A Healthy Balance in an Unbalanced World

In a world that is constantly clamoring for our attention and time, we can take a step back and ask one simple question: Is this my will, or Yours, God?

I flipped the calendar page to a new month, the dates already consumed with black ink. After-school activities. Meetings. Doctor appointments. Sports practice times for the kids. Church. Social events. Birthday celebrations with family. As I squeezed yet another event into a daily box, I realized I was holding my breath. Could I make my words fit in this crowded space? Or would this latest commitment break through the lines, popping the bubble of my perceived ability to do it all? 

As more and more thoughts began to flood my mind, God reminded me of Matthew 7:7, “‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you’” (NIV). At that moment, I realized that I had been walking through every door in my path, regardless of whether I had knocked on a closed door first. I had assumed that if an invitation was provided, then I was obliged to say, “Yes!” even before I asked God if it aligned with His purpose for my life. In my quest to be the ideal teacher, the perfect mom, and the noble neighbor, I had stretched myself too thin and was now fraying at the ends. 

I needed to pause and take a deep breath.

It took some time, but after a lot of prayer and consideration, I was able to find a healthy balance by asking one simple question: Is this my will, or yours, God? 

Perhaps you have found yourself in this same predicament, bewildered and overwhelmed by all the tasks and commitments that lie ahead. If so, consider implementing the following changes that I found helpful along my journey to achieving a healthy balance in an unbalanced world:

  1. Start your morning with prayer. Rather than reaching for your phone as soon as your feet hit the floor, take a few moments of early-morning quiet time to talk with God first. Ask Him to guide your path for the day. Thank Him for the blessings He has provided you. Seek His wisdom for any concerns you have and ask for strength to sustain you throughout the day. Morning prayer time is a great way to jumpstart your day!
  2. Keep a daily calendar. Instead of always viewing a monthly calendar, which can be overwhelming, consider keeping a calendar with a daily or weekly view. This will allow you to see greater pockets of available time to offset the times you are busy. Add to your schedule important tasks like eating lunch and nightly family time so you don’t accidentally overbook the things that matter most.
  3. Prioritize commitments. Some times will be busier by nature; however, if you find there is never an end to a hectic season, it might be time to assess the value of the events and commitments in your life. Try using colored highlighters or digital categories to get a more accurate view of where you spend your time. If you notice more time being spent in a specific area (e.g. sports practice), ask yourself if it’s a benefit or a burden. Remember to occasionally reassess your commitments to keep your balance point stable.
  4. Assess your screen time. Daily connections with others and the outside world are imperative to maintaining a healthy balance in a constantly increasing digital world. Take note of how much time you spend looking at a digital screen. If most of your daily commitments are virtual connections, you may need to intentionally schedule a time to take a walk outside or engage in non-digital activities. 
  5. Reconnect with your passions. God created you with specific passions for a purpose. Whether you are taking nature hikes in the early dawn or curling up in your favorite chair with a good book, carving out time for things that bring you joy is important. Placing passions higher on your “to-do” list helps to balance the “must-do’s” with “need-to-do’s.” Dedicate time on your calendar to your passions! 
  6. Create boundaries where needed. Although it is tempting to say “Yes!” to every invitation offered, remember that offering a polite “No” can provide space for a “Yes” to something greater that God has planned for your life. Before committing to another event on the calendar, seek God’s wisdom in prayer and listen for His guidance to lead your heart in the right direction. Learn to be okay with saying, “No thank you, not at this time,” to preserve your mental well-being.
  7. Give yourself grace. Most educators find it easy to offer grace to others. But, are you offering yourself similar grace? It is perfectly normal to have up days and down days. If you find yourself on a downward slope, give yourself permission to rest and recalibrate. Listen to your favorite music. Create a gratitude journal, listing three things each day you appreciate. Set a small daily or weekly goal to achieve; then reward yourself with something that brings you joy when you achieve that goal. Remind yourself that you are wonderfully made and precious in His sight!

At first, altering my schedule felt like an insurmountable challenge. But, I found that making these small adjustments over time helped me find and maintain the healthy balance I needed to fulfill my roles as a teacher, mom, neighbor, and friend. And the best part—my new-found balance allows me to serve the Lord filled with His joy! 

I used to hold my breath and feel overwhelmed by all the tasks and commitments that filled my calendar. But now, when I flip my calendar page to a new month, I take a deep breath and feel overwhelmed with peace knowing that I am following God’s plan and purpose for my days. 

Tamara Letter is an educator, mom of three, and author of A Passion for Kindness: Making the World a Better Place to Lead, Love, and Learn.


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