Time to exercise. Time to read. Time to relax. Time to be still.
God’s wants us to enjoy balance because it models His character.
God put balance and order in creation.
The earth is exactly the right distance from the sun, and has the perfect combination of gases for an atmosphere that supports life. Scientists have determined that any variation to the smallest degree of earth’s angle, distance to the sun, or combination of gases in the atmosphere and life on our planet would be uninhabitable.
The Garden of Eden provided perfect balance for Adam and Eve . . . in their relationship with God and with each other. They knew exactly what to do and when to do it.
It’s hard to balance work, play, rest, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and find time to just be still.
It’s hard to enjoy emotional balance when the roller coaster called LIFE makes taking time for stillness seem impossible.
It’s easy to feel discouraged, frustrated, and stressed.
But it’s not too late.
With God’s help, you and I can enjoy a balanced life.
First, we have to admit we need God’s help, and we need to help each other.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NLT)
With God’s help you and I can:
- have balanced emotions when life seems out of control.
- eat a balanced diet and get regular exercise.
- organize our schedules to get enough rest, find time to play, and work.
“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.” ~Betsy Jacobson
1. Make 20-30 minutes of stillness an essential part of your day.
Spend time not only in prayer and Bible study, but stop and breathe in the goodness of the Lord. Surrender your schedule each day and ask Him to guide you and help you find balance.
You will show me the way of life. Being with You is to be full of joy. In Your right hand there is happiness forever. Psalm 16:11
2. Take a self-assessment test.
- How often do you feel agitated or impatient?
- How often do you get angry?
- How often do you feel overwhelmed by your schedule?
- How often do you feel you can’t finish your to-do list?
- How often do your family and friends complain that you’re not available?
- How often do you feel tired from lack of sleep?
- How often do you exercise?
- How often do you have time to relax?
- How often are you too exhausted to _____________?
- How often do you spend quiet time with God?
3. Admit you need/want to change.
Based on where you landed on the 1 to 10 continuum admit it’s time to take an honest assessment of your life and start to make adjustments.
“Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.” ~Assorted Authors
4. Assess your calendar.
- Grab your schedule and 3 different color pens.
- Assign the colors – Have To, Want To, Need To
- Mark each appointment for the week with the desired category color.
- Make a list of possible appointments you would like to add to your calendar.
- Use a sample planner page and make an “ideal” schedule – begin with have to, add need to . . . think about any changes you might be able to make.
5. Assess your “To Do” list.
Follow the same steps you used for your calendar with your “to do” list, adding a fourth color for delegate to…
It’s okay to need help.
6-8. Assess your credit card statement, your diet, and your physical activity.
I know it’s not fun. We’ll get to that. But if you want change you have to know where to start.
9. Purge your home of excess.
Go through one room each week—closets, under beds, drawers, and piles in corners. It’s time to free your life of stuff you no longer need or use. Keep only those things that are necessary, beautiful, or valuable. Visit 31 Days to Declutter Your Home – for a list of rules and a practical plan of attack.
Maybe so, but I say it is better to be content with what little you have. Otherwise, you will always be struggling for more, and that is like chasing the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:6
10. Organize what’s left.
If you keep it; you want to know where it is. That’s just good stewardship. Keep what you use available and clean.
Check out my Pinterest Organizing Tips Board for helpful ideas.
This is hard for me. So, I understand if you think it will be impossible to get your family on board. But having “no screen” time will bless you and your family. Enjoy a meal, read, talk, plan the weekend, or play a game. I promise . . . your children won’t remember the television show they watched ten years from now, but they will remember things you did together.
Today’s children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices . . . Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. ~Source AAP
12. Ask for help – you don’t have to do it all.
It’s okay! Really it is! Stop and consider where you might need help. (Chores, car-pools, errands, homework, organizing, etc.) Make a list of people who might be able to make your life easier. Swallow your pride, and ask. You may be able to barter for some and pay for others.
Remember chores are good for your kids. It’s not “help” if it’s a life skill they need to learn.
Pray for God’s guidance and to help you say “no” when necessary.
No explanations needed. “I’m sorry. I can’t do this right now.” is perfectly acceptable. Limiting the number of “extra” activities you and your family do might be a good place to add time in your week.
“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.” ~Stephen Covey
14. Baby steps are still steps.
You didn’t get here overnight; a life out of balance happens little by little. Start with lists, goals, and deadlines. Be realistic and remember baby steps are still progress.
“Tiny steps will get you to your goal months and months sooner. A little is better than a lot.” ~Martha Beck
15. Laugh and have fun.
You won’t stick with this if you’re not having fun. Laugh at yourself and the ways you got here. Enjoy the possibilities of living a balanced life. Schedule at least one or two fun activities each week.
So I recommend having fun because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:15
God wants us to have balanced lives. Balance that comes from following His plans and purposes for us.
He wants us to know and enjoy His peace.
This is my prayer for you: that you will see the difference between what is important and what is not and choose what is important; that you will be pure and blameless for the coming of Christ; that your life will be full of the many good works that are produced by Jesus Christ to bring glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:11–12
Prayer for God’s help to find balance.
Father, I admit my life is out of balance and I need your help. I’m frustrated but I don’t know where to begin. My life is being pulled in a dozen different directions. Right now, help me stop and breathe in the presence of Your Holy Spirit, the One who guides me and helps me know when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” Help me to be still. Help me to trust You with my day. Increase my faith and help me live with balance. Bless me with Your wisdom. Fill me with Your peace. Amen.
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