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Friday, February 24, 2012

Finding Balance

I love the heroine in the book I'm finishing up right now. She's strong, yet vulnerable. She wants to save the world, yet realizes all too well her own limitations (while hating the fact that she can't do it all!). In some ways, she's completely opposite from me. She has has a job, for one, that I could never handle. But we do have a few things in common. Mainly the fact that she feels pulled in so many directions. And because of this, she struggles to let the hero into her life.

We all know the feeling. There is only so much time in a day. Demands are heavy between family, friends, career, and--oh yeah--the ever persistent call of the laundry and 'What's for dinner, mom?' We feel guilty if we say say no, stressed if we say yes, but we don't want to let people down. We want to be the friend who's always on call. The mom who serves dinner straight off the Food Network channel. The social butterfly on Facebook. The wife who looks as if she stepped out of a beauty salon the moment she wakes up.

Right.

I struggle with this pretty much every day. I have expectations placed on me as a mom, a wife, friend, writer, missionary, and sometimes I simply fall short. Okay, a lot of the time I fall short. Because quite frankly, I can't do it all. It took me, though, a long time to realize this. My wonderful husband reminded me one day that not only was I not Superwoman, but I didn't have to be Superwoman. Wow. What a relief! I can actually leave saving the entire world to someone else.

Seriously, though, it's something I still have to remind myself over and over. I can only do so much, and God knows that. He has called me to make a difference in the world around me, and to do the best that I can as a mother, wife, and friend, but He also expects me to be reasonable in my expectations. To say no, when I need to. To spend time being quiet in front of Him. To recharge myself spiritually. To take care of myself physically. It's a tough balance, but one we need to look at honestly.

David said in Psalm 27:11 "Teach me your way, Oh Lord; lead me in a straight path..."

When I think of a straight path, I think of focus and direction. God doesn't expect us to run around simply pleasing everyone, because in the end we only wear ourselves out. Remember Jesus' words to Martha in Luke 10:38-41..."Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one things is needed." Jesus understood the pull of everything thing that we need to do, but he reminded her that sometimes we have to focus on the important and not just the urgent.

Here are some suggestions that help me on a day-to-day basis to find that balance.

1. Take time everyday to renew yourself spiritually. This will help focus your day on Him and bring a calmness to your spirit.

2. Take time to eat right and exercise. You'll be amazed at how much more energy you have for others when you are taking care of yourself.

3. Simplify your life. There are sites on line like the FlyLady (I haven't used this site personally) who can help you declutter and organize your life.

4. It's better to do a few things well instead of spreading yourself too thin and trying to do everything. You don't have to do it all. (This means saying no sometimes!)

5. Get involved in a ministry you feel passionate about. I've noticed over and over in my own life that when I'm doing things for others who are in need, I forget my own problems and worries and it energizes me.

There are many more things that can be done to help find balance in your life. What have you found that helps you in your own day to day struggle to find balance?

Be blessed,

Lisa

6 comments:

  1. This was a perfect devotion for me this morning! I love this line " Jesus understood the pull of everything thing that we need to do, but he reminded her that sometimes we have to focus on the important and not just the urgent."

    I know for me, I need that early morning time at His feet, before anyone else is up. And I do feel better when I exercise. I just need to do it consistently! :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Jessica! Oh...consistency is hard, isn't it! I should probably add 'forgive yourself and move on' to my list as well. LOL

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  3. This blog came a day late for me, I had a total melt down yesterday, end ended up feeling totally out of it. I felt that I wasn't enough for the people around me. God reminded me of this same thing last night. You must enjoy being alive, and if you are not enjoying your life, then the balance is off, somewhere. My balance was off, I tried to be superwoman, and ended up a cry baby last night. God has the strength, and if we rely on Him, we will find strength and balance, never on our own. Be blessed, and our regards to Jaco and Inge. Love Leonie

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  4. There is a real freedom in saying "no" to the things that drain your joy, I've recently discovered. But with it comes the temptation to over-do those things that feed your passion. This, I still struggle with. I love what I'm doing now. Love it. But... I could let my love for my calling become an idol in my life if I'm not too careful. Working on that, but... I need to, daily, sometimes hourly, leave it at the cross.

    Thanks for this post (and thanks, Jessica, for tweeting it!) It was a good thing to see, a good reminder, this morning!
    ~Serena

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  5. Great insight. Thanks for your comments. What you said about the possibility of allowing your calling to become an idol is so true, Serena. Just because something is good, doesn't mean that it too doesn't need some boundaries in our lives as well. It is a daily, yes, even hourly challenge sometimes. And it's a part of our growing to be more like him. We might not ever (actually we won't ever) get it perfect everyday, but with His help, we can continue to rely on Him and find our strength with Him.

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