Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stop Thinking You Have to Balance it All

As a Mom, we are always hearing talk about "balance"- how can we balance it all? Husbands, kids, friends, ministry, physical and mental health, relationship with God, etc...THEN- we add on WORK and we REALLY feel like we are in need of some kind of magical answer for how we are to balance our lives.

People write articles upon articles about this topic and I have come to the conclusion that it really is not about balancing all of these things- we are not jugglers and we cannot keep a million balls up in the air without dropping some. In fact-multitasking is stressful and not healthy for us- it is true-

There’s a term for this rapid shifting between one task to another, and it’s called switchtasking, according to management expert Dave Crenshaw, on his website davecrenshaw.com. And there’s a high cost to switchtasking over time: “You have deeply engrained habits that cause stress and anxiety and dropped responsibilities and a myriad of productivity & focus problems,” states Crenshaw. “It’s little wonder so many people complain of increasingly short attention spans!”

There was a time when I was experiencing severe anxiety and depression. I wasn't sleeping well and I could not focus on anything. I had a mentor who broke it down for me pretty simply and I have kept this with me for a very long time-she said to me- "Liz, you need to think, speak and act based upon what you know is true."

I definitely don't have a straight forward answer for you on how to balance it all-certainly there are times when you have to cut things out of your life, you have to reevaluate your responsibilities, making sure your priorities are lined up with how you spend your time- you have to ask for help-you have to "say NO".

But to actually balance things- I really don't think you can- but I DO think you can BE a BALANCED person in the midst of all that is in your life by how you think, speak and act.

The Bible has the answers for it all-Christian Working Mama's-think about these things:
What are your expectations for yourself, your work and your family based on?  The world? the workforce? the media? or the Word of God?       
John 8:32 ESV     
"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

What are you thinking about?
Philippians 4:8 ESV    
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

What are you seeking? more income? to please everyone around you? to stay "safe" and away from risk? to stay comfortable?
Matthew 6:33-34 ESV         
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

How are you treating yourself? Are you truly taking care of yourself? Are you resting? Are you eating? Are you allowing yourself some downtime?
Mark 6:31 ESV         
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

How do you start your day?
Mark 1:35 ESV          
"And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed."

Lastly- look at these four areas of your life and identify where you are lacking- THEN- make a simple action step for how your will address these issues- YOU CAN DO IT!

Physical: Proper Rest, Nutrition, Activity (Work, Exercise and Recreation)
Psychological: Mental (Truthful), Emotional (Loving)
Relational: Family (spouse, children), Friends (including church), and Co-Workers.
Spiritual: Trusting and obeying God, knowing Christ and making Him known.

 I love you ladies and am praying for you not to find balance but to BE BALANCED in how you think, speak and act!!!


Aimee said...

This is amazing! Love it.

Elizabeth Jones said...

Thank you Aimee! I have been thinking about this for the past two weeks. I read a blog post once that indicated something to the effect that it is really NOT possible to balance it all and ever since then that has been on my mind. It kind of takes the pressure off, right? :)

Lisa said...

Love this post! I was a working mama, currently out of work/trying to figure out how to make enough money from home, probably going to be going back to work when the right opportunity opens up. And I can so relate to this. So. Very. Much. I used to really beat myself up (and this was before kids!) that I couldn't keep house like my mother had. My then-husband pointed out that she was home with me, a full-time wife and mother, and look how hard she worked to do what she did - I couldn't expect to be able to do what she did and work full-time outside the home, too. And yes, that does take a lot of pressure off, to realize you don't have to be the perfect wife, mother, worker, anything. God is good, and His grace is amazing.

Elizabeth Jones said...

Lisa- thank you for commenting! We beat ourselves up way too much don't we? I used to think about the Proverbs 31 Woman and compare myself with her and then I remembered- that lady had SERVANTS! ha! No servants here- and yes it is totally okay to not keep house like your Mom when you consider the fact that you work outside the home- but we definitely compare ourselves to other women, don't we? Glad the post encouraged you and reminded you that our perfect God is all we need, no perfection required here- just grace and some intentional living! God Bless!