A Lamp full: Balance

  • Just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.
Dallin H. Oaks

I once played 700 games of solitaire on my Ipod touch in a few weeks. (Granted one of those days I was in labor and it was too keep my mind off all of that.) I once watched the entire season of Jag (10 seasons) in 3 months. I have watched very little television since. I was addicted to Pinterest for a month. Every time I walked past the computer I had to see if any of my friends had pinned something new.  Pinterest holds no interest for me now. I used to be an avid couponer and would check each coupon site multiple times a day to look for new deals and freebies. I haven't printed out a coupon in months! I had a period of time when I sprouted all my wheat, made my own crackers, dehydrated fruit, made all our bread, yogurt and snacks by hand, and drove an hour to find raw milk. We never ate a single processed food...for about 2 weeks and then I gave it all up because AAAAH!  Seriously, who has time for that? 

I confess to you these situations to illustrate one very important point. I lack balance! I have a tendency in my life to go all out in one area that consumes my thoughts, my time, my whole being. I want it to be the best, and I want to be the best at it. I am finally learning one important truth. I can not be the best at any one thing if I spend so much time at it that I neglect the other important things in my life. I need to learn to choose the things that are "better than good." In short, if I lack balance, I run and run, never reaching my destination. And then I get frustrated, and then, I quit!

I am finally getting it through my thick head. Well, maybe. But I am trying to get it through my thick head that balance is the key to a productive and happy life. We all need a cause. But the way to be most effective at any cause in the long run is to not go so overboard on that one cause that we forget balance.

If crying is good for the soul and laughter is good for mood (and tummy muscles) then you can get a tummy firming, soul lifting, mood boosting high with this video clip, where I laughed until I cried. But comedy aside, there is an important lesson to be learned here about balance, especially where healthy eating is concerned. (If you do not see video, click here)

So, do you see yourself in these two? I know I do, to an extent. But I have refused to eat things that taste gross, even if they are good for me, since mom first put spinach on my plate, so I wouldn't go this far.

I have read a lot of blogs, books, and articles about the importance of cutting out certain foods. Avoid all sugar! Avoid all carbs! Avoid all fat! Only eat veggies! Eat everything raw. I have read articles on essential oils where I have been encouraged to use them for everything. And others that warn against using too much. But invariably all the authors come to the very same conclusion in the end. Doing all of one thing and none of the others leaves you sick. Frustrated. Worn Down. Unbalanced. Moderation in all things is the key that so many of us find our way back to after going down the road of all or nothing.

So how do we gain balance? I am the last person in the world qualified to instruct on this topic. But I will share a few things that have helped me at the seasons in my life where things were a bit better.
  • Prioritize: Do the most important things first and the least last. Seems simple enough. Unfortunately, the important things are not always the funnest. And it sometimes takes serious reflection to choose the best part.
  • Schedule: I am really good at writing schedules. Following them? Not so much. But when I do, I find that I get a lot more done. Otherwise, I start one project and get distracted by another and in the end, get nothing done.
  • Be flexible: When consulting said schedule, It is important to be flexible so that you can help a friend, tend to a child, or catch a goat that has escaped the yard. But then, get back to the schedule.
  • Forgive yourself: If you don't make it back to your schedule, don't beat yourself up. Have forgiveness as you learn and start again tomorrow. Adjust the schedule as needed.
  • Put God First: I have discovered that there is no better way to magically have more time in my schedule than when I pray and study the word of God and His servants. The balance of my day goes better and I accomplish more. For me, He is "better than good." When I put Him first, I find balance.
We can not borrow balance from another. We must find our own way to courageously identify the things in our lives that are better than good and fill our lamps until they are overflowing...in a balanced sort of way.

How have you found balance in your life?

If you enjoyed this post, please read the others in my series here.
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  1. My hubby used to tease me because I'd go on certain "kicks" and I'd be really into exercise for awhile and read everything I could on it.

    Then I'd be into cooking and bring lots of books home from the library. Then organization and then frugality and I would just immerse myself into whatever my current topic of interest was.

    Whatever I was "into" I would start telling my hubby "you should do this" or "we should do that..." Lol!

    Thanks for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

    1. Story of my life! Thanks for hosting each week.

  2. Yes, the Lord always first as well as all throughout the day. Scheduling everything really saves our sanity. We run a daycare plus homeschool. I'd be lost without my schedule!

  3. Always! Love this. It is so important to have balance, I was drawn to this post because I am searching to do better at it myself. Thanks for the advice :) Krista @ A Handful of Everything

    1. Good luck to you. Feel free to let me know what youmfind in your search!

  4. When I'm overwhelmed, I find it hard to prioritize. Writing the priorities down for review helps me refocus and get back into balance.

    Great post! Thanks for linking up at Motivation Monday!

  5. Writing a list of things I need to get done each week helps. I like your tips. Good post. :)

  6. Oh those rabbit trails that lead us astray. Thanks for offering this word on balance & the truth found in giving every moment over to God. Glad to have you at UNITE link-up today! ~ Jen

  7. All I can say is, I totally agree! I have a tendency to be an all or none girl too and to top it off, I have the "I'm right, you're wrong" mentality to go with it. That's a deadly combination and no fun for anyone involved. It is something I'm aware of and trying to improve. I love your list and take heed to everything you said. You are so right though, it's easier to say it (or read it) than it is to implement it in your own life. Best of luck to you! It sounds like you're on a great path :)

    1. Perhaps, if I don't get too distracted and wander off! Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. Fantastic post! I know in certain things I can go all or nothing, but it really is about balance. Good reminders. Thank you so much for sharing this on Wellness Wednesdays.

  9. My husband reminds me often of my "shiny objects" issue. I can be easily distracted and easily obsessed. I try for everything in moderation.
    Thanks so much for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist. Hope to see you again this week!


  10. :) So true! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you again tomorrow!