Are You Finding Balance in Your Life?

by | #TellHisStory, Christian Living, Encouragement | 15 comments

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

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.

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

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15 Comments

  1. Michele Morin

    Right words at the right time, my friend. My life needs pruning.

    • Lisa Jordan

      Michele, I think pruning our lives every now and then offers more room for God’s blessings.

  2. Barbara Harper

    Very good advice. And I have found that these things need consistent adjustment. Needs change, new responsibilities come up, and before we know it, our plates are overfull again. We need to regularly consult the Lord about our schedules.

    • Lisa Jordan

      Barbara, you’re so right. Seems like when I finally have some room to breathe, something else ends up on my plate. But God remains faithful and works within me to make the space I need to draw closer to Him.

  3. Donna

    Excellent advice Lisa! I needed these words today, as someone who is working a demanding full time job in hospice and seeking to answer God’s call on my life to write, I often end up overwhelmed and not making the best use of my time. Learning to say “no” to things that take me away from my walk with the Lord or the path He’s called me to follow are a must! Thank you for such good advice on finding balance!!

    • Lisa Jordan

      Donna, I know the struggle of balancing writing with working full-time. Although I’m no longer working full-time, it’s still a constant balance of my day joy and growing my writing career. Just remember–when God calls you, He equips you too.

  4. Theresa Boedeker

    Saying no is hard. And I am doing good with it for other people. But saying no to family members who live with you. That’s another kind of saying no and not feeling guilty. Trying to tackle that one.

    • Lisa Jordan

      Theresa, I agree–saying no to those who live with you can be tough. It’s all about setting the right boundaries and making choices that benefit all of you.

  5. Jennifer

    Each season – and often more often – I need to reevaluate and then rebalance. It can be a challenge but such a good (and wise) exercise. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Lisa Jordan

      I love that idea, Jennifer–to reevaluate each season. We all go through different seasons and like Barbara said in her comment–needs change. Taking time to rebalance shows your willingness to adapt and grow.

  6. Lois Flowers

    Wise words, Lisa. And now I’m curious about the quote that your writing friend shared with you. Any chance you might share it with us? 🙂

    • Lisa Jordan

      Lois, I tried to find it online, but I couldn’t. It’s an Elisabeth Elliot quote, “Saying yes to one thing means saying no to a thousand others.” I have it written on a Post-it note and stuck to my computer. It’s a constant reminder that I’ve said yes to the calling of writing God has placed on my heart, so that means I’m saying no to other things as I’m remaining obedient to Him.

  7. Tea With Jennifer

    Yes we need to find our balance in the Lord & I think the hardest thing especially for women is to say No!

    Then even when we think we have got that balance all worked out, we find ourselves saying ‘yes’ again & getting overwhelmed once Again! It’s a constant learning curve!
    Great post Lisa.
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

    • Lisa Jordan

      You’re right, Jennifer. It is a constant learning curve, but once we get into the habit of saying no to those things that pull us away from where God is leading us, then it gets a little easier…at least in theory. 🙂

  8. Karen Friday

    Lisa, thank you for this message. Honestly, I’ve often found myself giving other people advice on an issue with, “Most things in life are about a balance, not being extreme on either end of the spectrum.” And, I believe that’s true for the most part. Still, I sometimes forget to take my own counsel or hear from God on finding a balance within certian areas of my life. So your main points of taking care of myself and especially learning to say “no” are both practical advice for those of us who juggle many things. Which is most of us these days. I’m working full-time currently and keeping up with ministry and writing commitments and spending time with family. Thanks again for this.