To the Mom Desperately Searching for Balance in Her Out-of-Whack Life
I think it was just a little past midnight on that Sunday when I made my way down the hallway to get some sleep. I sighed as I thought of my weekend realizing it very well described what many would probably call an unbalanced life.
Driving to and cheering on both my boys in a total of 7 basketball games.
Attending and serving at 2 church services.
Celebrating a baby shower.
Filling my refrigerator back up by grocery shopping.
Laundry. Laundry. Laundry.
And last but not least, the final touches on my Monday blog post.
All positive and fun things! (Well, minus the grocery shopping and laundry anyway!) But, I was both physically and mentally exhausted.
You see, the search for life balance is something I’ve been battling for a long time. And I realized that night I’m tired of fighting it. I knew there had to be a better way.
How about you? Does your schedule make you feel as though you are living an out-of-whack life? Are you searching for the balance you just can’t seem to find?
…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. -Isaiah 40:31 ESV
[bctt tweet=”Does your schedule make you feel as though you are living an out-of-whack life? #hopeformoms #momentsofhope #linkup” username=”lori_schumaker”]
That’s when I finally accepted two things.
Achieving balance is not possible, but managing it is.
Managing my list of nonnegotiables is key to maintaining the physical, mental, and emotional health of my family and myself.
Let’s face it, we have a tendency to turn life balance into another area of over-striving, perfectionism, and control. I think we get more exhausted from fighting the unbalanced life than we sometimes do from the overloaded activity level!
What I had to do was face the truth, let go of the control, and focus on management. To do that, my nonnegotiables had to be firmly in place.
Achieving balance is not possible, but managing it is.[bctt tweet=”Achieving balance isn’t possible, but managing it is! #hopeformoms #MomentsofHope #linkup #series” username=”lori_schumaker”]
Because it is in an ongoing state of change, balance simply does not exist. As life changes moment to moment, that which sits on either end of our scales change with it. And that change necessitates our refocusing attention. As we put more focus on one thing or another, the scales inevitably tip one way or another.
All we can do is manage the changes to keep them from completely getting out of whack!
Managing a list of nonnegotiables.
Where do we, as a family, want to spend our time? What are those things of the utmost importance? The ones on which we refuse to waiver? And how will we manage those nonnegotiables with the shifting moments of life?[bctt tweet=”What is your list of nonnegotiables for your family? #hopeformoms #series #momentsofhope #linkup” username=”lori_schumaker”]
God must be at the top of that list. It is a nonnegotiable we cannot differ on as families if we want to leave an unbalanced life behind!
However, how we manage that nonnegotiable is where our families have some wiggle room.
In my current season, my children aren’t as engaged at church as I would like. So how do I manage that?
I mix our faith into the everyday moments.
Not lessons quietly gathered around the table but ones lived in the everyday. It’s praying in front of and with my children often. From repenting for my bad attitude as I drove one too many places to praising Him for green lights along the way. From the prayer before they head into their basketball games to the blessing I speak over them as they jump out and into the school day.
It’s in the heart-to-hearts about compassion for the child at school making their life difficult and the adult infringing upon mine. And it’s in the offering of grace to each other when we fall short of God’s intentions for us.
I ramp up the worship music and praise Him loudly even when my teenager looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. I show them that He is the center, the Rock, of my everyday. And because of His love for us, we love others with all we’ve got and we put to rest any bitterness that threatens to harden our hearts to others.
We read His Word and keep it alive in our hearts. And we make attending church a part of our lives – a joyful part.
I keep school in perspective.
School is a nonnegotiable, yet I’m careful to not allow it to become the sum of my child’svalue or worth. It’s a tool for later comfort and success, not who they are. It’s not my bragging right, nor my opportunity to live vicariously through my child. I remind myself not all children are meant for honors classes, but working to their highest potential and being their best selves is meant for each and everyone of them. If I lose these perspectives, school has a way of controlling far more of our lives than necessary.
I support their unique giftings and passions.
Finding our God-given purpose and having fun are two more nonnegotiables for us. We do that by supporting extracurricular activities. In our family, that is mostly basketball. Right now with two teens actively involved in the competitive side of the sport, it has the potential to tip the scales of life disproportionately. Yet we treat it as an extension of all our nonnegotiables. It’s where they can live out their faith, intelligence, drive, tenacity, courage, and compassion. When the scales tip too far or we notice behaviors not aligning with our first and most important nonnegotiable, we realign. If our children aren’t living out their lives on the court in the same way God would have them live them off the court, adjustments are made.
