New Margin

After the season of shopping, buying, gifting and receiving more “things”, my challenge has always been to slow down and build some margin back into my life! I read once that margin involves reserves beyond what is needed, an extra amount for contingencies or emergencies. I find a lot of “LIFE”  falls into that category!

I have continuing reminders for “more reserves beyond what is needed” and they take many forms: time, money, energy, prayer, love, health, expertise, knowledge in a certain area, wisdom, perspective, smiles, compassion, — the list is endless!!!

Remembering God’s goodness in the past, his lavishness, often helps carry me through when I find myself in a time that feels like it has less margin. Recently, a woman from a bible study I taught years ago on “Believing God’s Truth About You” shared with me that words I spoke and things she learned in that study still return to her, reminding her of God’s truth when she sometimes feels on the edge of forgetting.

None of us are “all things to all people” ….nor should we be!  However, all of us have at least one or two traits or mannerisms that are defining characteristics of who we are, and those often show up in how we engage in our personal relationships. Two of mine are that I speak truth and I pray for the people I am connected to. Even though I have lost my ability to teach from the front of a classroom, I still have those traits intact.

I believe that “Abundant Life” flows from abundant LIVING!! For me today, that includes welcoming laughter and embracing people warmly.

I don’t have nearly as many serious conversations, compared to what was true before my stroke.

The context God has given me for “teaching” people is far more about meeting them where they are, and where I am. Simpler conversations, filled with stories about family, the commitment to pray for them and extending genuine interest in their lives is my current ministry. I love the women at the places I frequent, my hair salon, the Chico’s store nearby my home, the young woman who has become dear to me at the makeup counter in my favorite department store. They are my girls, and I am grateful for the margin in my life that affords me the time to know them all today in ways I was too busy for years ago.

Some days I don’t “feel like” there is anything to offer! Those are the days when I need a good, true friend who can help my “vision” problem! We need one another for perspective, encouragement and affirmation!!  Find your women and embrace them. For some of you they may live in your house, or nearby, or by phone, etc.  They are blessings to you, and valuable for your heart health!! And, whenever you can, extend that blessing to a woman you meet at one of the places you frequent regularly.


Pat Sloan was born and raised in Arizona where she still lives today with her husband of 56 years, John. Together they were on staff with The Navigators for 30 years. She is a bible teacher, mentor, disciple maker, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. In 2016 she survived a stroke and now holds even more deeply that every minute is a gift. She loves caramel lattes, finding the perfect gift for those she loves, and spending time with her husband, family and dear friends.