This probably is not the best way to kick off this series, but I’m seriously struggling with this post. See, I want you to like me. Not in an “Oh, Sandy—she’s-such-a-nice-girl” kind of way. But in a “Wow! Sandy’s-so-culturally-relevant!” kind of way. I want you to think my blog is cool. I want you to think I am cool.
(And the very use of the word “cool” is evidence of my uncoolness.)
In this, the first week of our Better Balance in 2013 series (BBI 2013), I don’t want to scare you away. I fear I’ll appear too religious. I don’t want you to think I’m like a church mouse or a big-haired, loud-mouthed preacher on *name your favorite Christian cable network.* I don’t want to come across closed-minded or out of touch with reality.
I don’t want to alienate the un-churched or the formerly churched or the occasionally churched.
After all, you came here for a series on Better Balance, not for me to preach at you.
But here’s the thing.
I don’t know how to do balance without Jesus. Maybe it’s possible. I mean, I know some naturally kind and generous people, living fulfilling and meaningful lives, who (as far as I can tell) don’t cling to Jesus the way I do. Yet they appear to be well-balanced.
I honestly don’t know how that works.
So, if I truly want to approach the subject of balance, if I truly want to LEAD you to Better Balance in 2013, then I can’t do that and also worry that you’ll think I’m simple-minded or overly-zealous. I can’t worry that you’ll stop reading and unsub-freaking-scribe.
Truth is, I’m a complete nutcase without Jesus. Most days, I wake up with neither a perfect plan nor the natural energy to implement it. Balance doesn’t come easy for me.
Instead, I wake up with a terribly flawed perspective. I am typically overwhelmed with the responsibilities that lie ahead, and I am also quite possibly beating myself up for something stupid I said the day before. Left to my own devices, I’m even kind of mean and impatient.
(And those naturally kind and well-balanced people? In the morning, I despise them. Every last one of them.)
So, I’ve learned to rise early each day before my family. Before my flawed thinking turns into flawed words flowing into the ears and hearts of my children, my husband or you. Before a single rotten, mean, impatient word comes out of my mouth, I brew a pot of coffee (not required, but helpful) and I open God’s holy word—and I cling to Jesus.
And I meditate (wait, that’s culturally relevant, right?).
And I sit quietly.
And I listen.
Then I keep a journal and a pen handy, because almost daily, I dump all my nutcase/flawed/unspoken thoughts out into a long, unedited letter to Jesus that usually includes the words, “Please help me, Lord. Thank you.”
Sometimes a scripture jumps out at me. Sometimes a word pops into my head. Sometimes God will remind me of something He helped me with previously. Sometimes He prompts me to apologize or offer some extra encouragement to someone I love.
Sometimes, I don’t feel anything special, except maybe a little more centered, knowing I consumed my daily bread. Knowing God read my thoughts. And my letter.
He is there.
He sees me.
Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.
This is how I commit my days to Him. This guarantees success for me. This is the foundation from which everything balanced flows from my life. Sure, there are practical tips and strategies to help me achieve and maintain balance (and we will talk about many over the next several months), but when it all comes down to it, if I commit my day to Him, following what He wants me to do today, then I’m perfectly balanced today.
It may not be the most culturally-relevant thing to say or believe, but everything I know about balance begins here.
Week One Focus:
Each week I’m going to ask you to focus on a certain aspect of balance and consider how it fits into your life. Some weeks will apply to you more than others. This week, though? This one should apply to everyone:
Look at your relationship with God. Where are you? Do you talk to God? Do you read His word? Do you listen for His voice? Do you ever ask Him what He wants you to do—I mean really ask Him. About everything. Not just the big things, but do you hold up your to-do list or your daily planner or your I-pad organizational app of choice (literally, hold it up!) and ask, “God, are you good with this?”
This is the first of a weekly series I am doing the entire year. Don’t miss a single week by subscribing now. It’s easy–just look for the little blue box in the upper right corner of the blog and enter your e-mail address. Updated posts will magically and quietly appear in your inbox. I won’t use your e-mail address for anything else. And you can unsub-freaking-scribe any time you want.