Serving with Margins

Serving with Margins

Serving with Margins


by Niccole Perrine


“So…what do you think?” My friend inquired.


I paused before responding. 

My heart ached for my friend. I desperately wanted to help. This was an opportunity to serve! I love to serve. And I love my friend. I could see she was struggling. And she was asking me to help! I knew, if I worked at it, I could rearrange things to make this work.


However, I could also see this turning into a bigger issue. You see, I knew what was going to be at stake.


My husband and I recently had a serious talk about whether we were allowing our schedule and commitments to run our lives. After a season of viruses hit our family, we had began to wonder if our hectic schedule had started to affect our family’s health. Our immune systems just weren’t keeping up with the pace.


We had come to the conclusions that 1) Our time is precious and 2) Our first ministry is to our marriage and family.


Once we were on this train of thought we proceeded to take steps to guard our family time. To ensure that we allowed for space in our week. Margins. We would still serve – but we would be a lot more cautious in where, when, and how often.


This meant saying no. I don’t like saying no. I feel like I disappoint people when I say no.


No is not fun.


But…sometimes, saying no is the right thing to do. Sometimes, we need to step back and allow God to send someone else to step into service. Sometimes, we need to Let. It. Go. (Cue theme music.)


I looked at my friend. I took a breath. 

 “I’m so sorry- I know you are in need…but right now isn’t a good time for us to consider this. Can I pray with you? We can ask around to see if we know anyone who might be able to help.”


She was visibly disappointed, but she took my answer graciously and we moved onto another topic.


Our culture expects us to fill our do “ALL the things!” But even should we fill our days with things that are good -such as service projects- those good activities can still be the wrong things for us. I share this to encourage you, so here is what I’ve come to learn:


  • Even though we can’t do ‘ ALL the things’ we can still be a family that serves.
  • God will still provide for those things He wants that we must decline.
  • Just because we say no, doesn’t mean He won’t make things happen.
  • Go where God leads you. Remember: just because you are asked to do something doesn’t mean you’ve been called do it.
  • God created us to have times of rest to allow for a healthy balance of work and refreshment. Pray for things you can’t commit to. Make wise choices in what you allow to fill your week.


Serve others, allow for Margins. 


Niccole Perrine moved to Idaho from Alaska in 2011. In her natural habitat she is seen having adventures with her husband and homeschooling her four children. In her spare time, she enjoys working with the youth at Meridian First Baptist Church, brainstorming new ways to love others as the Service Project Coordinator for AHG Troop ID2911, and plotting her first novel alongside legitimate authors in Idahope.

Committed to helping parents fulfill their God-given right and responsibility to educate their own children.