Here in my hometown the circus comes around every January and puts on the greatest show on earth. Everything from contortionists to clowns to wild animal acts to magic shows. But the ones that capture my attention more than anything else are those that require balance. The trapeze, high wire, plate spinning and juggling acts were mesmerizing. How could they possibly sit on a chair perched on a rope while balancing a canoe on their feet and spinning a plethora of plates with their hands? It’s like they’re all over the place.
But watching these acts often remind me of the way we live our lives. All over the place. We each have a starring role in our own balancing act. We aren’t spinning plates, but we are spinning jobs, sleepless nights with newborns, family time, cooking, cleaning, organizing family events, playing taxi driver, kissing booboos, nurturing hurting hearts, homework or homeschool, caring for sick children or ill and aging parents, church activities and ministries. Not to mention the occasional trip to the emergency room.
Does any of that sound familiar? Does too much of that sound familiar? Really, it’s more than a girl can take! Perhaps that’s the idea…or maybe we need to down size our to-do list…or maybe we just need to say “no” every once in a while. One thing is for sure-if we’re going to be the leading ladies we were created to be, we need to find balance. So let’ look at our options.
1. Learn to say “no” – It’s definitely easier said than done. We love to help others. There are so many needs and we want to fix everything. We can’t be effective when we spread ourselves so thin it weakens our resolve and lessons our attention. When we say “yes” to everything, we don’t give anyone else the opportunity to grow. Even if it means something remains undone. As hard as it is, we need to learn to prayerfully say “no.” Remember, not every need is yours to meet, not every open door is yours to walk through. Sometimes we have to just say no!
2. Down size our to-do list– Let’s just say this up front…this is not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of emotional ties linked with our beloved to-do lists. Especially if we’re boarder-line control freaks. But let’s look at the three ways we can do what we need to do in order to do what we need to do.
A. Eliminate – There comes a time when we need to cut the fluff. That means filtering out the essential from the nonessential. What do we do that takes time away from what we need to be doing? What are some things that if left undone would not really be a big deal? An example for me would be surfing the web. Now if I was interested in surfing waves, my husband would be a happy camper, but since it’s nonproductive time on the computer, I can eliminate it for the purpose of accomplishing something that matters. One less plate to spin may just free up some time.
B.Coordinate – When I function from a calendar I don’t miss birthdays, appointments or meetings. When I function from my memory I either find myself scrambling to do what I should have already done or forgetting an important event entirely. Maybe you don’t struggle with organization, but at least twice a year, I get back to the basics and analyze, reprioritize and organize my life. It’s helps me see where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going. We can’t be the leading ladies we were created to be if we don’t even know when our next appointment is. When we are organized we have more time to do what needs to be done.
C. Delegate – When I was growing up I loved watching “Wonder Woman.” Linda Carter was beautiful, strong and able to do just about anything. But real life isn’t like that. We can’t do everything. We aren’t Wonder Woman. We need others to help us accomplish what needs to be done. We may need to carpool with a friend, ask our husbands for help, get a friend to help the kids with their homework, get Grandma to pick them up from school, teach the children how to clean the house by requiring daily chores, ask others in your ministry to help accomplish specific tasks…especially the ones you’re not good at. Give others a chance to help and in turn, they will grow. You can’t do everything but when you delegate, everything can get done.
3. Place Your Load on the Savior’s Shoulders – Perhaps the load you’re carrying is more than you can take. When our plates are overflowing…when we feel like we’re out of balance or like we’re going out of our minds, Jesus calls us to cast our cares on Him. He beckons us to allow Him to bear the burden of our heavy load in exchange for His light one. Life isn’t easy. It often feels like we’re living life in a three ring circus. But this I know…He has promised He will never leave us or forsake us, He has engraved us on the palm of His hand, He knows the number of hairs on our heads, we are the apple of His eye, we are His beloved bride. So when we feel like our lives are spinning out of control, we can run to the One who created us for His pleasure and His glory. Basking in His presence, seeking His will. There that we will find the wisdom we need to effectively balance the dailies of this life. There we will find rest for our weary souls.
Remember…Jesus came to give us an abundant life, not one that looks like a three ring circus.
Do you feel like the lady in the picture – holding your family life up with one hand, your ministry with the other, and your home and your job with your feet? What are some things you can do to better to balance your life? What could you add to this post?