I remember back in my twenty's, when Marriage was young and Motherhood was new, I had some wonderful older and wiser women whisper into me the importance of learning the Art of Balance. Clearly, I needed it! I was in over my head, learning new roles and new responsibilities and in the midst of all of that, I was trying to find out who I really was, and learning Whose I really was.
When our girlie was little, it was a given that there would be days when my Honey would walk in the door only to relieve me from my day... not necessarily to join me in it. I needed a break... a nap... some help... I was run down and exhausted in all the best ways and there was Grace for that! Still - I had to stay connected, with him and with God... and remember to balance being a Mom with being a Wife... (with being a Sister and Friend and Daughter...) That season felt like it would never end, but seasons change and our little was not so little anymore and while she still needed my care and attention, it seemed we found ourselves a comfy routine, and by 5 o'clock - I wasn't so at the end of my rope anymore... We had time for Date Nights and weekends sleeping in. We reconnected and revived romance like it was all brand new... and we loved our growing girlie. What I didn't realize, and didn't see coming - is that now, in this season... I am still needing to define boundaries and remember priorities... I need to take care of (fill in the blank... the kids... my career... the house...) and still take care of my marriage. I need to remember and recapture that tricky balance of giving what is needed and gladly pouring out during the day... but reserving enough for my Honey and making sure he knows he is a priority too, when he returns from work! I thought by now, some 20+ years later, we would have fallen into a routine that would just take care of itself somehow! While there is an ebb and flow, and we do have seasons of grace when we are called to focus in on one thing or another... overall - big picture - we still need to stick to our priorities and keep our boundaries in place. Each season in life brings its' own challenges with it... I hate to tell you but it is still a balance act once they are grown... My girlie and I are unusually close, and we are shifting more and more into a friendship and while it is less daunting and usually less exhausting - it still requires intention and I am finding the boundaries do not just magically change! (...and I suspect that just about when I think I have it down, in-laws and grandbabies will enter the picture and rearrange everything once again!!) Here, in my opinion, is the key to the Art of Balancing Life: It is to set some boundaries, put your priorities in order, and then keep them there, even when you are juggling all that life throws at you! I know, right? It sounds so much easier than it is to actually DO... We put a high value on Relationships... specifically, on our family and on our marriage. We protect the time that it takes to pour into 'us' and keep us all healthy and thriving. We put Him first and our family second. We live life together... we play together and pray together... we serve together and learn together. We hang out and go out and stay in, all together... and oh how we laugh! We laugh together... every day. So for us, setting boundaries and putting priorities in order reflect this value system. We say yes to some things, and no to others... even when we would rather say the opposite. But we do it because we have learned that the Art of Balance for the other parts of our lives begins with finding joy and peace and love - balanced out, right here at home. Still, even though we know this, we have to learn and relearn this because this world throws all kinds of chaos and beautiful messy at us... but the Art of Balancing Life is well worth pursuing... no matter how many times we need a refresher course! So let me encourage you to seek Him in this. For each family - the art of balancing will look a little differently! It will depend on what you are called to do, and what your family highly values... pray, ask His guidance in setting boundaries and priorities that will honor the plans He has for your family. Discuss it with them, and then set out to learn how to fill up at home, together and individually... so that you can pour out, wherever you go! No matter how you create a Balanced Life for you... it will require a lot of Love... and a lot of Grace! And it helps if you remember to:
So - how do you find Balance in your life and does it feel like Art to you? What do you find works for you and your family? ~Karrilee~