Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Having Balance In Your Life... By Nina Keegan Owens

Are you one of those people that always seems to be scrambling to meet deadlines, always worrying about not having enough time in the day to do it all, while living frantically on the edge of reason? Many of us seem as if we are constantly being pulled in a million different directions all at once. Sooner or later all that pulling can have some serious repercussions on our lives and on our well being.

There is always something gnawing at us and needing our full attention. Kids alone are a full time job. We are continually driving them to all their activities, volunteering at their schools, helping them with homework or having to help with one of their infamous, last minute, school projects that wind up being a parent's worst nightmare involving one or more 9:00 pm excursions to the grocery store for rubber cement and poster board. Then there are meals to shop for, plan and prepare. We of course always have that ever mounting pile of laundry that magically seems to grow behind our backs. We have homes to clean and take care of, and cars and yards that continually need maintenance. Many of us also work outside the home where we have yet an additional set of daily duties that need to be accomplished. We have quotas that need to be met, important decisions that need to be made, calls and emails that need to followed up on and clients that need our full and constant attention. We also have spouses ,marriages and relationships that cannot be neglected and require quality, loving, time and effort.

Where do we fall short? Somethings got to give! We often feel like a circus juggler trying to keep all the balls in the air but sooner or later we are going to drop the ball on something important or hurt ourselves trying.

We need to have some balance in our lives, set our priorities and learn that "No" is a complete sentence. It's ok to unapologetically just say that two letter word that packs a wollap of punch and exclamation! When we simply know we cannot take on one more thing we need to be able to just say so!

We need not feel guilty when we face the pressures to do it all and can't. No one expects us to. We unfortunately place those unobtainable expectations on ourselves. Having balance in our lives will help us regain control and have some peace to slow it down a bit and enjoy our lives so as not to be continually stressing over it. When we have that perfect balance, the things we choose to take on and focus our attentions on will thrive. It's better to do less things and do them with excellence than to do many things in a mediocre manner.

Many of you are probably combing through your to do lists as you read this and are thinking that this all sounds good on paper but there is nothing you can possibly give up. That may be true but we can certainly adjust our time frames to allow ourselves a more reasonable allotment on our schedules to achieve our end goals. We can start by delegating and asking for help. We can be more organized and more efficient with what we do take on by prioritizing and letting the not so important tasks slide. Laundry can always wait! Above all else, when we see that we are spread to thin, and are feeling out of balance we must give ourselves a break and take some personal, guilt free "me" time to rejuvenate even if that is just 1 hour with a great cup of coffee and a Bible. Schedule time for yourself and God first, then you will be a better you for everyone and everything else. We need equal moments of solitude to balance how much of ourselves we give away.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you

Balance is the key to life, success, and happiness. When we spend cherished time starting each new day with some quality God time, meditating on Him and His word, it will give you the grace you need to make it through the rest of the day, joyfully, stress free and well equipped for anything that comes your way. Morning prayer time is like putting on the full armour of God, preparing to do battle suited up with the unpenetrable protection of our heavenly Father. We are then fully armed with an abundance of confidence, an unspeakable peace and a feeling of balance that we would never want to leave home without! You can have that kind of grace and reassurance just for the asking. Seek God's perfect grace to help you balance your daily life and you will find that that is all you will ever need. When we ask we receive! His amazing grace makes the tough things easier and that can even include our crazy schedules and our overwhelmingly full calenders. Even God himself for whom nothing is hard, took time to rest on the seventh day when He was creating the entire universe.

The Bible tells us in Luke chapter 10 the story of the two sisters Mary and Martha who were preparing to have Jesus to their home for dinner. Can you even imagine Jesus being your dinner guest? What happens though is clearly a lesson we all need to learn.
When Jesus arrived at their home, Mary stopped what she was doing and dropped everything to sit at Jesus's feet to spend time with Him talking and visiting. She was eager to listen to His teachings. Martha to the contrary still kept preparing food and continued with her busied tasks. She was trying to impress Jesus with all her hard work. Martha was even so bold as to ask Jesus to tell Mary to get up and help her with all the serving. Jesus replied that Mary was right where she should be, spending her precious time with Him because He was not concerned with all the preparations, that was not important to Him. Jesus would rather have them both sitting in leisure, spending quality time visiting with and loving Him.

There is a time for work and a time to just lay at God's feet and soak up His renewing strength. We must find the right balance that can keep all the blocks from tumbling. We need to stay in a state of mental and physical steadiness and have a complete equliibrium so as not to lean to far in either direction causing ourselves to crash. We need to maintain an even distribution of weight on our life scale. When we find the perfect combination of work and rest, everything else will fall into place and line up for us. We can cast all our cares and burdens on to the shoulders of our almighty God and rest in His presence. He will pave our roads with ease and make light our burdens. When we are balanced in Christ, there is an appointed perfect time and a God given divine purpose for everything!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to harvest ; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; and a time for every purpose under heaven.

Take time each day to ask yourself, what did I do today for my mind, my body, my spirit, my relationships, my creativity, my passion, and set about taking care of them all equally by letting God be your guide, your teacher, your coach, your boss, your mentor and your loving strength in the process!

Heavenly Father please help me to stay balanced in my life by focusing first on you and letting you be my guide in all areas and in all circumstances. I thank you and praise you in Jesus name!

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