So, friends, if your life feels out of whack right now? I urge you to name your first nonnegotiable. Put Him at the top. Then keep your eyes steady on Him. You don’t have to fit it all in and you don’t have to maintain perfect balance. Some seasons will tip more than others. Have grace for yourself, let go of perfectionism, and embrace your beautifully unbalanced life ?
Hope for the Back-to-School Mom Series
Missed part of the Series? Get caught up HERE! Or by clicking on each image below!
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Featured #MomentsofHope Post
Mothering from a place of fear … I think I’d be safe to say each of us have been there at some point or another. It’s something we must intentionally monitor and surrender to Christ over and over again. (and then over again!)
As I was reading through the amazing posts linked up here at #MomentsofHope last week, my heart was drawn to the words of Hannah at Lovely Little Lives. Her honesty about mothering and fear struck a chord within me and I think it will do the same for many of you. Plus, she has some fabulous resources available, too! And with the heart of a hope-sharer, would you make sure to give her some #MomentsofHope love when you stop by her home? ?
#MomentsofHope Link-Up[bctt tweet=”Join us for the #MomentsofHope Link-Up! Share hope and be encouraged every Monday! #hope” username=”lori_schumaker”]
Each week I’ll be visiting as many posts as possible, sharing them to my Moments of Hope Group Board on Pinterest as well as my other social media platforms when applicable, and choosing one post each week to feature.
Thank you for joining me here each week to share the hope given to us through Christ. Whether your words come from a story that points to the full healing you have experienced in Christ, or its a story of the journey along the road to the healing you know He is working in you, it is giving hope to others. Your words matter and it honors me to have you share them here in this space!
What I ask of you:
- Share up to 2 blog post URLs resonating with the topic of HOPE. That which gives us hope for tomorrow and hope for victory. The little things and the big that inspire us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2.#MomentsofHope is a place to give and get hope, so let’s encourage others in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!
- Please either grab the #MomentsofHope button found here or link back to me. If you’ve been featured, grab your button here!
Finally, find me linking up with these encouraging places![inlinkz_linkup id=733141 mode=1]
It does seem to be nearly impossible to keep from sliding into that place of overwhelmed living. The piece of the puzzle that keeps getting lost for me is the self-care — walking in the outdoors, eating well, exercising to stay strong. God gave us both bodies and minds, but sometimes I forget . . .
It’s so true – we do need to be caring for ourselves as well. I’m praying that God shows you just how you can add that in this week! Thank you, Michele!
“Have grace for yourself, let go of perfectionism, and embrace your beautifully unbalanced life” I loved your post Lori. It’s very encouraging and applicable too. Thanks for sharing with us!
Thank you so much! I appreciate your encouragement today as well! Blessings!
Thank you Lori!
Hi Lori! I loved this post and message because I have come to realize the same thing. There ARE so many nonnegotiable s with having 4 kids. Today alone I set out to take them to school, take my 14-year-old to have surgery on the small joint of her finger that we didn’t know was broken for the last 3 months and she’s been playing goalie still with no complaints, and then try to get back in time to pick up my kids from school and get them to practices. Thankfully, I have my husband to tag-team with but I’m sad that I can’t be there when my daughter gets out of surgery. Thank you for your encouragement. Keep on keeping on Mama! Love you!
Oh, Valerie…I’m sorry that today has been so full. I hope your daughter is doing okay – how amazing to be able to keep on playing with a broken finger! I’m praying for you this evening, that God would give you an abundance of peace!
I miss those “back to school days!” The memories are precious (empty-nester here). This time of year always brings back so many wonderful memories – back to school shopping, back to school hair cuts, and the first day of school. This was such an exciting time for us as a family. Our non-negotiable was dinner…we always sat down for dinner. If there was a game or event, we planned dinner around the event. As our sons matured, dinner was still the constant. We enjoyed sitting around the table talking about our day. It was a great time for sharing and connection!
I love that, Robin! Quality time together – perfect! Thank you for sharing with us this week!
Busyness can really discourage a mom or dad in the hectic school years, Lori. I’m past all of that and feel so unburdened by the pressures that were once on my plate. However, nature hates a vacuum and all that has been left freed up is now tied down and at times overloaded. Thanks for reminding us that God is the non-negotiable in our lives. Only He can bring peace to our hearts when we are in the chaos of these overloaded years. Thanks for the linkup, my friend!
That’s a great point, Beth – that the empty spots in our lives will be filled by something. Great food for thought! Thank you for being here this week!
