Finding That Balance

Posted by  | Thursday, August 21, 2008  at 4:57 AM  
I think all of life is a balancing act. Yet, when we have small children at home, it seems there are even more things to balance. Here's some practical things I do to help find a healthy balance in my life.

First and foremost, I try to start off every morning with the Lord. Days when I don't do this, I am just "off." Nothing comes together, I don't get as much accomplished, I'm ususally more irritable, and I'm not the wife and mommy my family deserves. This is my top priority, even if it's just a few minutes. God knows all I have to do, and, days when I'm the busiest and know there's just no time for quiet time, HE magnifies the time and helps me get things accomplished, when I start the day off with Him. I give Him my day and ask that He will organize my day, my time, my thoughts, my priorities, what I say, and what I do.

I am a really organized person. That said, lists can make me crazy. Don't get me wrong, I love to write things down just to be able to cross it off and would never think of going to the grocery store without list in hand. But the seasons in my life where I find myself with lots of "to-do" lists tend to make me crazy. If I have a particularly busy day, I definately make a list to ensure I don't forget things. But, as a general rule, I don't make lists for the day or week and I feel a lot more freedom and joy because of it (this is just my personality). I do have routines though, such as doing dishes as they get dirty, picking up throughout the day, and doing a load of laundry everyday or two to make sure I don't feel overwhelmed at the end of the week. I keep an on-going list on the refrigerator where I write down any groceries or toiletries we need. That way, when it comes time to get groceries, I already have my list made and just need to add ingredients for a specific meal. I also keep a 3 x 5" notecard in my Bible to write down things that come to mind during quiet time so Satan doesn't use them as a distraction. I jot them down, forget about them, and continue my focus on the Lord.

I also think it's healthy to have a hobby. We can get so absorbed in our world as young mothers, we don't do anything beyond this. I find it really relaxing to blog and scrapbook. Although I don't do this much, the times I am able to leave Lydia with daddy and get away for a little while are also truly refreshing.

And, making time for our husbands is SO important. I have to constantly check to make sure I'm not giving so much during the day I don't have enough to give to my husband in the evening. We love to watch movies together, talk, and dream. I have to remind myself this must be a top priority.

Finally, we cannot forget the goal - we are molding the next generation. Though we may not seem to have had much balance in a day, week, or season of our lives, when I take the long-term perspective and look at the goal, everything usually does seem much more "balanced." This season I'm in right now just is a bit busier than other seasons of my life are going to be. It's so comforting to know that God knows and understands this - in fact, He is the one who has blessed me to be in this very season at this very time.

I have this poem by Irene Foster, quoted in A Mother's Heart by Jean Fleming hanging on my fridge:

"Time is of the Essence"

Now is the time to get things done. . .
wade in the water,
sit in the sun,
squish my toes in the mud by the door,
explore the world in a boy just four.

Now is the time to study books,
flowers, snails, how a cloud looks;
to ponder "up" where God sleeps nights,
why mosquitoes take such big bites.

Later they'll be time to sew and clean,
paint the hall that soft new green,
to make new drapes, refinish the floor-
Later on. . . when he's not just four.

7 comments:

Christina said...

Krista,
You are going to LOVE this book that is in the mail to you right now!!! You touched on something from each chapter.

Starting the day off with the Lord is probably the number one thing we should all be posting this week! You are so right that all else is "off" when we don't do that. Great post!

And to those who are asking about my "lesson plan book" - I'll work on an update to that today.

markandmeg said...

I love that poem! My other favorite is on a cross-stitch that my grandmother made --

"Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow, for babies grow up, I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

Erica W said...

Thanks for the post. I especially like what you had to say about saving energy for your hubby. That is something I need to remember and work on. So many days I have nothing left.
Thanks also for your challenge about getting time with the Lord in the morning. I try to justify making it fit later in my day, but there is NOTHING like being with HIm to start the day.

Shannon said...

Mmm... good word on reserving some of your best energy for you husband. I know I need to work on that, for sure.

It's also a good tip to keep a note card or piece of paper in your Bible - I started doing that about 2 years ago - so I could write down things that come to mind and then forget about them and focus on my quiet time.

It's often the little tips that make so much difference throughout the day.

Thanks, friend!! Great post!!
~Shannon

Stephanie for the Lyon's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie for the Lyon's said...

So, I am not a huge "blog commenter," but I just had to say how similarly we must seem to run the day in our households...I am the same way in that i LOVE being organized, but there is freedom for me in having a routine, but not a detailed list. i just smiled as i read how you/my girls clean up as you go (really big for me), do the dishes as they get dirty, and even keep a list to jot down things that can be distracting from that critical "FIRST thing of the day" with the Lord. And I can so relate to having to ask the Holy Spirit to remind me all throughout the day that I do not need to expend myself down to nothing so that when my husband gets home I'm totally depleted- physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
so, i'm just giving a shout out! :)

i'm really enjoying these last few weeks topics

Christina said...

I love the tip about keeping a notecard in the Bible to jot down distracting thoughts. That is a huge struggle of mine! My mind wanders so easily.

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