Have you thought much on balance? You probably have. If not with that particular word, you have probably been wondering how to be more intentional with your time, how to set priorities, and so on. I really haven’t been an adult long enough to feel like I know when phases come in and out, but it seems like these ideas are old ones with new wordings. But everyone’s talking about it.
I have really been putting a lot of prayer and thought into being intentional with my time lately. Every sermon, every verse, every breath of His Spirit seems to be pointing right to my schedule and planner. How do I make the most of it? How do I figure out what should go where and what should fall away?
Even yesterday, I felt really productive in how I handled the day’s schedule, but even in the midst of the productivity, I found myself sitting at our pub table island asking God how I can do it well and remain in His love. As soon as I lifted my eyes back up, I was struck by this verse I had posted on the side of the pantry
Wholeheartedly. yes. it was exactly what my heart needed to hear to keep going. Then, this morning, I started thinking on it all in relation to balance. As homeschoolers, we deal with balance a lot simply because I have kiddos that are very, very fascinated by our scale. They love to pile things on each side to see the differences. Only 1 of these equals 10 of those in weight?!
The definition of balance is “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” Upright. Steady. The odd part about balancing is that most people seem to confuse the word definition with another. When we say “balance,” what we really mean is “juggle.” When a woman asks how to “balance it all,” she really does mean all of it.
I waited tables for years.In one of those years, I worked in a pub that served pizzas…on those tall silver pedestals…that were shined nightly. The place was too crowded for those big food trays, so you had to carry three plates of food, or two pizzas with each trip. I dropped more pizzas than I care to admit. Balancing them was hard! Especially the large pizzas because they sat on top of the shined and slippery pedestal and didn’t fit in it like the mediums. So, I could only carry one or two. If a table ordered more, then someone had to help or I had multiple trips.
Not once did I think, “I wonder if I could just hold them all…or juggle them around until I get up the steps, down the hall, and up the other stairs to the table?” I couldn’t. I knew it.
So why do I think my life and priorities are different? I want to do it all. But, when you balance something, you’re holding it, either in your hands or close to your body. When you’re juggling, you take a risk because your hand comes off. That’s where we have the most issues. We don’t want to take our hands off. We want it close to us. But, we can’t have it all up close to our heart or safe in our hands. There isn’t enough room. So, we keep juggling, until eventually…everything falls in a mess around us while we sit dumbfounded trying to decide what just happened.
Then, we dust ourselves off, stand up, and try harder next time.
Maybe the trouble isn’t in our effort, but in our definitions. And maybe the trouble is in our scales. Because, even my children know that if I were to put a whole apple on one side of our scale, it will require many more grapes to balance out..to stand upright…to be steady. Maybe, the reason we aren’t steady is because we are too busy looking at the other scales. “her scale has 16 grapes on it and level! why is mine still leaning?”
Each one of us has a different life. Working mom, stay at home mom, homeschooler, single, wife, grown kids, preschoolers…no one is the same. Even those of us with similar categories have jobs, bosses, husbands, children, and lives with unique personalities and a rhythm of their own. Everyone’s other side of the scale is different. What will balance on yours will not balance on mine. And what will balance on mine today, may not tomorrow. It’s a song and dance, this life. It’s always changing and switching the scale on me. I can panic and hunker down, fist holding tight to my life and expectations, then watch it all fall in a heap around my feet…or I can learn a new dance step. Add a twirl where there was once a dip, and a quick step where there was once a basic box step.
What about you? Do you find yourself balancing? Or juggling. Hunkering down in preparation for chaos, or swaying to the tune of a new harmony?