Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Balance.

Monday night as I tried to fall asleep, all sorts of blog ideas finally started rolling through my head.  Thanks, mind, for waiting until I'm half asleep to finally decide to unleash some ideas.  Not to mention, I had to be at work by 4:15 on Tuesday morning, so I desperately needed to fall asleep.  Why do I always feel so productive and alert when I should be sleeping?  And when I should be productive, why do I just want to sleep?  Someone tell me it's not just me.

Months ago, when I was lamenting about my writer's block, I begged for some inspiration, some blog ideas for anyone who would offer any.  JulieAnn requested I write about balance in life.  So here's what I know about how to balance life.

Absolutely nothing.

Unfortunately, this blog has nothing to offer other than perhaps some comfort to others who find balance so elusive.  Just wanted to forewarn anyone who thought I might be offering some wisdom.

I completely envy those who seem to have found ways to make all their responsibilities and hobbies align in harmony in their lives.  My attention is all over the place, and I tend to focus on one thing at a time in bits and pieces.  When I was in school, I was focused on reading, learning, and had tons of inspiration for writing.  I was constantly being propelled into creativity through my professors and fellow students, as well as the incredible works of literature I was responsible for reading.  But when it came to health, I failed.  I couldn't find the time to cook healthy meals, and exercising was the last thing on my mind.

Now that I'm working and not in school (I never thought I would miss being in school so much), my reading and writing has shamefully been reduced to mostly magazines and blogs.  True, I have more time now to focus on health (and being diagnosed with a gluten allergy sort of forced that), but my writing has been put on the back burner.  And that exercising still doesn't happen as often as it should.

I've noticed that in my own life, it comes down to time management.  I focus so much on new, important priorities, that I neglect budgeting enough time for those other activities I still want or need to do.  I haven't figured out how to add in new priorities and balance those with the old ones.  How do I decide when it's okay to relax for a bit, and when I have relaxed too much (like, say, watching seven episodes of The Office in a row on Hulu)?  And why can't my idea of relaxation be cleaning the house and cooking?  I wish I was one of those people that did those things for fun or to wind down, but cooking and cleaning are simply chores for me.

Lately my biggest regret is not making enough time for studying the Bible and spending time in prayer and worship.  I feel the effects of that more than anything, in my attitude and level of contentment.  The funny thing is, I know that when I make my spiritual and physical health a priority, the emotional health follows.  I feel so much better, and have such an easier time dealing with more difficult issues in my day-to-day life.  When I'm not taking care of myself, and when I'm not spending time with God on a regular basis, I'm much more unhappy, and I'm easily irritated.  Redirecting my focus to Jesus, walking with Him daily, with a grateful attitude for His many blessings somehow helps with balance.  When I give my day to God, allowing Him to direct me into the activities that are most important for that day, then I feel peace.

I doubt I'll ever have a grasp on this idea of balance, and I'm sure things in my life will continue to be neglected for a season, only to be focused on at a different stage in life.  The only thing I can think to do is to start my day with my Creator, trusting that He will provide me with everything I need, and to do my best to maintain at least a little discipline in my time management.  I also highly recommend Jesus Calling, a devotional my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas.  It's a great way to begin the morning, to get the focus to where it needs to be, on Christ and off of myself.

Maybe that's the key to balance?  Stop worrying so much about myself and focusing inward and instead direct all thoughts to God and how great He is?  Thoughts?

3 comments:

  1. I certainly am guilty of not balancing, but I have a few suggestions that I want to try so maybe they would help you too? Washing dishes or cleaning the floor etc are just chores, but try working on memorizing a special Bible verse or two while scrubbing (maybe even try making it into a little sing-song or a real song if you are so talented which I think you are). I also try to use chore time as a time to just talk to God too or pray for people who have asked and offer up my chore as a sacrifice for that person as well. If you aren't in a praying mood or your task requires more of your mind (like cooking when you are following a recipe), try turning on some fun tunes and dancing and singing around the kitchen at the same time. If nothing else, it makes the task more enjoyable and you start looking forward to it because it's dance party time. ;) Love this post because balance is a daily struggle. great honesty!

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  2. Well, I certainly don't know how to balance, because this is my first chance to read this blog!!

    I think the hardest part about balance is that it only makes sense to you. Not sure that makes sense...let me try to explain! When I have too many things on my plate I really try to give specific things the time and attention that I can give. So, while I feel as though I have done a great job balancing, the people or things that I have given to still feel like the time I gave wasn't enough. I guess I just always feel as though there are too many tasks and too little time every single day.
    Blah.
    BUT I love the idea of focusing on God and trusting him. If that is my main focus, then everything else becomes trivial.

    Thanks for the post and sorry for the late response! =)

    JulieAnn

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  3. I enjoy hearing what you desire to share....
    Words, so many choices of what we fill our minds with of all the 'great' works of literature available to read....and that's all it is, is words. But when you share such truths of JESUS, HIS HOLY WORD, PRAYER, WORSHIP, etc., that is a whole different level of writing; for by the word of your testimony you are exalting your LORD; which always has eternal value! And I love to hear where your heart is in CHRIST as it reflects a humble and willing spirit to be yeilded under The LOVING AND MIGHTY HAND OF GOD WHO loves you(us) with the GREATEST AND PUREST LOVE!
    GOD BLESS your talent/giftings unto HIM!

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