When “Balance” Becomes A Four-letter Word

It’s days like today when I want to scream at the idea of balance.  I generally live life in extremes – either fully devoted to work, or fully devoted to blogging, fully devoted to cooking, fully devoted to exercise, fully devoted to devotions, fully devoted to family time, fully devoted to “me” time.  Of course, I choose a day here or there and my life becomes about a certain part of my life.  Rarely can I balance a little bit of work, cook a good meal, spend time with my Lord, sit down and chat with the family.  It’s usually all or nothing.  You can even look at the dates of the blogs on both websites and see that my blogging comes in “chunks” of time.

I have read blogs on balance, books on balance, heard sermons on balance, listened to lectures on how to live the balanced Christian life as a child of God, mom, wife, and worker.  What I have concluded is that I struggle no matter what examples someone gives me, tips I hear from lecturers or those little Yahoo tips, or even when I make a deliberate effort to start the day and infuse a few or more of those things into my day.  How am I going to do  this thing called “balance”?

We must realize that this is life.  We can’t wait for the perfect day when there are no dishes, teacher work, cooking, or blogging in order for us to spend time with family.  We can’t wait until the schedule clears up to invite that family to our home.  We can’t wait for the weekend to spend time in God’s Word.  We can’t wait for all the housework to be done before we sit and ask our spouses how their days were or how the Lord is working in their lives.

The answer for me needs to come with something that I have been struggling to learn, especially in the last 4-5 months.  I must live MOMENT-by-MOMENT, not day-by-day.  I must give each of my moments to the Lord for HIM to direct.  I must pray for HIM to schedule my day as HE has planned.  I must rejoice in the 5 minutes I get to blog or the 15 minutes I get to walk around the neighborhood with my husband or the extra 15 minutes I can spend with the Lord when HE awakens me early in the morning or the time after Sunday evening church to catch up with a girlfriend I haven’t been able to see all week or the traffic jam/unexpected road construction that allows me to make that 10 minute phone call to a friend who needs encouragement (hands-free calling, of course).  Will I always be able to do the things I planned?  No, but I would much rather live out the moments as HE has planned.  There are probably many moments I have passed by because they weren’t on my agenda, yet they would have brought me JOY if I would have stopped to see them.

I am struggling with the idea of going back to work in a few weeks.  Am I prepared?  I realize now (and yes, many of you try to tell me over and over) in my imperfect mind that I will never be “prepared” as I think I should be.  I must find a way not to be the best teacher ever, but to be the teacher God desires for me to be.  Not to be the best wife, mother, friend, Christ-follower, but to be content with the place God has brought me to.  Live out HIS love to those HE has given me to serve.  Don’t be lazy with the moments of life (this is a BIGGIE I need to work on), but search for HIS direction in finding what he wants my hands, mind, feet to do – whether that be rest, blog, read, study, visit a friend, cook, clean, family time.

I am reminded of the command given in Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord and not for men  Ecclesiastes 9:10 – Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might

God lays out the day before me,

I do all that HE has planned,

with the strength

and the joy

HE gives me to do it

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Posted on July 28, 2011, in Life Moments. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Beautifully put, Jennifer! You have been an inspiration!

  2. I have my prayer journal and you know that I have written down for you??? BALANCE and PEACE. Not sure why, but I did, but now I know the Lord laid it on my heart for you. I love God Things like that!

  3. Loved the blog, Jenn. I agree balance is a four letter word. It’s a topic discussed over and over w/my author friends. I love the idea of living moment-to-moment. Otherwise, life just passes us by.

  4. Colleen Courbron

    Jenn,

    This is just what I needed right now!!!! : ) I love you, miss you, and thank God for our (many – shhh!) years of friendship! Hope to see you soon!

  5. Thank you so much for the encouragement to live in the moment! 🙂 I am looking forward to hanging out today…

  6. Anna Jacobson

    Wow! Jenn. What insight and a way with words you have. Truly you have ministered to me. Personally don’t believe in balance and have found no Biblical backing for this eastern philosophy of “yin/yang”. I think you’re discovering something that’s truly Biblical. The examples that have been set before us are folks who were “on fire” for the Lord and didn’t mince their words, didn’t compromise and ‘pressed towrard the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ”. Blessings, Anna

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