I somewhat unintentionally took a sabbatical from this blog for entire month of August. Since my last post my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, both of our birthdays, we enjoyed a week-long family staycation, my husband juggled a tremendous amount of school work, our daughter started kindergarten!, my husband received a promotion at work that is about to lead to a drastic change in schedule (hello 3rd shift), and I’ve been running every single day for the past 100ish days.
It has been a fun and exciting month in our house, but also a little hectic as our daily routines seem to change on a daily basis, which means there isn’t a lot of routine at all and our beautiful small children act like animals on a regular basis because they thrive on routine and we have none. One day we’re on vacation, enjoying ourselves on the lake and the next day we’re waking up early and rushing off to school, then the next day we still wake up early and rush to school but daddy’s in charge and he does things differently, and the next day mommy’s in charge again and it’s picture day, so we have to add a million extra steps to the morning.
But this is life. Nothing crazy. Nothing dramatic or traumatic happening. Just the everyday ups and downs, twists and turns. I love our life right now. I could do without the meltdowns from the kids, but everything else is pretty good.
And yet still, I need to find some balance, even in the happy everyday stuff. Still I must push things to the back burner, shift and adjust, say “no” to certain commitments, and reconsider my priorities. This is how I make sure that I continue to truly love my life right now.
Balance in life isn’t static. We must constantly make adjustments. Life moves, we shift. The wind blows, we adjust our sails. We start to slip, we grab hold of our support system.
Balance isn’t about finding the magical formula for life that allows us to do all of the things and find success in all that we do. That’s not attainable. You can’t do everything, all at once. You can do a lot of amazing things in your life. You can accomplish everything that God has called you and created you to do. But not today. Not all this year.
Today, you only need to do what is required of you today, in this season. Everything else will find room in the days to come. But for now, in this moment, we must learn to identify what’s important, what’s valuable, what’s pressing, what is right for this season. And then, let all of the rest go. Maybe for today, maybe for a couple weeks, maybe for a few years.
What was important for me in August was time spent having fun with my family before my daughter started kindergarten (cue the tears). What was valuable to me in August was refreshment, rest, relaxation, soaking up the sun, and feeling the cool water. What was pressing to me this past month was making sure that I supported and loved my husband through some stressful days of homework deadlines and interviews. What was right for this season was to say “no” to several commitments that I’ve been saying “yes” to for the last couple of years.
Balance in life really is about the choices you make. Balance is about constantly considering your values and priorities before every single decision you make.
Will saying “yes” to this new commitment help or hinder my time and relationship with my family?
Am I still able to keep my time with God a priority if I adjust my schedule in this way?
If I participate in this activity will it fill my cup or deplete it?
What if we stopped worrying about what other people will think of our choices and only considered our values and priorities? What if we listened more to the still, small voice of God regarding our calendars instead of the loud, obnoxious voice of our culture screaming at us to do more?
The secret to having a good life is not more. It’s not filling ourselves and our lives with more experience, more opportunity, more success, more abundance, more fun, or even more service. The secret for life is knowing what truly matters and deciding to pursue only those things that matter, and then shifting and adjusting as our circumstances change.
The summer crazies are slowing down. My husband starts his new schedule today. And my kids are gradually getting used to the earlier morning routine required for kindergarten. We can settle, we’re adjusting. I can write again. A new season is beginning, and I think it’s going to be a pretty good Fall.