At its core, the pursuit of balance represents a desire to flourish and live in wholeness. With the best of intentions, we strive to better ourselves and live life to the fullest. After all, we don't want to miss out on developing passions, enjoying a great marriage, having fun with our kids, traveling, being physically fit, savoring deep friendships, engaging in meaningful work, looking our best, and serving our community.
I feel organized and in control when I look at the categories of my life and make necessary adjustments. Unfortunately, balance often seems just out of reach, or at best, attainable only for subjective and brief periods of time.
More important than the problem of achieving sustainable balance is in the root desire. When I conjure up what it would mean for me to have more balance, I quickly find that the list is a reflection of my plans created independently of God and often grounded in selfish desires. It also gets me into a trap of striving for more when God commands me to "cease striving and know that I am God."
Since becoming a mother, the Lord has taught me what it means to die to my selfish desires. I have experienced freedom to live a simple life embracing how God made me for his particular purposes during this season. Leaving open space in my life, rather than filling it with activities that might make me feel more balanced, creates space to see what God has for me each day. I try to remain curious and open for him to speak into my life in both the big decisions and the seemingly small and insignificant ones. That means that, much of the time, my life may not look like it is in balance when I hold it up to my checklist of all the things I sometimes wish I were doing. But, he has shown me that if I am submitting to his will, it will be something even better - and nothing short of a sweet offering to the Lord.
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him...fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it...God brings the best out of you, and develops well-formed maturity in you." Romans 12:1-2 MSG
When I seek God's wisdom for my life, I am in the right place, even if I am not making it to yoga class on a regular basis. Living in God's will yields the beauty, truth and contentment that we desire when we seek balance.
And, the best part is that I can't fail at it the way I can fail at balance because God values faithfulness and does not judge me by my performance.
Motherhood is my mission field right now, and this requires focus and commitment. It may even involve sacrificing worldly views of balance. But the investments I make in my children right now are eternal, and cultivating intimacy with my husband is a sacred endeavor that will not happen without intentionality.
Since I have shifted my focus to seeking God's wisdom for my life over balance (the two are, of course, not mutually exclusive!) he has blessed me with clarity and contentment. He lays out a life of spiritual balance, of lavish grace and wellness. He tailors my sometimes lopsided daily life to the purposes he had in mind for me before I was even born. This leaves me full of wonder and gratitude.
(Message from Lissy: This guest post was written by my dear friend, Nadia. Her message resonates deeply with me, and I hope it does the same for you. I crave the clarity and contentment she describes. But, I realize that in my own pursuit of balance, I often selfishly put myself (and my desires) before God. Nadia's teaching brings me spiritually to my knees as I set my selfish desires aside and humbly seek God's wisdom in my life. Thank you Nadia for these words of wisdom, inspiration and truth!)