These words grabbed my attention immediately as my eyes worked across the screen. A resounding YES bubbled up from my heart. I’m tired of the messages, plans, worksheets that tell us we can do it all as long as we organize, manipulate and twist every minute of our day to squeeze everything out of it that we can. Friends, it’s a lie and too many of us have run ourselves ragged trying to bring to fruition in our lives something that was never meant to be.
You are not created to “do it all” and working out of your own strength to be everything to everyone will wear you down in the deepest parts. Don’t ask me how I know.
Balance to me sounds like manipulation…if I can just fit that in there and then run over here I can be back to this place to get the other thing done.
It looks like too many plates in the air that can’t possibly stay there forever…she needs me to do this while I simultaneously do the other thing for him but I have to try to also be available for the other folks.
It looks like exhaustion and not enough and that nagging feeling of failure always lurking and why can’t I just one day get it all done and be sweet and pleasant and not fall into my bed wiped out?
Balance sounds like fitting more in as if it’s all up to me.
Surrender is ALL Jesus.
I haven’t come across a story in the Bible that talks about balance. When Jesus was with Mary and Martha, 2 gals busy in their own right, He talked about priorities…ONE thing. We can go to His word and find the road map laid out for us. One that will cease striving and lead us down a path of surrender where we follow instead of charge ahead dragging our people behind us in our harried state.
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42New Living Translation (NLT)
So we set our priorities, surrender our “to-do’s” and “should’s” and see what is left standing.
#1 - JESUS – We must start with Jesus…lasting truth…always first…all else flows from time and relationship with Him. While Jesus is supernatural, there is no magic formula for relationship with Him. It looks like consistent time spent with Him, regular and real communication, eyes open to see Him everywhere, gratitude expressed, praises and songs poured out…overflow.
#2 – SPOUSE – For those of us who are married, our spouse needs to be our next concern. How? Esteeming their needs, caring for them, loving well, spending time, communicating, giving your true self (not playing games or manipulating). Easy? No. Worth it? Yep.
#3 – FAMILY – For me, this is my kids and then outward from there. Parenting (as you may be finding out yourself) is HARD! My goal is to be physically and emotionally available to them as much as possible. Did you catch that? As much as possible means just that. I love them to pieces but the kids aren’t running the show. I also want to point them to Jesus every chance I get.
#4 – PEOPLE – There are people that God has brought into our lives to nurture, learn from or grow with and there are countless more that we can touch. We can spread the gospel or disciple other Christians. The Bible teaches us to care for the orphan, widow and marginalized. The work that God has asked me to do also falls into this category.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. Eph. 5:2 (MSG)
These are the filters I use when I’m deciding how my time will be spent. Am I building hearts…a kingdom….love that will last? Does it match up with my priorities? If my days are full of things that don’t touch this list then I need to take a hard look at how I’m spending my time.
Each of us has a different threshold of what we can handle. Platters vs. saucers and all that. But this isn’t really about that. You can fill up your time with nonsense and run around like crazy and you can also sit on your bum in the name of rest and do nothing good either. Let’s take that out of the discussion. Our eyes need to be FIXED on JESUS…the priorities that He has set in place…the work and people that he has called US to..ME and YOU. It won’t look the same on this side of heaven but the smile on His face is for all of us.
How does this hit you? What are your priorities? Do they look different than this? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
P.S. I think this post has birthed another one that will look more deeply at how I invest time and energy into my relationship with God, Darren and the kids. Stay tuned!