When my daughter, Rebekah was a toddler, she was a picky eater. Which I realize now is the very definition of being a toddler. But back then, as a new mom, it completely freaked me out…I mean, it concerned me.
Every once in a blue moon, she’d eat three square meals and two healthy snacks. She’d clean her plate and ask for seconds on her veggies. Those were really good days.
But most days were a hodge-podge of eating confusion. In the morning she would devour her perfectly balanced breakfast, but at lunch, she wouldn’t touch her food.
Then she’d want a snack.
Then she’d only eat chicken for dinner.
Then she’d decide she no longer liked bananas for breakfast.
Then she’d decide she ONLY wanted bananas for breakfast, but no chicken for dinner, ever again.
Then she’d have one whole day where she’d only eat dry Cheerios and cubed cheese.
She was so inconsistent from meal to meal, I was certain she would perish from lack of proper nutrition.
Then I spoke to her very wise pediatrician, who first assured me Rebekah was growing and well-nourished. Then she recommended I look at her nutrition over an entire week, not over each individual day.
When I did that, I discovered that while Rebekah was, indeed, a picky eater, she was actually a very healthy—and yes, well-balanced
—eater. What I formerly saw as daily fluctuations and inconsistencies, evened themselves out completely over a week’s time.
I used to view balance in life the way I viewed Rebekah’s eating habits. On the days I carved out time for bible study, prayer, exercise, housework, chatting with friends, reading to the children, cooking from scratch and connecting with my husband, I was balanced. On the other 364 days of the year, I was a failure.
I now see balance as progress and growth over the course of time, rather than something to achieve perfectly each individual day. I see it more as fluid and dynamic, as opposed to structured and scheduled. I measure it more by levels of peace and joy instead of number of items crossed off the to-do list.
I realize now, some days God will call me to spend several hours studying the word and never answer my e-mails—and that will be a perfectly balanced day. Other days, God will call me to hold a feverish child and order pizza for dinner—and that, too, will be a perfectly balanced day.
Some days, I may sleep in late and leave my children with a sitter so I can shop with a friend—a balanced day. Other days, I may scrub the house from top to bottom with a preschooler in tow, while a home-cooked meal simmers in the crock pot—a balanced day.
Okay, um…so, I’ve never actually had a day where I slept in AND left my children with a sitter all day so I could shop with a friend. But doesn’t that sound like a very nicely balanced day? I thought so.
Balance is determined not by how many minutes of cardio I did on the elliptical or how many loads of laundry I washed, dried and folded; not by the number of chapters I read in the Bible or the servings of vegetables I served my children; not by how many blog posts I wrote or the number of people I talked to about the Lord….
Balance can only be determined by how accurately I heard and obeyed God’s voice today,
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Thanks for the reminder that it is a journey and that it is about relationship (hearing God's voice).
Let us know when you get that day of sleeping in, having a sitter and spending time with a friend. Hope it is SOON.
I'm having a massage tomorrow. I think having a massage every two years is completely OUT of balance, so I hereby purpose to correct that.
Do you think monthly massages is balanced enough? I could do more…
What a lightbulb post! I never thought of it that way before. Thank you!
this is a post I wrote on my blog at the beginning of the year….the whole 'balance' subject and what that looks like.I think I concluded that as long as we are working towards that calling the Lord has placed upon our life in obedience from day to day then that is balance. I beat myself up for quite a while thinking I wasn't 'measuring up', always looking at someone else, even my sis who just adopted out of Uganda. Satan would like me to think that what I was doing 'just wasn't good enough'. But I soon learned that He calls us to all kinds of different things in life and as long as we are doing that, we have balance. Thanks bloggie friend…..good insight once again.
Wise, wise words. And a good reminder.
P.S. I see that you're speaking on "Taken by Storm" – yahoo! Good for you! If you decide to assemble a cyber-prayer team to keep you covered before and during your talks, you can count me in.
Thanks Sandy for another great post on balance – and for the light bulbs going off! I guess I have viewed balance as not swinging too far left or right but being more centered, balanced. There is another level to balance as you are talking about. “Balance can only be determined by how accurately I heard and obeyed God’s voice today,” Wow! Truly if I am hearing God’s voice – and obeying – then no matter how my day is going, crazy or not, then I can be balanced. As Glenda said in her comment, it is relationship. It’s all really good!
Blessings to you and your family!
i'm crying now. only because you've reminded me of something i used to know.
this week would be a good time for that phone call that never happened…would you send me your number again, please?
i love you, dear sister xoxo
Thank you for the very important reminder.