Balancing Your Life
So you've decided to go for the gold. Great! The next step is to make the most effective use of your training. But how can you if you're living an unbalanced life? As a homeschool mom, balancing your life poses a unique set of challenges, since so many people and activities require your attention.
Whether or not you feel your life is unbalanced, Christians should take time to evaluate their lives. One way is by asking yourself key questions that reveal where your priorities lie. Such as who are your closest friends? Or what activities do you participate in? Making a physical list of these things will help you to see in which areas of life you invest the most time. The list can take different forms. Try categorizing it by days of the week, hours of the day, or even different relationships you have. However you decide to do this, be sure to include where, why, how, and with whom you have spent your time. If pressed for time (what mom isn't!) at least include the why and the with whom.
Everything you do should be motivated by one thing: God's glory (1 Corinthians 10:31); and those with whom you spend the most time have the greatest influence on your training. Take a moment to think this through. Are you surrounded by a support team that stretches and challenges you to train for the gold on a higher level? Or are you still walking through life on the balance beam that's only a foot off the ground? Maybe you feel that no one is going through the same struggles as you. Consider being an encouragement to another woman in your neighborhood, church, or homeschool group.
Once you've finished your list, take a look at it. How does your life look—balanced or unbalanced? Does your list include activities or relationships that steal time and energy away from more profitable things, like spending personal quiet time with your Savior? Even the Apostle Paul acknowledged that all good things are not expedient (1 Corinthians 10:23). Only by following your Trainer closely will you be able to discern between the good and the best ways to spend your time.
How can you keep things in perspective? Create a schedule that allows you to effectively minister, strengthen relationships, rest (this is a must), and grow in the Lord. Without a schedule in place, you can easily lose your focus on the gold, and you will have no plan to get back on track when your life does get off balance. But there are some things to keep in mind when scheduling your days of training.
- Be flexible: Do you get discouraged when the school day takes longer than expected? Remember that each moment is an opportunity to train the ones God has gifted you with—they look up to you more than you realize (Proverbs 22:6).
- Be calm: Do you find yourself frustrated with circumstances or certain people (who are also created in God's image)? Trust that God has a perfect plan (Psalm 46:10).
- Be grace-full: Do you spend your days in a flurry of activity? Make time for the Lord first. Allow His grace to fill every part of you so that through your words and actions others may experience it too (Colossians 4:6).
- Be alert: Do your grumblings turn into bitterness when dinner is on the table and friends drop by unexpectedly? Immediately ask God to forgive your wrong attitude. Prepare your heart to always be hospitable (1 Peter 4:9-11).
In the days to come, you may want to make adjustments so that your training is more effective. It's good to remind yourself of your progress—so keep a record! Remember to focus on one step at a time. And when you fall, because everyone does at some point, get back up ready to start where you left off (Proverbs 24:16). God is able to stabilize your steps on the balance beam of life. Are you letting Him?