I find it funny… interesting… amazing… jaw dropping that so many women have such a tough time finding balance in a chaotic world. Me included! And it really shouldn’t be all that surprising considering that we all know we shove way too much crap into our lives. Maybe we do it to prove that we truly are Wonder Woman. Or it could be that we see Perfect Patsy over there doing her thing, making stuff happen, all while not batting an eyelash and we think we should be like that too. Whatever our reasoning behind it, it has got to stop!
It must be that certain time of life that brings about change.
That time of life where you realize you don’t have forever left of life and you’re downright tired of all the bull… the go, go, go and never feeling like you’re getting anywhere. Mine happened a few years ago when my husband and I found ourselves at the end of the kids-in-the-house-driving-us-crazy time of life and entering into a season of peace and solitude.
We had this big, really old farmhouse that we raised our 6 kids in with tons of property and no time or help with keeping it up. Our dream was to live by the beach but with the housing market the way it was, moving just didn’t seem like an option. But once we were free from raising a child with reactive attachment disorder plus five others, we figured why not? Why not put in the hard work of getting the house ready for the market and start the search on finding our dream home? Why not now? We didn’t know if trying to sell the house this time would turn out like it had the several other times we had tried. However, one thing we did know was that we would never know if we didn’t at least try.
And here’s what you need to understand – finding balance takes work.
Fulfilling your dreams takes dedication, blood, sweat, and tears. Eliminating things from your life in order to make room for something better can be painful. You are going to go through so many trials before you find something that works. And just when you feel like a well-oiled machine, life will change again. But that is when you have to decide if finding balance in a chaotic world is worth the effort.
So, what the heck do you do???
First things first, you go to prayer
You will never know the direction you are supposed to take if you don’t bring it to God. And it’s not enough to just bring it to His throne. You’ve gotta lay it at his feet, take a few steps back, and then sit in silence. Sit your butt down, forget about whatever agenda you’ve got going on in your mind and just listen for Him to give you direction.
Second, you have to acknowledge that you DO have time.
We have all been given the same 24 hours in a day. There is nothing special about Perfect Patsy who seems relaxed and balanced. She just figured out how to prioritize. You can do the same… but that means taking all those plates you’ve got spinning, laying them down one by one, and examining whether each one belongs in your life or not. Sometimes, you’ve gotta be brutally honest with yourself about what you’ve allowed into your life and whether or not it actually still fits.
Third, you must choose a direction and move ahead.
I can’t tell you the number of times I feverishly contemplated whether or not a new job was right for me. I prayed and prayed that God would show me a sign and make it crystal clear to me whether I was supposed to go or stay. And one day, in the middle of all that unnecessary strife, He said to me, “It doesn’t matter what you do for a job as long as you do it to my glory.”
God isn’t so much into the nitty gritty details of our careers, housing choices, family trips we take. He cares much more about whether or not you are doing what you do and using the gifts He gave you for his glory. (Colossians 3:23) So choose a direction and go!
Fourth, you need to be the one who decides your priorities and where you spend your time.
No one else can make that decision for you. There was this woman in church that would frequently tell me that I needed to be a part of the church’s music ministry. She would lay on the guilt that I wasn’t using the gift of singing that God had given me. What she seemed to have trouble understanding was that I had already gone to God with that many times. And every time, He made it clear that it wasn’t where He wanted me.
She couldn’t understand that my “ministry” was to my children and to my own emotional health. I could have given in to the pressure and said yes, but I knew that if I said yes to something I was good at, and loved, and enjoyed, my home life would suffer. I wanted to say yes, but saying yes would’ve pushed me over the edge. Knowing my priorities made it easier to say no and to stick to that no, no matter how hard she pushed.
Fifth, remember the KISS Principle: Keep it Super Simple
Sometimes it’s really hard to know what our priorities should be. So let’s break it down to the basic necessities of life:
- Have you prayed? Before anything else, start your day in prayer. Getting your mind right and in alignment with God sets you up for success. Dig into His word and apply it to your life.
- Are you well nourished? Feeding yourself well fuels your body for the race it’s about to run. Don’t ever underestimate the power of good nutrition.
- Are you well rested? It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep will do for you. Waking up refreshed and well rested means you are able to better manage whatever life throws at you that day. Skimp on sleep and you may find yourself moody, irritable, and less focused.
- Have you exercised? I’m not talking about running a half marathon here. I’m talking about getting up, moving your body, and releasing some endorphins. Exercise serves so many purposes including waking up your body and your brain, fighting off those bad stress chemicals that threaten to bring you down, and boosting your self-esteem and confidence.
Once you have done those four things, you’re ready to tackle your day. Remember your priorities – God, family, you, then everything else. There is no need to make your life any more complicated than that. And if you’re faced with a decision to add just one more plate into your world, simply weigh it against your priorities to see if it fits.