Saturday, March 27, 2010

crossing the tight rope

I think I need a plan.  I am starting to rack up thoughts, ideas, to do lists, new activities I want to start, old activities I want to continue, unfinished projects I want to finish.  People to see, places to go, things to do.  And, of course, I want to do it all.  I need a plan.

I believe I have mentioned once or twice how much I love to plan.  I love to set goals, I love to create lists and charts, to do lists.  And I also love to create file systems, organize closets and drawers to help me implement all the plans I have made.  I love the saying, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail."  Words to live by.  I knew I was in the right place when I saw it written on the wall of the school we visited in Kenya.  Everyone around the world knows the truth of that statement.  The problem is...I don't like to actually follow through on the plan.  That is so...tedious, so mundane, so everyday regular life.  I am working on that.

One of our church's stated values is the value of a balanced life.  This past week I have really been wondering what exactly that means.  I thought maybe if I wrote down all I had to balance it would help me visualize better how to balance it all.  Boy was that a mistake.  Do you kow how long the list was?  There is no possible way to balance everything on the list, it is too long.

Of course I know the sunday school answer to the problem of the balanced life, balance it on Jesus.  So simple, so obvious, so not helpful.  I mean conceptually I am a mature enough Christian to understand my need to start and end my day with the Lord, lay my burdons at his feet, trust him to take care of all the things on my to-do list.  I have seen him work in giving me peace when I trust him with the cares of this life.  But after I lay it at Jesus feet all the tasks will still be staring me in the face.

I think it is like "hope".  As I posted a few months ago, when we struggled with infertility I knew I needed hope but just being told to "put your hope in the Lord" is so meaningless when you have no hope.  It is conceptual not practical so there is no clear path to doing it or achieving it.  There is no clear path to balancing your life on the Lord.  You have to journey through it.  For me with hope it was changing my thinking that created hope for me, allowing God to change my thinking.  And I suspect the same will be true of balance.

So I begin the search for balance in my life.  Balancing my children, my husband, my home, my ministry, my friends, my work, my healthy, my recreational activities, my workouts, my plans, goals and dreams and of course my relationship with the Lord.

One thing I love to do is read and hear about other people's journeys and ideas.  Recently I heard Susie Larson speak on her new book called, Growing Grateful Kids.  Future post on that to come but she has also written a book on balance and a friend of mine bought a DVD of her speaking on the topic.  I am looking forward to hearing what she has to say and the path she might begin me on toward discovering balance in my life.  Let the search begin!


  1. going rogue here to say that i don't necessarily think a balanced life is a good goal, at least at this stage for me. I feel like I have to let some things go right now (a clean house, time with friends, etc) in order to focus on my changing kids as we are thrusting into a new stage with them, as well as tending to my marriage. These are my big ones and throw everything else off balance and that is okay with me right now, everything is weighted differently, so balance really cannot ever be achieved nor should it necessarily be the goal, in my humble opinion! :)

  2. I recently heard an interesting take on a balanced life. The idea was that on a daily basis balance is not overly attainable but over time there should be balance in your life. You should be able to look back (or ahead) and find times where you were focused on each of the things that are important to you. So, for instance, while training for a half marathon you may put your training before other things you value for a bit but when the race is over, your energy will be more heavily focused in a different area (and less focused - or not focused at all - on your training).

    Being ever in pursuit of seemingly elusive balance in my own life I found this concept refreshing and while I'm not sure exactly what to do with it - it has made me start thinking differently about how to achieve the balance I so dearly seek.

  3. See I think what you are describing is exactly what I am talking about when I say balanced life. You have identified the areas in your life that are priorities and are focussing on those areas. I don't think balance looks like being able to do it all or giving equal attention to everything I think it looks like not trying to do everything and identifiying what God has in your life at this stage. I think you are perfectly balanced at this stage of your life. This is what I am looking for, I think I am trying to do too much. And while I may be able to do more than you at this time in my life I still can't do it all.