I’m busy.

You’re busy.

We’re all so busy.

And are we any better for it???

The things.

The schedule.

Do they make us better??

Do the tasks ENRICH our lives??

Sometimes, yes.

But not always (and more and more I’m finding usually not).

I was talking recently with a friend about her family’s Summer schedule.  Karate, gymnastics, swim lessons, a reading program, two Bible studies and THREE week long enrichment camps.  All in a two month span!

I got overwhelmed just listening to the tasks.  Then I started comparing (and we all know no good can come….)

I didn’t have any real Summer plans for our family.  Hitting the pool when we can, relaxed schoolwork, a few day trips if we get around to them.  Nothing set in stone.  I drove home and questioned everything – did I have my kids in enough “stuff”?  Will they end up being “those unsocialized homeschoolers”?  Are we wasting our days?? 

Could we, should we, be doing MORE??

And as quickly as those thoughts flashed up, I beat them down with my “NO Stick.”

I’ve intentionally scheduled free time into our days.

I’ve intentionally kept my kids out of ballet and dance and gymnastics and karate and whatever else because Travis and I want to wait until they’re old enough to really GRASP the concepts being taught.  And quite frankly, we want our money’s worth.

I’ve intentionally said NO to anything that might call us out of the house when Travis gets home from work.  That time is precious.

I’ve done the running around (and I’m sure I’ll have more).  I’ve gone through so many seasons of overscheduling and so many seasons of stepping back.  I grew tired and so did my kids.


I see you, Mama.  Tired and worn.  Bouncing from place to place but never truly BEING.  I see your minivan with the McDonald’s bags strewn about and the backup cases of water bottles.  I see your heart for your kids too.  You want so badly for them to be accepted, challenged, fulfilled.  Don’t get me wrong –> it’s not all bad stuff!!  There’s some GREAT in the running around.

I would just encourage you to be selective with your time, your family’s time.  To pray about whether to sign up for that next thing.  To seek your husband’s counsel before you make that move. 

It’s OK to sit some of this stuff out.  There will always be things to say yes to – sometimes “NO” is your best answer.

As for us, we’re in a really good place right now.  The days are OURS and not held by someone else.  If that calendar on my fridge looks a little sparse, it’s because I’ve intentionally made it so.  I look at that calendar and see SO much personal growth, so many answers to those stress-ridden prayers I once prayed.

….I see MARGIN.


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  1. Beautifully said and I couldn’t agree more. My friend’s children are so overwhelmingly overbooked that sometimes the sight of the Spanish teacher walking up the driveway just makes their 6 year old burst into tears. I think there’s a very fine line in enriching your children’s lives and stressing them out. It’s totally fine if they ASK to sign up for t-ball or soccer, but if they truly hate it and it stressed you out as a mom (most of these activities also call for parent volunteers), then it’s definitely not what’s best for anyone.

    I never signed up for one single thing when I was young. Not one. No ballet. No Girl Scouts. No piano lessons. And you know what? When I think of my childhood summers I think of imaginative play in the backyard with my brothers and the neighborhood kids. I think of catching fireflies after dark and spending countless hours in my aunt’s pool without a care in the world and no place to be. That’s kind the kind of childhood that I hope I can instill in my future children.

  2. I think it’s time you write your own BOOK! Every “deep” post you write I”m always nodding along… P.s. beautiful intro picture.

  3. YES!! I was a nanny last summer, so it was my job to take care of two girls 50 hours a week, and run them from place to place to place. Well…they basically had something going on every single day, every week! Until we got to August, when activities were over — and then they didn’t know how to entertain themselves! It was a long month for me. When I was a kid, I remember playing with my sisters and entertaining myself for hours. My mom would take us to the library and do crafts with us, but we didn’t expect her to have an activity planned for us at all times. While I think one or two activities is healthy and fine, I do think there is such a thing as “too much.”

  4. Nicely said! My children are so happy going places, but I make sure there is plenty of home days in our schedule. If I ask them they want to do everything. I have to be the one to set things aside. Co-op, homeschool group, 4H, library happenings … there is so much even without any planned sports or classes! Although Chandler has requested trying soccer this fall.


    We just sat down and made a family mission statement…if an invitation or an obligation doesn’t line up with it…we don’t go.

    I just listened to a podcast by Michael Hyatt on margins…you should check it out you would love it!