Spoiler Alert: We still don’t know how.
Both of us are go-getters. Both of us love what we do with a passion. Both of us find calm in the design process, the watercolor strokes. Both of us love being wives. Both of us loving cooking dinner for our husbands. Both of us love snuggling our little girls, reading books to those curious little eyes, seeing the little grins. Both of us love being active in our community, church, friend groups, family time.
BUT, both of us do not have a solution to the never-ending battle of balance.
It’s a constant lesson. And by constant we mean we go through a period of time where the balancing act makes more sense, or we go through a period of time where we can not possibly go on any longer or we will snap from being stretched thin so we stop.
I, for example, have the awful “Yes” disease. “Yes, I can come to this event. Yes, I will do this small task for you. Yes, I can plan five different things in just one morning, and still clean my house and make sure my daughter gets a nap.” I go, go, go until all the sudden I hit a wall, and I know I’m in the wrong. I’m not proud of it! I think society has a way of glorifying the “busy”. If you are not “busy” then you are obviously not accomplishing all that you could, spending enough time with those you love, being a good enough mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend. I fall prey to this, as well as to the desire to please others.
So the lesson I CONSTANTLY relearn, re-evaluate in myself, slow down and reflect on, is REST. Not rest in the everyday, but rest in God. Have I lost sight of him in the busy? Is my focus more on pleasing man, or God? Am I being intentional with my tasks each day – waiting on His prompting to say “yes”, instead of plowing through. As an Enneagram 2, this is one of the biggest struggles in my life: pleasing others around me.
Okay, that became deep. However, I truly believe that this is the most important step to balancing life. I think we all know, if we pause for a moment and look within ourselves, if we are truly resting in God’s goodness, or plowing our own way, thinking we are in control, and pushing Him out of the driver’s seat.
After this step is taken care of, another tip to balance is saying “no”. I bet you didn’t see that one coming. 😉 Larissa has become much better at this than myself, but I am still trying. The freedom of “no” is essential to setting priorities and boundaries in your life, and saving your marriage, your role as a mother, and your role as a daughter of God.
Next, something that has helped me, is my planner. I hope all of you have a planner, if not, try it out for 2021. (or 2020 because let’s be honest you still have plenty of time this year!) No, we are not in control of our days, but still having a blueprint helps tremendously. THE KEY: do not plan so many things that it is impossible to accomplish. Truly, this has been huge for me. In the past, I would list 500 things in one hour, and then be disappointed, discouraged, and stressed when I only accomplished one. Give yourself breathing room, and let God have the ultimate control. Plan less than 3 things to accomplish each day, and then relax while accomplishing those tasks. This frees you for little moments like your daughter standing up for the first time (take a photo!), the phone call from a long-distance friend, a drive in the countryside beholding the beauty of the fallen snow.
We are still seeking this balance, praying for wisdom and direction every day. In the meantime, we would love to hear how you seek this balance as well. Let’s help each other slow down and live with our eyes open.