It can be so difficult to find the best use of our time each day. Some days I feel I do well; other days, I fail miserably. But thankfully we get a fresh start every morning, equipped with fresh mercies. There are many things we will never get around to doing each day, but God will always give us ample time to do the things that he deems most important. We just need discernment to know which are which. 🙂
Yes, Lisa – this is exactly how I feel! It sure makes it important to spend time with Him, doesn’t it? Thank you for these words!
Wow. I may not be a mother Lori, but I can relate to the feelings of overwhelm. It is a constant battle in my mind as I seek to live for Christ. Am I doing enough? Did I do this right? Did I hear God right,?, etc.. I love your nonnegotiable ideas. It sounds like your children are in quite capable hands that have been caressed by God. Have a wonderful week dear friend and may God continue to bless you and yours.
Thank you, Horace! Yes, it’s a fine line of sorting through whatever those non-negotiables are for each of us! Praying for you this week – thanks for being here!
Thank you so much for featuring my post Lori! I loved your post from today. It is impossible to find the perfect balance that we seek in this chaotic and busy world so prioritizing those non negotiables makes so much sense!
You’re very welcome! Yes, finding a way to sort through our priorities becomes essential! Glad to have you here!
Lori, such wisdom here! You brought out such a great perspective that we can’t really achieve balance, but we can manage it. I really need to think further on that. It’s something to focus on, and it encourages me! Thank you!
Thank you, Leslie. Yes, it’s a perspective I work to remember as well! Blessings, friend!
Great post, Lori! Realigning seems to be a constant in my family. We get into a routine and it changes again. Love the advice and tips!
Julie, yes, we struggle with the same thing here! 🙂 I have to keep focused on Jesus and trust His leading. Blessings, friend!
Oh how well I remember those days of a busy household full of my girls and their friends. What great times but so exhausting too. God bless the younger moms and show them what the next right thing is. Thank you Lori.
Amen, Patti. Yes, may the Lord show each of us the next right thing to do! Thank you!
So much wisdom here-and not just for Moms!
Thank you, Debbie! I love how God can take words intended in a certain manner, but apply them to various aspects of our lives! Blessings!
Lori, I am struggling with your post, well maybe just this statement – “Achieving balance is not possible, but managing it is.’ I have been bound and determined to find balance once and for all. In fact my next series is on “Rest” and “Being Still.” I am going to have to ponder your statement.
Just when I think I find balance something happens and it disappears. Well to be honest it probably means I added something new to my todo list. I have finally accepted I have a list that will never be complete.
Thank you for your post it is giving me a place to ponder some thoughts.
It’s a process, Maree, and I’m still a work in progress here, too! Praying for you, friend!
For me, this summer has been wonderful for just being able to live and joy in the moment. We have lived with a much more relaxed pace then we had all school year and I find myself sad that we will be starting our homeschool in the next 2 weeks. The thing is, though, I want to learn how to relax even in the midst of the busy moments-a hard thing for an HSP. One thing that I have embraced this summer is prayer and Bible reading first thing in the morning. I used to do this in the past but had let blogging slide into that spot. Now I’m spending a fair bit less time blogging but my heart is much more peaceful.
Hi Rosanna! What a blessing to hear of the difference that prayer and Bible reading have made in your life this summer! It’s wonderful what happens when we fill our heads and hearts with God’s truths! I’m praying for your back to school transition – that it’s smooth and easy. Thank you for being here! Blessings!
Learning a lot from you every time. I hope I get to remember when the time comes.
Hi Lux, Thank you so much for taking a moment to leave a comment. It’s wonderful how God’s grace extends to even the times when we realize we don’t have it all together. What a blessing His new mercies are each day. Praying for you! Thank you for being here!
I love the nonnegotiables. We are starting to have some of these. One of them is that my husband and I eat dinner together on the weeknights after the kids go to bed. This time is SO IMPORTANT for us. I cook grownup food and we sit and talk or sometimes just sit and eat and let our minds me still. It’s hard to find time to rest during a day filled with little people with so much energy and I know when they just a little bit older we will do dinner together and it will be a different kind of rest and re-set, but for now, I like my nights with my husband and the quiet.
Dinner together – what a lovely time to spend focused on each other, or just being quiet. It’s definitely important to have that time with our spouse no matter how little – or big – the others in our house might be. Praying for you as we head into a new school year, that the Lord will continue to make clear what His non-negotiables are in your life. Blessings!