Balancing Act

elephant balanceI’ve not written on my blog for a few weeks and that is because I’ve allowed myself to get out of balance.  Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a work-away-from-home mom, motherhood is a balancing act.  I find it difficult to balance all my responsibilities AND keep my sanity.  At times I feel myself teetering between super hero status and falling to pieces – where there’s not enough super glue in the world to put everything back together.  I know these are extremes on both sides of the spectrum, but I constantly face the challenge to find balance between all my responsibilities.  I’m sure all of us can relate in some way.

I look at my precious boys and think how could God deem me able to raise and protect these little miracles.  Then I recognize, He never thought I was able by myself.  He knew I would need others to help me, but most importantly, I would need Him.   This is the problem we face at times, we feel we must balance all our duties in our own strength, but we can’t and God never intended for us to.

There are so many areas we are responsible for:  jobs, meals, house work, yard work, time with God, time with spouse, time with other family and friends, church, school activities, errands, volunteering, hobbies, pets, and the list goes on and on.  Even with all these things to focus on, we need time for ourselves and we need to know it’s okay to have this time.  Jesus took time to be by Himself and instructed His disciples to do the same, so I’m certain in an appropriate way this is the right thing to do.

As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer. Luke 5:16 (MSG)

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.  Mark 6:30-32 (NIV)

There are times when I must force myself to take time away from home and family and just be by myself or with friends, because I feel guilty for doing so.  Not everyone struggles with this, but I know many of us do.  If anyone can secure a ticket for a guilt trip with my name on it, it’s me – when I allow the enemy to invade my thoughts.  So, how do I accomplish this without feeling guilty?  I must confine those notions and conform them into views reflecting God’s Word.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

Maneuvering through this maze we call life is not easy, but God knows this.  That is why He has provided us with His Word containing instructions and encouragement.  He also gave us each other to confide in and build one another up.  It is very important that we have a good support group to lean on.  If you are not already a part of one, start your own.  Ask God to give you divine appointments that will flourish into healthy friendships.  If you ask Him, He will do it; however, a lot of times He will require us to step out of our comfort zones to obtain it.  When He asks you to step out, do it!  Even if you have to do it afraid.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.  Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

How do we learn balance when we feel like we are walking on a high wire?  How do we keep it together when we feel like we are falling to pieces?  I don’t know all the answers, and I certainly won’t pretend to.  However, I do know the One who does, and I do have the How-To Book He has provided.  I’m asking God to show me how to balance all areas of my life in a healthy manner.  Join me, and let’s seek Him together for His guidance in finding balance.

Keep Swimming

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with to-do lists, appointments, responsibilities, and other obligations?  I know there are days and even weeks I experience this.  I sometimes feel as if I can’t get my head above water, and I struggle to prioritize everything that is calling my name.  There are times I continue for several days on this path before I finally settle myself down and seek God.  Not only seek Him for answers and direction but for rest. 

According to Merriam-Webster.com, one of the definitions of “rest” is peace of mind or spirit.  Additionally, one of the definitions of “at rest” means free from anxieties.  This is the type of rest that I’m referring to.  There is a true rest only God can provide to us.  As mothers, rest is often scarce; however, we should remember that this is a gift God desires to give us.

In Psalm 46:10, God tells us to “Be still and know that I am God,” and Psalm 62:1 tells us that our soul finds rest in God alone.  In Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells us to “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  In Mark 6:31, Jesus tells His disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 

downloadWhen you feel like you are drowning, I want to encourage you to reach out and take the hand of the One who can walk on water.  He is our quiet place, and He is our rest.  He is our strength to keep swimming.  The storm may not pass swiftly over at that moment, but God’s peace will fill your soul and provide you with the strength to rise above what is pushing you down.