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With more than twelve million books on Amazon and a continual barrage of tips from experts about the ever-changing marketplace, we often pack our lives too full. We’re constantly drafting, editing, designing, marketing, pitching, polishing, and readjusting our entrepreneurial efforts.

We’re rising at 4:30 a.m. to write before waking the children, getting them off to school, and then heading to work. Insert a packed homeschool schedule into that scenario, if that is your norm. We’re working past 11:00 p.m. We start all over again the next day.

We’re also completing a marketing course, so we can cram in as many promos and giveaways as possible. We’re building “real” relationships on social media. We’re participating in webinars to learn how to work with our distributors more effectively. We’re staring at our computer or phone screens more than at the people in our lives.

When our schedules allow no margin, we sigh with irritation when one of our children calls. We respond with impatience when a small child wakes from a nap “too soon” or when a loved one’s needs derail our work plan. We’re short with our husbands. We have no energy to deal lovingly and patiently with the typical events of family life.

Day after day, we need everything to go exactly as planned. When it doesn’t, we may feel that those we love are “interrupting,” rather than comprising the most central and significant focus of our lives. We have no energy left in our tanks. Our priorities are skewed. This is evidence that something is wrong. Our lifestyle cannot be maintained.

We discover this when catastrophe hits. The bump in the usual schedule can be anything: typical family events, a broken arm, a long-term illness, an accident, loss of our vehicle for a time, a beloved grandparent passing, a friend or child who needs focused attention. This is life. These things happen.

As I encountered this recently, I was reminded of a favorite passage from Psalm 127:

Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.

If I’m working without enough sleep and my schedule is packed, when the disaster comes, and it will come, there is no margin, no extra space that provides reserve energy or time. Then I cannot function at the optimal level when my family needs me and my body cannot continue for long in this manner. If I’ve allowed that schedule to be the norm in my life, I’ve forgotten several important things:

  • God watches over my career as a writer.
  • I labor, but God creates my success — that’s His responsibility.
  • I watch over the market, but the Lord protects and promotes my efforts.
  • God created my body to require margins and rest.
  • God gives sleep. Because He loves me, He guards my interests as I do.
  • It is vanity to neglect what is essential. That lifestyle cannot be maintained.
  • God and family are a higher priority than my work.

Recently, I had to reassess and make some changes back toward balance. I needed to make my margins wider and give more space in my life.

How about you?