I’ve struggled with balance since forever.
(and also, I apparently have a thing for sitting on tables and countertops in heels)
Through most of my 20s and 30s, I was harried and overly busy, disorganized, and unfocused. Juggling my career, my home, my marriage, my ministries, and eventually my babies, left me feeling drained and inadequate. I desperately wanted balance, but balance felt impossible. I remember looking at other women at work, at Target, in their cars passing by me, and I assumed they all knew something I didn’t. I was convinced I was the only one who couldn’t figure it out. I thought everyone had everything together, but me.
This was the 90s, so I couldn’t Google “balance” for answers. For half that decade I had stirrup pants and a spiral perm (see photo), but no Internet. (These were desperate times.) Yet, I was determined to crack the code. If there was a tip, a system, a secret ingredient to life-balance, I would uncover it.
Two decades of searching, and I have learned a lot about what balance is and what balance is not. Turns out, there’s no secret ingredient, but there ARE healthy ways to approach life that lead to balance.
I want to share all the stuff I’ve learned. That’s why I’m here.
Balance is the peace you have when you know your priorities and you live them out through freedom in Christ.Sandy Cooper
10 Things About Me
1. I love Jesus, radically and unapologetically. Actually, if that’s all you knew about me, that would be enough. Jesus has breathed life into my stressed-out, overwhelmed, prideful soul. He’s transformed me (and continues to transform me) in ways too numerous to count. Everything I write and speak about begins and ends with Jesus. Apart from Him I can do nothing–and I mean that literally. If you are looking for life-hacks, quick tips, and self-help without Jesus, this is not the right place for you. In fact, I don’t believe real balance exists apart from Jesus.
2. I have been married to Jon for over 27 years. That is a long time by anyone’s standards and I couldn’t be more proud of us for making it this far. We have been through some hard stuff (see item #3 for starters). We’ve worked hard to get here. Our marriage has survived a multitude of tests, and so far we’ve passed them all. Yay us! Also, you should know that no one on this planet champions what I do in this space more than Jon. No matter what crazy idea I’ve thrown at him (start a blog, write some books, start a podcast), his reply has always been, “GO FOR IT!” He gives me complete freedom to run with this thing.
3. My oldest son, Noah, died suddenly and unexpectedly when he was 9 months old. No event in my life has shaped me more than the death of my son. Most of what I write and speak is a direct result of me wrestling with God over issues of His goodness and faithfulness in the aftermath of this tragedy.
Spoiler alert: God is good and faithful, even in the midst of tragedy.
4. I have a biological daughter born exactly nine months after the death of my son. Rebekah is the reason I got out of bed, fed myself, and breathed outdoor air after Noah died. What a gift. I’m so thankful for her. Also, she is basically my clone. Which is so fun for me, but not so much for her.
5. I have two adopted children: Elijah (domestic) and Elliana (international). I don’t know what I’d do without these two. They are proof to me that parental love has nothing to do with biology. I love adoption and love talking about adoption and would love for ALL OF YOU TO ADOPT! If you want to read more, I tell Elijah’s adoption story here and Elliana’s adoption story here and here.
6. I battled clinical depression most of my life, except I didn’t know it was depression until I nearly had a nervous breakdown—I just thought I was really crabby. I have been mostly depression-free since 2008–though, still sometimes crabby. I’m super intentional about managing my depression with a combo of natural supplements and lifestyle choices. I write and speak about that quite a bit around here, because I want you to be depression-free, too.
7. I am a recovering People Pleaser, a recovering Perfectionist, a Reformed Late Person, and the world’s worst Multi-Tasker.
8. I love to cook. Eating healthy food has been one of my most successful strategies for fighting depression and anxiety. I recently completed six months of culinary training and I now hold an accredited culinary certification called, “Plant-Based Professional.” It’s very fancy.
9. I love being home. And I also love the beach. And as of the summer of 2020, those two things are actually in the same general vicinity. It’s almost too good to be true.
10. I love lists. (And parenthetical phrases.)
My Official Bio: (written in 3rd person, as if someone else wrote it)
Sandy Cooper is a Bible study teacher, podcaster, writer, and self-proclaimed foodie. She helps frazzled women find peace.
She is the author of Is the Voice in My Head God or Just Me? and Finding Your Balance. She has been blogging since 2008 at thescooponbalance.com and podcasts weekly at The Balanced MomCast. She loves walking by the ocean and preparing delicious plant-based meals. She lives in Florida with her family, where she sometimes pretends she’s on a cooking show.