My grandparents owned a dairy farm. When my siblings and I were younger, we’d play in the barn with our large extended family. My cousin, who was a year older and my closest friend at the time, used to convince me to follow her across the barn beams suspended above the hayloft.
We’d practice our gymnastics routines, even though neither of us had any training. As we stood above our adoring audience of barn cats, we’d extend our arms and put one foot in front of the other to make our way across the rough-cut beams. Despite our stupidity, God’s angels shrouded us in safety.
Balance was the key to moving forward without tumbling to the hay-scattered wooden floor about 30 feet below.
The same goes for finding balance in our lives.
Ten years ago, a close writing friend shared a quote that had quickly become one of my favorites, and it made me rethink my responsibilities and commitments. I sensed the Lord had something in store for me, but my plate was so full that I knew I needed to clear it in order to accept the blessing He wanted to give me. I spent several days releasing myself from additional ministries and obligations.
Two days later, my literary agent called with the news I’d been waiting years to hear—a contract had been offered for my debut novel. Yes, there were tears. And celebrations. But moving forward, I needed to change my priorities in order to meet my deadlines. Somehow, I needed to find balance.
Finding balance in our everyday lives can be a constant struggle, especially when we have many responsibilities such as family, work, church, and trying to have some sort of social calendar while striving to achieve our dreams.Finding balance in our everyday lives can be a constant struggle. #tellhisstory #findingbalance #Christianliving Click To Tweet
When I juggled working full time with meeting writing deadlines, caring for my family, and making time for friends, two things had kept me somewhat sane—learning to say no and taking time for myself.
I’m an in-process reforming people pleaser. I used to say yes to a lot of things because, well, I want to make others happy. Plus, if I could have used my abilities for others, that’s good, right? Not so much if I was headed toward burnout.
Saying no can be a challenge, especially if you’re afraid of letting someone down or feel guilted into shouldering a new responsibility. But you need to ensure you’re not wearing yourself out. Saying no reduces your stress by releasing time-consuming responsibilities you may not enjoy. Besides, by saying no, you’re allowing someone else to be blessed by taking over that role. You don’t have to say no to everything but say no to things that steal time away from pursuing your goals.
Before planes take off, flight attendants instruct passengers on safety features in the event of a crash. They instruct them to don the oxygen masks before helping others. The first time I heard that I thought it was selfish until I realized we needed to make sure we were fit to take care of others.
The same goes with finding the balance in your life.
Caring for Yourself.
Before you can take care of others, you need to make sure you’re caring for yourself. This means getting enough sleep, eating right, and perhaps even exercise. Yes, I heard those groans. I’ve mumbled them on many occasions.Before you can take care of others, you need to make sure you’re caring for yourself. #tellhisstory #findingbalance #Christianliving Click To Tweet
Also, no matter how full your calendar may be, you need to schedule downtime to relax and refresh your spirit and creativity. If you’re on the go from the time your feet hit the floor in the morning until you fall into bed at night, then you’re going to be too worn to care for yourself, let alone anyone else.
Learn to say no to obligations that will steal time away from your walk with the Lord…or away from the path where He’s guiding you to walk. Saying yes to doing things in order to pursue your dreams takes practice, focus, and discipline. Learning to take time for yourself may seem easier said than done at first, but once you put it into practice, you’ll be on your way to finding that balance to keep from falling off the beam.
Your Turn: What are you doing to find balance in your life?What are you doing to find balance in your life? #tellhisstory #balance #dailyliving Click To Tweet