I think it was just a little past midnight on that Sunday when I made my way down the hallway to get some sleep. I sighed as I thought of my weekend realizing it very well described what many would probably call an unbalanced life.
Driving to and cheering on both my boys in a total of 7 basketball games.
Attending and serving at 2 church services.
Celebrating a baby shower.
Filling my refrigerator back up by grocery shopping.
Laundry. Laundry. Laundry.
And last but not least, the final touches on my Monday blog post.
All positive and fun things! (Well, minus the grocery shopping and laundry anyway!) But, I was both physically and mentally exhausted.
You see, the search for life balance is something I’ve been battling for a long time. And I realized that night I’m tired of fighting it. I knew there had to be a better way.
How about you? Does your schedule make you feel as though you are living an out-of-whack life? Are you searching for the balance you just can’t seem to find?
…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. -Isaiah 40:31 ESV
Does your schedule make you feel as though you are living an out-of-whack life? #hopeformoms… Click To Tweet
That’s when I finally accepted two things.
Achieving balance is not possible, but managing it is.
Managing my list of nonnegotiables is key to maintaining the physical, mental, and emotional health of my family and myself.
Let’s face it, we have a tendency to turn life balance into another area of over-striving, perfectionism, and control. I think we get more exhausted from fighting the unbalanced life than we sometimes do from the overloaded activity level!
What I had to do was face the truth, let go of the control, and focus on management. To do that, my nonnegotiables had to be firmly in place.
Achieving balance is not possible, but managing it is.Achieving balance isn't possible, but managing it is! #hopeformoms #MomentsofHope #linkup #series Click To Tweet
Because it is in an ongoing state of change, balance simply does not exist. As life changes moment to moment, that which sits on either end of our scales change with it. And that change necessitates our refocusing attention. As we put more focus on one thing or another, the scales inevitably tip one way or another.
All we can do is manage the changes to keep them from completely getting out of whack!
Managing a list of nonnegotiables.
Where do we, as a family, want to spend our time? What are those things of the utmost importance? The ones on which we refuse to waiver? And how will we manage those nonnegotiables with the shifting moments of life?What is your list of nonnegotiables for your family? #hopeformoms #series #momentsofhope #linkup Click To Tweet
God must be at the top of that list. It is a nonnegotiable we cannot differ on as families if we want to leave an unbalanced life behind!
However, how we manage that nonnegotiable is where our families have some wiggle room.
In my current season, my children aren’t as engaged at church as I would like. So how do I manage that?
I mix our faith into the everyday moments.
Not lessons quietly gathered around the table but ones lived in the everyday. It’s praying in front of and with my children often. From repenting for my bad attitude as I drove one too many places to praising Him for green lights along the way. From the prayer before they head into their basketball games to the blessing I speak over them as they jump out and into the school day.
It’s in the heart-to-hearts about compassion for the child at school making their life difficult and the adult infringing upon mine. And it’s in the offering of grace to each other when we fall short of God’s intentions for us.
I ramp up the worship music and praise Him loudly even when my teenager looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. I show them that He is the center, the Rock, of my everyday. And because of His love for us, we love others with all we’ve got and we put to rest any bitterness that threatens to harden our hearts to others.
We read His Word and keep it alive in our hearts. And we make attending church a part of our lives – a joyful part.
I keep school in perspective.
School is a nonnegotiable, yet I’m careful to not allow it to become the sum of my child’s value or worth. It’s a tool for later comfort and success, not who they are. It’s not my bragging right, nor my opportunity to live vicariously through my child. I remind myself not all children are meant for honors classes, but working to their highest potential and being their best selves is meant for each and everyone of them. If I lose these perspectives, school has a way of controlling far more of our lives than necessary.
I support their unique giftings and passions.
Finding our God-given purpose and having fun are two more nonnegotiables for us. We do that by supporting extracurricular activities. In our family, that is mostly basketball. Right now with two teens actively involved in the competitive side of the sport, it has the potential to tip the scales of life disproportionately. Yet we treat it as an extension of all our nonnegotiables. It’s where they can live out their faith, intelligence, drive, tenacity, courage, and compassion. When the scales tip too far or we notice behaviors not aligning with our first and most important nonnegotiable, we realign. If our children aren’t living out their lives on the court in the same way God would have them live them off the court, adjustments are made.
So, friends, if your life feels out of whack right now? I urge you to name your first nonnegotiable. Put Him at the top. Then keep your eyes steady on Him. You don’t have to fit it all in and you don’t have to maintain perfect balance. Some seasons will tip more than others. Have grace for yourself, let go of perfectionism, and embrace your beautifully unbalanced life ♥
Hope for the Back-to-School Mom Series
If you could use some extra encouragement and inspiration as you send your children back to school, join me for the Hope for the Back-to-School Mom Series. I’ll be discussing balance in our children’s lives, the dance of letting go, school anxiety, and the need for setting boundaries in our children’s lives.
These prayer card images will be available in the Library of Hope as a printable PDF. When you subscribe to receive new post notifications and my bi-monthly newsletter, you automatically receive access to the resource-filled Library of Hope! I’d love to have you join me now if you haven’t already!
Featured #MomentsofHope Post
Mothering from a place of fear … I think I’d be safe to say each of us have been there at some point or another. It’s something we must intentionally monitor and surrender to Christ over and over again. (and then over again!)
As I was reading through the amazing posts linked up here at #MomentsofHope last week, my heart was drawn to the words of Hannah at Lovely Little Lives. Her honesty about mothering and fear struck a chord within me and I think it will do the same for many of you. Plus, she has some fabulous resources available, too! And with the heart of a hope-sharer, would you make sure to give her some #MomentsofHope love when you stop by her home? ♥
#MomentsofHope Link-UpJoin us for the #MomentsofHope Link-Up! Share hope and be encouraged every Monday! #hope Click To Tweet
Each week I’ll be visiting as many posts as possible, sharing them to my Moments of Hope Group Board on Pinterest as well as my other social media platforms when applicable, and choosing one post each week to feature.
Thank you for joining me here each week to share the hope given to us through Christ. Whether your words come from a story that points to the full healing you have experienced in Christ, or its a story of the journey along the road to the healing you know He is working in you, it is giving hope to others. Your words matter and it honors me to have you share them here in this space!
What I ask of you:
- Share up to 2 blog post URLs resonating with the topic of HOPE. That which gives us hope for tomorrow and hope for victory. The little things and the big that inspire us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2.#MomentsofHope is a place to give and get hope, so let’s encourage others in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!
- Please either grab the #MomentsofHope button found here or link back to me. If you’ve been featured, grab your button here!
Finally, find me linking up with these encouraging places!