How to Stay Perfectly Balanced with Focal Points

Sharing is caring!

unnamed1I’m so blessed to share a guest post by my friend Ceil Ryan.

She shares her heart at Surrounded By The Spirit – Finding the Presence and Grace of God in Everyday Life.

Ceil describes herself as, “I am a Wife, Nurse, Mom and Nana of three, living in the Midwest. I am trying to see the movement of God in every part of my life.” She is obediently “writing it down” . . . telling her story and sharing her faith. She is a wonderful blog friend who faithfully blesses me. I know she will be a blessing to you too.

How to Stay Perfectly Balanced with Focal Points

I’m back to the gym now that the weather is cranky and cold. I started a few months ago, not because I wanted to (because I didn’t!), but because it’s just too cold to exercise outside.

Life out of balance? Maybe you need to focus. Choosing the best focal points makes all the difference for an unbalanced life...

One freezing morning, I grabbed my water bottle and headed out. After locking up my coat and keys, I went straight to the gym area. It’s about the size of a swimming pool; wooden floor, two walls with windows, two with mirrors. I joined four other people, already intent on their routines, music pumping through ear buds to keep them energized.

I grabbed the equipment I needed and got started. My first exercise required a stability ball, which is an outsized inflatable rubber sphere. Some people use them as chairs at their work desks. Because you’re sitting on a chair that can roll away, you’re forced to tighten your abdominal muscles to avoid falling. Perching on the ball, I grabbed a 2.5-pound weight in each hand. Lifting up one leg, so I’m balancing on one leg and the ball, I’m supposed to start pumping the weights over my head.

Well, I haven’t done this exercise for about six months; so apparently over the summer I acquired abs of oatmeal. As soon as I lift my leg, it looks like I’m doing a new dance. My body is shimmying all over that ball. Best of all? I get to watch myself flailing, like a giant inflatable tube-man, in the mirror in front of me.

You’d think that I would have the decency to be embarrassed. I’m easily the oldest person in the room. The others are planking and grunting and jumping up on platforms eight layers high. My challenge? To stay put on an overgrown balloon without falling. (Hands over eyes.)

But instead of being mortified, I think it’s funny, so I started giggling. Not surprisingly, that doesn’t help.

Finally giving up, I put the weights down. Concentrate Ceil. What did that trainer tell me when this happened before? Oh right! If I concentrate on one spot, straight ahead of me, constant and immoveable, I’ll be able to maintain my balance. You know what? He was right.

Having a focal point really works. And not only in gym routines, but in my spiritual life too. Every day I meet challenges that make me a bit wobbly. Oh, I have good intentions. I just lose focus. So I wondered. What are some of my spiritual focal points? What do I concentrate on to keep me balanced?

This is what I came up with:

I cherish my family and the people God has given me in friendship. That love moves me to offer myself in acts of kindness, with a ready ear to hear and a heart ready to forgive.

God created me to make a difference. That belief challenges me to see the needs of the world, and to do something positive to address them.

Daily prayer reminds me that I am a sacred, beloved child of the Father. It also convinces me that everyone I meet today is too.

God wants his followers to have a strong spiritual core to keep them upright when hard times come. We all have our own sacred guiding principles, our own ‘North Stars’. Remembering and acting on our guiding lights ensures that we will be stronger and more effective images of Christ in our world.

How about you? What core values guide your life? I’d love to hear about your focal points are in the comment section.

Life out of balance? Maybe you need to focus. Choosing the best focal points makes all the difference for an unbalanced life...

A little more about Ceil:

Ceil Ryan is a wife, nurse, Mom and Nana living in the Midwest. After working more than twenty years, she hung up her nurse’s cap to start writing and blogging full-time. Her passion is sharing personal stories with an emphasis on faith and encouragement.

You can read more from Ceil on her blog: Surrounded by the Spirit 

Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I have developed “abs of oatmeal” as well :). My core is waning, both physically and spiritually. I’m really wanting to spend more time in Bible study. I do all kinds of book studies, most of them called “Bible studies,” but I don’t spend near enough time in the actual Word. Thank you for this reminder of the importance of focus, Ceil!

    1. Hi Candace! I think spending time with the Word is a great idea. When I am quet and can reflect on Scripture passages, I feel so peaceful. And it does strenthen my spiritual muscles!
      Thank you for coming over today 🙂

  2. Stopping by from Three Word Wednesday- feeling inspired to exercise today.:)

    1. Hi Katie! Oy. I haven’t been able to exercise lately, but I’d love to get back to it as soon as I can.
      Fortunately I can still stretch in my relationship with God. Loving the people he has given to me in my life is one great way I can stay in touch with Love.
      Nice to meet you!

  3. Glad to meet you, Ceil! I loved your reminder that we all need a focal point in our lives; I choose Jesus! He keeps me balanced and safe on the narrow way.

    1. Hi Martha! It’s nice to meet you too!
      I think the best way to stay strong is whatever will bring me closer to Christ. Making him the focus will make me strong in the storms. Sounds like you have the perfect way to keep spiritually toned!

  4. Ceil, my friend, I love the way you write! I can so easily see you sitting there giggling…because I would have done the very same thing. Thank you for reminding us that we need those focal points in our lives to keep us going in the right direction. Mine are my relationship with Jesus, my husband, children/grandchildren, and our parents…and serving others, for His glory. xo

    1. Hi Dianna! Thank you for your kind words, you are always so supportive. I think that’s one of your spiritual gifts.
      I agree about loving family and friends, and serving them as well as I can. Parents! Good point. My Dad is always appreciative of a phone call or email…you remind me I need to do that more!
      Enjoy your blog-break,

  5. My focus is trusting Christ and believing He wants the best for me. I can so easily get sidetracked into thinking I’m in charge of me!

    1. Hi Jerralea! I love your response because I can really relate to it. I think I’m the boss of me WAY too often. And I’m not a good boss either!
      Trusting and believing are wonderful ways to live your life. I hope I can be more like you 🙂

  6. Hi Victor! There seem to be so many people who memorize Scripture to help them in times of challenge. Your examples are just perfect for support.
    I remember a friend of mine who always used “Be with me Lord when I am in trouble, be with me Lord I pray.” So that’s my ‘go to’ passage.
    Thank you for coming over to Deb’s!

  7. Ceil, Thank you so much for this. It’s been a huge blessing to have you here today. I love the 10 Core Values. I use a stability ball as my office chair off and on. If only I could be consistent in my core training . . . great motivation here. Blessings!

  8. I really enjoyed this post and I was giggling with you because I can see myself doing the same thing! My favorite was “That love moves me to offer myself in acts of kindness, with a ready ear to hear and a heart ready to forgive.” Beautiful! Thank you for linking up at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I hope to see you back this week!