The word alone stresses me out.

The truth is I don’t think I know how to do it.  There are days that I think I come close to striking some balance in my life and then something disturbs my extremely scheduled plan and all hope of balance is shot.

I’ve heard extreme perspectives on the issue of balance.  There are plenty of self-help books available promising to help you “strike” this elusive thing called balance and then I have heard smart, influential people tell you that balance is never possible.

What do you think?  Do you/can you effectively balance your life?  If so, how?

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  • janowen December 1, 2008  

    I think we need to strive for long term balance. I don’t think it can be measured by how you spend one day – it’s the pattern that matters and adds up on you. I’ve seen both ends – I’ve battled burn out. On the other hand, as you say, I’ve seen people respond to this question with extreme measures that almost seem selfish to me. I don’t think we live for our own purposes as believers and I think to always say no, to set solid boundaries no matter the circumstances, etc can be to live just a little on the selfish side. For instance, if I determined that I was on a budget and would spend no money on eating out but then a friend in need requested lunch together to talk, what would honor God more – to eat lunch with someone who needs encouragement or to stick to my budget?

    With that said, I think the bigger issue might be that we live in a way that is emotionally, spiritually and physically healthy for us in our present situation. This is where I think we err. Simply doing less will not bring us closer to God’s purposes, but taking care of ourselves so that we can engage in the battle in a healthy manner with renewed vigor can. Being quiet and still before God gives us the opportunity to rest in Him and hear from Him.

    I want to live out of a “full” relationship with God and I want to be healthy so that I can do all God desires for me to do. I want to have a strong marriage, good friendships and a family that feels loved. To do this I must pay attention to how I spend my time. But I can’t ignore the rest of the world or what God has called me to do and ONLY focus on myself……

    Perhaps it is the balance of engagement/disengagement that is the issue here…….How do we take care of ourselves and our families yet not ignore the rest of the world?

  • Jenni Catron December 1, 2008  

    Great thoughts Jan! You should have written this post!!

  • brewster December 1, 2008  

    balance never happens on accident. It is an intentional decision. I would guess that good balance is developed through solid boundaries. You have to know what to quit, when to quit, and commit to quitting. Driven people never need to worry about adding more to their plate. Lazy people need to commit to starting, starting now, and committing to starting.

    now it is odd that I talk about this, because my wife, Jackie, will be the first to tell you I can easily fall way out of balance.

  • mandy December 1, 2008  

    balance is something that is an ongoing struggle for me. as soon as i think i have things somewhat balanced – the littlest thing can throw me off. for me, when i feel things are out of control it usually means i have stopped having my quiet time studying the word and praying to the God who knows my every thought, passions, hopes, dreams, fears and loves me still. when i come back to that discipline, God has an amazing way of helping me see priority. the trick is for me to ask Him EVERYDAY. 🙂
    thanks for the reminder since we are heading into a very busy time of year!!

  • tabitha December 1, 2008  

    I’ve been striving for balance for years. I still haven’t attained it. Once I find balance in one area, God shows me another area that needs help. I think finding balance is never ending.

  • Feng Shui Candace December 1, 2008  

    Balance in our life has many contributing factors. Look at how your home is set up and decorated, start there. If there isn’t a right amount of energy and balance in your home that is where your day starts from. This can impact your relationships, health, abundance, prosperity and overall attitude.

  • Melissa December 1, 2008  

    I’m stumped!

    I got nothing…….

  • Eve Annunziato December 1, 2008  

    Ah, one of my fav subjects – I could talk about this all day – but I won’t!! A few Years ago, I would have said, NO WAY – IMPOSSIBLE FEAT. But, that’s because I was out of whack. Now, I say, YES, ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE! And, with your gifts and immense abilities – you can do it!

    Life Balance is a daily decision!! And, it looks different for everyone. I find writing down my annual goals and aspirations help me achieve balance best. Sure, we all fall off the balance wagon, but structure, goal setting, boundaries, and prioritizing do help us just get up and hop back on…

    Not a perfect science but certainly achievable. We gain so much more joy, contentment, comfort, success and peace with balance!

  • Monica Hunt December 2, 2008  

    I definitely think balance takes boundaries. Someone above said it already…I find when I overcommit my husband and I to things, or overcommit myself- things can get way out of whack. I had to learn to tell people no when asked to do certain things. I believe balance can be achieved but I think it definitely takes work and it’ll be an ongoing kind of work 🙂

  • Charlie Neese December 2, 2008  

    Here’s the funny thing: Those that are balanced say, “Yes! Balance is possible. I’m living it!” Those that are imbalanced say, “No way! Balance cannot be achieved!” If there are people out there who do live balanced, happy, successful lives (and there are many), then, of course, balance is possible. Here’s the problem – in our society, balance is not normal. When many of our friends, neighbors and family are all talking about how stressed and out of balance their lives are, it’s hard to break away from the pack. You begin thinking to yourself, “Everyone lives this way!” That’s not true. You have to sit back, really think about where you are and why you’re imbalanced, decide on what kind of life you really desire, make a plan to get there and then, take action on that plan – every day. You won’t get there by doing the same thing as the day before. If YOU change first, then EVERYTHING will change for you. It takes, purpose, planning and action. It IS possible, it just takes work. But once you make it a lifestyle, you’ll love it…

  • Michelle December 2, 2008  

    I didn’t realize I was out of balance until my health started to decline. It was a big wake-up call for me, but I thank God that He had a better plan for my life. I slowly made some lifestyle changes that worked for me. It has been therapeutic for me to journal, so I am capturing my journey to getting well. I now know it is possible to live in a way that is healthy emotionally, spiritually and physically. I agree with the person earlier (Eve) that said “Life Balance is a daily decision!”. It is now my goal to help my family and friends get there.

    Nice blog, by the way. I’ll be back 🙂

  • rick December 14, 2008  

    personally, i hate the word balance.

    its using that very word that causes the stress you talk about above. i like the word “season” – this helps me because i have “seasons” where i’m busting my tail, working long hours, making things happen (similar to martha in lk 10)…then there are seasons where i am able to rest more, be involved in worship or teaching as a participant rather than a leader, and generally focus on spiritual disciplines (also similar to mary in lk 10)…bottom line: stop using the word balance and you remove much of the stress – just recognize which season you are in!