterday that really pushed me to stop thinking about writing and actually write this post and update everyone! Our Home Church is meeting Sunday, so we won’t be there, but hopefully we can catch up soon!

      I, too, have been seriously thinking about getting off of Facebook. I have experienced the relief, quiet and calm just from less blogging, but I can totally relate to your comments about reading updates from so many others.

      I would appreciate your prayers for the weight to continue to fall off!! I believe I’m being obedient–pray for continued obedience, and wisdom at “functions” we have to attend, and host.
      Thanks for the lovely comment–look forward to seeing you soon!

  4. Good to hear from you, I’ve been wondering how you’re doing since I haven’t seen a blog for so long. Good for you to follow his lead and your desires for more margin and prioritizing your life. I’m cheering you on sister. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Oh, cheering! I love cheering! Thank you! Thanks for thinking of me while I was gone–you know you wonder, will they even notice?
      Love ya,

  5. Wendy, it’s so good to have you back! What a wonderful post to start the new year off with. You have a great list going. Congratulations on the six pounds! Good job being obedient!

    1. Thank you, Jamie! Feels good to be here, and to connect with everybody:) I have to admit part of me hoped people were missing me (while part of me hoped they weren’t!). Oh, the paradoxes of life. Thanks for the welcoming encouraging comment.

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