Let’s face it. I’m sure we can all agree there are certain tell-tale signs that show up when life falls out of balance. I can relate to many of these scenarios:
But instead of focusing on the negative, the remaining weeks of September we’re going to be discussing how to achieve the balanced life. After all, soon Fall will be in full swing making this a perfect time for a fresh start and new outlook. Coming up, I’ll be looking at balancing time and schedules as well as balancing lifestyles with diet and exercise. (UPDATE: Please read my post on October 10 of why the releasing of the next two posts have been delayed.)
But first, let’s look at three practical ways to make faith the foundation of a balanced life. The goal is to start looking up (to God) before setting out (on your day). And from personal experience, if you focus most of your effort here, I promise the rest will fall much easier into place.
1. Spend time every day disconnected with the world and connected with God.
Put your phone on silent (if you can). Find a peaceful place in your house or outside with no distraction, and spend the next five, ten, fifteen minutes or more praying, reading, and meditating on scripture. If you can do this at the start of the day, great! But if you're like me, you may just have to wait your kid's nap time or later. Either way works. The point is to really focus on the words you’re reading and listen to what God is telling you through is Word. (And if you are unfamiliar with Bible jargon, when I say “listen” what I mean is: What words “pop out” at you and speak directly to your heart and soul?).
Why spend time every day in God’s Word? Think of the last time you went an extended period of time without physical food. I’m guessing after awhile you started to feel weak, tired, and probably a little hangry. Likewise, if we neglect eating the spiritual food found in the Bible, we become weak, irritable, worrisome, and downright grumpy. But you don’t have to take it from me. As Jesus quoted in Matthew 4:4,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Daily spiritual food is the foundation for a balanced life.
Key for Success: If you’re like me, discipline is essential. The past two years I’ve been fortunate to attend a nondenominational Bible Study Fellowship in my area. Each week I’m given specific readings and daily questions to complete. This has really helped me to stay in the Word each week and really dig deep in the scripture passages. But I also think it’s a good idea to look into the bible studies your church offers. It’s not only a great way to study scripture but to really get to know the needs of fellow church members and the surrounding community.
2. Choose a focus for the day.
So you’ve been consistent in setting aside a certain time each day for reading the Bible. But, don’t let what you’ve learned become only head knowledge. Let it become “heart knowledge" as well. Let God’s Word really sink in and begin to transform your way of thinking as well as your actions. The simplest way I do this by setting a focus for the day.
Choose a scripture verse, a word, or phrase from your morning quiet time as your aim for the remaining day. If you can only find distraction-free time with God at night, use that time to choose a focus for the next day. Another option is to pick a theme focus for the week every Sunday. Just be sure to include reviewing and praying over your weekly focus as part of your morning routine each day.
By creating an intention and reflecting on it throughout the day, your thoughts, interactions with others, scheduled time, and downtime are now filled with purpose. And I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot better than the rollercoaster of emotions that some days bring from offhanded remarks, inner insecurities, large to-do lists, and stomach growlings. A daily focus can help balance both emotions and busy schedules.
Key for Success: Keep your focus verse, word, or phrase close by so you can glance at it whenever you need to throughout the day. Do this by placing a sticky note on the fridge or bathroom mirror, a reminder on your phone, or a note at the top of your daily planner.
Here’s some examples of a few personal focus statements from past weeks:
3. Seek the Helper’s guidance in prayer.
Let’s get one thing straight. Whether you truly believe it or not right now, your life isn’t going to fall into balance by mere willpower. You’re going to need some help. (I've tried the willpower thing on multiple occasions, and it didn't get me very far.) The wonderful thing is as Christians, we have God on our side. In the same way, this means we have the Holy Spirit with us every day to help us. Before Jesus Christ left earth (but He’ll be coming back!), he promised the coming of the Holy Spirit. He told his disciples in John 14:26,
“The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
God loved us so much that he gave us the Holy Spirit. It’s the Holy Spirit that helps us remember certain scripture when we need it. He’s the conscience and the inner prompting that tells us to speak up or back down in conversation. He’ll be the one to remind us of the day’s focus if it’s what God wants us to learn that day. The Holy Spirit is the one that reminds us to shut down social media and be present with family.
When we rely on the Holy Spirit, we no longer rely on our own fickle emotions and willpower to get things done. God and his work through the Holy Spirit will ultimately help you bring your life into balance.
Key for Success: So how can you get the Holy Spirit on your side? If you don’t already know God personally, you may want to consider receiving Christ by faith today. If you’ve already committed your life to Christ, then the Holy Spirit is already on your side (Romans 8:31). God is for us. All you have to do is pray. Simply pray. And pray some more. Ask God to use the Holy Spirit to change your thoughts, your heart, and your actions. Ask Him for wisdom. And, ask Him to help you find purpose, balance, and focus in this easily-distracted world.
Now it’s your turn! Can you relate to any of the "tell-tale signs of a life out of balance?" What do you do when your life feels unbalanced? Let me know in the comment section below and share on Facebook if you found this post helpful!
Note: All thoughts and beliefs on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer or professional organizations. I have not received formal training in biblical counselling or a degree in theology. The information from this blog post are from my own studying and applying of the Bible.
Hello, I'm Erin – a follower of Christ, wife, mama of two, and registered dietitian. Welcome to my blog where I write about intentional motherhood, intuitive eating, inspired discipleship, and whatever else I feel like!
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