Friday, November 09, 2007

Finding Balance

Well, it wasn't so bad last night, speaking on "Balance." At holiday time, especially, I feel that The World Carries Me Along "whithersoever it will." But I found out that none of the moms at my meeting last evening have got this one Conquered. Some are battling those in-laws that do the Command Performance thing--"you will be here for Christmas dinner," etc. I don't have that to deal with, and I'm grateful.

So, here are a few highlights; hope they are helpful to you:

First of all, achieving Balance is not a do-it-once-and-cross-it-off-your-list thing. Just like a gymnast on a balance beam, it's a matter of constantly re-assessing, re-doing, re-distributing. Gymnasts do it without thinking and make it look easy; maybe if we worked on it eight hours a day for ten years, it'd be "easy" for us, too.

I never read the book "Margins," but I heard the author on Dr. Dobson once, and took this away: book pages have margins, otherwise the words would run from the very top to the very bottom, and completely side to side. Imagine how tired you would be, reading a book this way. Margins give you a place to Rest Your Eyes. Breathing room, so to speak. If you only schedule 80 % of your day, there is room left over if the dentist appointment takes 45 minutes longer than you thought, without Freaking Out about it. I made a schedule using Managers of Their Homes once, but I had to put in lots of little stickies called Free Time. Some of the sample schedules had every minute attributed to some activity. Possibly they scheduled extra time built-in for these activities, but it still looked tiring to me.

So, I think we all agreed that the key to balancing life is to Simplify. When our children's lives are out of balance, they become over-tired, over-stimulated, and over-whelmed. Does that describe YOU? Do we just hide it better? Putting on a smiling face doesn't make it go away.

When we homeschool, we add another 20-30 hours a week to an already full-time job (homemaking), so we are already working from a situation where we have more to put in a day than there are hours for.

The Lord spoke to me one day when I was feeling torn between my kids' needs, the house, and my father, who lives in a nursing home. He said, "Please Me and please Charming." If I do, then everything is prioritized correctly. My husband trusts me with the children, and desires to honor my father. Those needs will still get done, but with the Attitude of pleasing God and my dear husband. (capitals here don't mean I'm angry, just for emphasis): YOU DON'T HAVE TO IMPRESS ANYBODY, AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO MEET ANYONE ELSE'S STANDARDS FOR YOU. And I include those Unrealistic Standards we put on ourselves, as well.

Think about that again.

And then get out your cross-stitch stuff, and make this to put on your wall: We Have Enough Time In Our Day To Accomplish Everything God Asks Us To Do.

How do we achieve this Balanced Life? You'll have to Tune In Tomorrow...

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