Balance. We all need it. It seems we are all searching for ways to get there, too. It’s no easy task to live a balanced life these days! The definition of balance is a means of judging or deciding and/or mental and emotional steadiness. I’ve often asked myself, how do I balance it all? With four kids ranging in age from 18 down to 3, it’s hard keeping up with all the activities, chores, homeschooling, Sunday School teaching, co-op preparations, a new Sunday night program I’m starting in August, husband pleasing, menu planning, grocery shopping, meal prep, etc., etc., etc. That doesn’t even include the schedule or my times alone with the Lord. I often feel frazzled, and it’s no wonder. Busyness is taking over our culture. If we aren’t busy, we question if we’re doing enough.
I seem to feel more “balanced” when I have a To-Do List. I can’t seem to function without one. Routines are also key. Doing the same things every day in the exact same order. They don’t have to be a certain time, as long as they are in the same order. If I don’t have a To-Do List or follow my routines, I get nothing productive done. I also have to set alarms on my phone for everything, or I’d forget. Things like gymnastics, story time at the library, when to pick my kids up from events, trash day, etc. Is this normal? Or, am I just frazzled? LOL!
I always thought that balance in life meant figuring out how to make everything in my day work out smoothly, without stress. It was something that I had to schedule correctly, work through, or make happen. I even thought that praying for a more balanced life was a good thing, and it is. But, I think balance is not exactly what I’ve been thinking it is. I recently wrote this post about resources I have used to help me have a clean and organized home. One of those resources that I’m reading through currently is a book called Unstuffed. It deals with our stuff/belongings, our mind, our schedules, and our spirits. And, I’m finding out that balance really has nothing to do with what “I” do. I can’t do anything to become more balanced. I can only find rest. Rest is what keeps me balanced. Why did it take me SO LONG to realize this? I mean, it’s clearly laid out in the creation account of Genesis. God did all his work in six days, and on the seventh He rested. He didn’t need to rest, He was just giving us an example to follow. Yet, in this day and age, we don’t see that NEED for rest. We feel like we have to go 100 miles a minute, and keep pushing through to get just one more thing done. I think it’s also making sure that after we get a full day of rest once a week, that we focus on four areas to keep us from that frazzled state.
- Spiritual – Remain steadfast in God’s Word and in a healthy prayer life. Keep sin at bay by asking for forgiveness often and repenting or turning from the sin. Forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you. Be thankful in all circumstances and for all things. We are truly blessed. Serve others in love.
- Physical – Eat healthy foods and get active. Whether that means walking or a full on workout. Exercise is great for your body, but it’s also great for your mood. Give it a try and see for yourself. I enjoy water aerobics when the weather is nice, Pilates for strength training, yoga for stretching and relaxation, and I’m checking into T-Tapp which is something I’ve just learned about.
- Mental – Feed your mind. Never stop learning. I always have books on hand to read, and now we have blogs, and articles all over the internet. Learn something new. Keep your mind active. Fill it with good things, and stay away from negative things that can cause a negative attitude or mindset.
- Emotional – Be a friend. Stay positive. Think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, and lovely. Laugh a lot! Do things that make you happy. I’ve recently discovered that I enjoy doing art. It brings me joy. Make it a point to be in contact with people who encourage you, challenge you, and lift you up.
So, I believe to have a balanced life, we must REST. It’s the key. What are some ways you try to remain balanced? Do you think REST is important? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I am planning to continue studying up on this. I recently ordered the Bible Study called Living a Life of Balance (Women of Faith Series). Can’t wait to get started on it and see what it says about having a balanced life!