I recently took a class from an author/blogger/speaker that I absolutely admire-Hannah Brencher. It was the first class in her “Craving” series and as soon as I saw the first topic was balance, I knew it was exactly what I needed during this season of my life.
In December, I left my full-time job and accepted a new role with significantly less responsibility but also less hours. I work three days a week now in the office, and work from home two other days. This has been the absolute best thing for our family, but it surprised me when a few months into it, I still found myself feeling stressed, chaotic, and disorganized. I must have thought that working less hours per week would allow me enough time to do ALL the things. You know, like keep a clean, organized home, work out regularly, spend time with my husband and baby, sew, write, read, spend time with friends, serve at church, rest and so on. I want to do all of these things but still find myself racing around trying to do it all and at the end of the day, my to-do list still has items left unchecked.
I read an article once I’ll never forget-it basically said that the magical cure to “doing it all” is to-get this-not do it all. I mean that maybe is over simplifying things, but no one can do everything. You have to pick and choose what’s most important to you, what is going to allow you to live the life you desire. Back to the Craving: Balance class I took, Hannah recommended that the very first thing we do is to write out what a balanced life looks like to us. To list the things we want to focus our time, energy, and attention on.
Here is what a balanced life looks like for me:
A regular routine of doing exercise I love consistently. For me, this is running. There’s nothing I love more than running so I want to make sure I fit this in at least three times a week.
Have an organized, calm, peaceful home. I want to continue simplifying and organizing my home so it’s a place of rest and peace for our family and our guests that we host. Gretchen Rubin says it best when she always says “Outer order creates inner calm.” Amen, amen.
Spend time in prayer and in the word so I can discern the Lords voice in my life.
Having weekly intentional time spent one on one with my husband.
Be present with my baby. Spending time playing with him, reading to him, taking him on walks and doing activities that will allow him to cultivate his playful & curious self.
Be a friend that shows up for people-who celebrates the wins and offers a hug and a pint of ice-cream on the stormy days.
To choose adventure of laziness. To choose filling my stolen moments of free time with books and encouraging podcasts versus mindlessly scrolling on social media. To cultivate hobbies I enjoy that allow me to be creative. Basically, to limit my social media use to have more time that bring me true joy instead of feeling discouraged, anxious, or envious when I see the highlight reel of other people’s lives.
To encourage & celebrate more then I complain.
To be generous with my time & money-to hear and obey the Holy Spirits prompting to bless others when the opportunity arrises.
These are the things I want to say yes to. These are the things I want to fight for. Many of these take discipline, these things mean choosing what is best over what is easy. This list doesn’t summarize what my life looks like right now, and maybe that’s why I feel so frazzled, so stressed, and so messy lately. Trying to do it all with no rhyme or reason. Over the next few months, I am going to spend time focusing on saying yes to these things that help me create a more balanced life and giving myself the permission to say no things that just don’t help me and my family achieve this life. One thing I know is a mama who feels like her life is balanced probably doesn’t feel like she’s running on empty seven days a week. A mama who feels like her life is balanced is likely a much better wife, mama and friend, and I think that’s worth fighting for. Over the next few weeks I hope to share how I am implementing each one of these things I listed.
What does a balanced life look like for you?