The Struggle for Balance

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The Struggle for Balance

After the holidays are over and I’m getting ready to set goals and resolutions for the new year, I always ask myself the same question: Why do we settle? Look at our hurried, frazzled lives. We rush from one thing to another, filling up our days in an attempt to find significance or trying to give our kids things or activities that we have been told will fill them and give them self-esteem, value and worth. Does it work? We tell ourselves no, but continue to buy into it because we don’t see another way. We refuse to choose the path rarely traveled, to say “no” to over commitment. I think we’re afraid, because we may cause our children to miss something, when in reality that’s the exact thing we are doing. We’re robbing them of a deep nourishing relationship with their family. Look at fast food. We all swing through for a quick bite. Whether a frequent stop or just an occasional filler, we’ve all tasted the burgers, fries or chicken from these establishments. But the meal you receive pales in comparison to sitting down at a nice restaurant where the food is made by a chef who carefully selects the meat and vegetables to be used on that days menu. One fills our belly for the moment, the other gives our body nutrients it needs to function at its best. Lately I’ve seen the most amazing thing happening at our house. I’ll be sitting in the living room when one of our kids will walk in and start talking. Before long the other will walk through and have a seat. My husband will join us at some point and before I know it we’ve been sitting in the living room talking about random things. From serious topics, to silly stuff, we look to find that we’ve been chatting for an hour or more and we should all probably get to bed. These are not orchestrated events, but something that happens because we’re all home, and available to one another. The thing with teenagers is that they talk when they’re ready. It is an unfortunate mistake to think that we can schedule time into our “calendar” to connect with our teenage children. They don’t open up on queue, but when they’re ready to open up and talk. If we are not creating an environment where that can happen, we are missing out on some sweet moments with our kids that we will never get back. So what is your family running on? A steady diet of over commitment and rushing that leaves everyone feeling malnourished and empty, or are you choosing your activities and your children’s activities in such a way that leaves everyone feeling satisfied and fulfilled. I have gone through seasons where I have been better at this than others. I know that when I take the time to sit down and look at everyone’s schedule before the week begins I am better able to gage how much more we can fit into that particular week. I am then able to make better decisions when those inevitable questions come up, “Mom can you, can I, can we…” you fill in the blank, because I know you have over a hundred million things to put into those blanks. Does that request drain you, your child or the family, leaving everyone feeling frustrated and running on empty? Then maybe, just maybe, that thing, even though it may be a good thing should wait or just not happen at all. I know, you’re shaking your head telling me sure, easier said than done. I know, really I get it. I have the same struggle for balance, but when I get it right, its sweet, and the atmosphere is so much more pleasant. The best thing of all is that we don’t have to “do it” on our own. We have the most amazing administrative assistant of all. God himself will help us with our schedule and demands and show us what is necessary and good and what to forgo for our own good. We just have to stop long enough to consult Him and allow him to lead us and impress on us His best for our schedule!    

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