Sandra Stanley, a ministry leader, blogger, mom of three, and wife to Pastor Andy Stanley, joins us on the podcast today to talk about creating margin — or breathing room — in our lives.
Remember: A no for now doesn’t mean a no for always. Different seasons require different allotment of energy. For new parents, gracefully assuming the new role of a parent—and forgoing some of the things you really enjoy doing because of it—is hard. Remind yourself this season is temporary and that you will have margin to do those things again.
Prioritize what matters most to you. Take a look at your calendar. Is it filled with things you want to do? Is the majority of your time being spent with the people who matter most? If not, start removing things that aren’t high on your priority list and replace them with the non-negotiables.
Have conversations. Ask God what He would like you to spend your time doing. Then, talk to your family members and outline what is important to your family. These are the things that should have your best energy and focus.
As parents, we tend to think the busier we are, the more we’re doing for our families, and in particular, our kids. The harder we work, the more control we have over our lives and our schedules, right?
Parenting seems to be defined by an unrealistic pace, and we often find ourselves thinking, “If I just do one more thing . . .” But the “one more thing” at the end of our to-do lists never comes. Instead, we’re burned out, disappointed, and discontent.
Thankfully, there’s a remedy. Sandra Stanley has coined this solution as “breathing room.” Breathing room, Sandra says, is the space between our current pace and our limit, or the margin in our lives. With margin, we are in a much better place mentally, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.
The reason why we find ourselves in short supply of breathing room is due to fear. Sandra says there are four fears that keep us from having margin in our lives. These fears are: The fear of missing out, the fear of falling behind, the fear of not mattering, and the fear of disappointing other people. Every season and situation is different, however one of these fears is likely the culprit of having a lack of time and energy for the things you want to do.
So how do we get breathing room? How do we make room for the things that truly matter? At the heart of breathing room is rest. Rest—don’t laugh!—seems like an elusive, mythical creature. We know it exists, but not for us. But everything positive stems from rest, or sabbath. We have to recharge and refuel ourselves if we’re going to be more gentle, more kind, and overall better humans and parents to our kids.
Tune in to today’s episode to hear more of Sandra Stanley’s specific advice on how to create more breathing room in our weekly schedules, what breathing room looks like for a new mom or single parent, and how your relationship with God is strengthened in the process.
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Sandra is a Georgia native and has lived in the Atlanta area since graduating from Georgia Tech in 1988. She married Andy that same year and they founded North Point Ministries in 1995. Sandra’s ministry passion is promoting foster care in the local church. Much of her time these days is spent in seminary classes through Dallas Theological Seminary, working on various writing projects, and continuing her involvement with Fostering Together – the foster care initiative at North Point Ministries.
Carlos is an author, speaker, and content creator living in Nashville, TN with his wife Heather and 3 kids Sohaila, Seanna, and Losiah. He is addicted to social media, his wife’s enchiladas, and is determined to have his daughters teach him to land a backflip on the trampoline by the time he is 45.
Kristen is the Executive Director of Messaging at Orange, Director of The Phase Project, and co-author of Playing For Keeps and It’s Just a Phase – So Don’t Miss It. She combines her degree in secondary education with a Master of Divinity and lives with her husband, Matt, and their three children, Sawyer, Hensley, and Raleigh, in Cumming, GA.
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