Congratulations on sticking with me through the longest series in God Speaks Today history. Is there a blog law concerning maximum number of blog posts in a series before the series must become its own blog? If there is, I’m dangerously close.
Today I want to tie up any loose ends and bring my series-gone-wild to a nice, neat little ending, while rewarding you for your faithfulness. Read to the end to find out how.
First, in reading through the series from beginning to end (a task I failed to do before today), I realized way back here, when we discussed all-things-laundry, I promised to talk about kids and chores, but never did. So here I go:
Rules for Establishing Chores for Kids
1. Have your kids help with the chores early and often.
2. Use money, candy, or privileges as a reward when necessary.
3. Other times, simply remind them you brought them into this world and you can take them out if they don’t comply.
The end. You’re welcome.
Kids and chores notwithstanding, I pray this series has brought some real balance into your life. I pray you’ve picked up a few new tips and put down some old ones. I pray God spoke to you about areas of life you need to emphasize and others you must de-emphasize.
But more than anything, I pray you learned the real definition of balance: simply keeping God the center of all you do. A life lived fully and passionately for Christ will always be in perfect balance.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
Over the last several weeks, I’ve taken the opportunity to rebalance my life right along with you. To re-evaluate God’s will for me. To lay aside expectations of myself that tend to bind me rather than liberate me. To redefine concepts like “priority” and “success.” To identify what is temporal and what is eternal. I don’t know about you, but today, I feel more joyful and more peaceful than I did when we began. I’ve rediscovered freedom in Christ in a few specific areas. And I think I like it.
Freedom to rest: When I am off balance, not only do I think I don’t have time to rest, but when I do actually sit down, I’m consumed with guilt and anxiety. My mind drowns in the sea of unfinished tasks, unreturned phone calls, and unanswered e-mails. I worry how I will get everything done if I take the extra time to sleep when, instead, I could be checking something off my list.
But when I set out to please God and Him only, not only do I make rest a priority, but I fall asleep quickly and sleep peacefully. I don’t worry about fitting it all in, because I know God will never ask me to do more than I have time to do. I’ve learned over the years, if I do the most important things first—loving God and loving people—He has a way of multiplying my time or reprioritizing my day. Everything else fits into place or falls off my list.
Freedom to play: When I’m severely off balance, I feel like I have to squeeze in time for people between my all-important tasks. When I seek God first each day, He stirs in my heart a love for people and a desire to be with them, even at the expense of getting it all done. He shows me that inviting people into my home is not an inconvenience, but rather an opportunity to serve and be hospitable. He shows me that spending the day at the neighborhood pool is not indulgent, but rather an opportunity to build lasting memories with my children and connect with my neighbors. He shows me how taking a few hours to have lunch with good friends is not frivolous, but rather an opportunity to connect with other members of the body of Christ and build one another up in our faith.
Freedom to dream: When I’m busy, hurried and otherwise unbalanced, my thoughts are consumed with all the ways I’m failing at being Super Woman. A few moments of empty brain-time means a deluge of stress surrounding unfinished chores. I go for a walk, and I’m plotting and scheming ways to knock a few things off my list when I return. I sit at a baseball game, and I mentally plan my grocery list, my weekly menu and the quickest most efficient route off the ball fields.
But since the summer started and I decided to Bring Serenity Back, I’ve shocked myself with my crazy thoughts. Thoughts like, “Maybe in the fall I could reserve the neighborhood club house and start a weekly bible study for the 400 women who live here.” Or “I miss going down to the homeless shelter as a family. We should do that again.” Or “Elijah needs a little brother. We should adopt a boy who needs a home.” Or “Perhaps, instead of filing the ginormous pile of papers on my desk, I should drench it in lighter fluid and accidently drop a match on it.”
Dream Sandy Cooper, dream big.
Not that any of that is God’s will for me or that any of that will happen this year or in my lifetime, but I love that I can dream big things without freaking out, entirely. Proper balance in life allows room for the Creator of all things to be creative in me.
Isn’t it unbelievable how much richer, more meaningful and more fulfilling life is when we slow down and seek God? I’m wondering how living a balanced life has opened up areas of freedom for you.
Tell me about it. And if you do, I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a $25 Target gift card.
But wait, there’s MORE! If you direct your friends to this series either by way of Facebook or your own blog, I will enter you twice.
Direct them to the first post in the series by using the following link:
(be sure and let me know you did this in your comment)
And finally, a THIRD way to enter: I’m helping out my friend Julie this week by guest posting on her blog while she travels the world. Come over and say hello. If you leave a comment there, I will enter you for the gift card AGAIN!
It’s a good day, my well-balanced friends. I’ll announce winners on Monday.
To read the series Balancing God and Life from the beginning, Click Here.