This past week, I started pondering why my 2016 hasn’t gotten off to the start I hoped. As friends share their new resolve and goals attained, I’ve become more discouraged. Yet through that discouragement, I’m slowly coming to terms with some personal areas of my life I need to focus on for this year (month, week, ok, let’s just start with the day to day.)

I’m an all or nothing kind of person and when I’m in the “All in” phase, it’s wonderful and inspiring, but the nothing aspect isn’t acceptable. I’ve written about balance a lot on my blog, obviously since it’s a focus and when I searched my archives, this post from years ago, popped up. I needed to read it as I work through kick starting 2016.

Isn’t it something how certain aspects of our lives always tend to be part of who we are? I could have written this yesterday. 🙂

This day is the one He's given me

Browsing through a “new to me” yard sale book this past week, the quote, “balance is not a realistic goal for realistic womencaught my eye.

Since “balance” is in my blog title, and something I’m continually contemplating, I sped read through the book’s main premise because to some degree, I agree. A perfectly balanced life isn’t possible. Depending on the season you’re in as a woman, some priorities change and fluctuate; often, things need to give.

The next phrase rendered me silent. It stated, “You will discover how to reorient your life around your own desires and needs rather than around time management tricks.”

REORIENT my life around my desires?

This is where some of us may agree to disagree. We here over and over about our personal desires, but if I prioritize and reorient life around my own desires and always prioritize my needs of that of my family and others around me, my family would probably never eat. Our home would be in a state of continual disaster (more so than it is right now.) and I would never leave my bed.

I’m just stating the truth. Every once in awhile a day like that happens, but I’m pretty sure that those days are called “Mother’s Day, My Birthday, and Selfish Me days.”

In this day and age of the ‘Me First’ mentality, so many books encourage us to have it all. Well,  it’s not my season to have it all. Now, don’t get me wrong, wonderful points were made about  taking care of ourselves, and making our homes more beautiful, which I always encourage, but prioritizing my continual happiness? As hard as it is to say…

I am not promised happiness, nor is it guaranteed.

But absolute, unending joy found, even in the midst of those difficult times – absolutely!

Years after I penned this post, my friend Sara Frankl died of a disease that left her homebound for over one year. Recently the book Choose Joy came out based on Sara’s life, penned both by Sara and Mary Carver. I can’t believe how much it aligns with my previous words. 

She wrote, “This life is not about me and my goals, my wants, my worries. Nothing about my life is about me: it’s about who He needs me to be.

choose joy

Happiness comes and goes based on emotions, and we all know that a woman’s emotions are up and down with the weather (or time of the month :)), but joy….now, that is a choice.

Joy choices are made in the  moment by moment, day by day, incident by incident occurrences that determine how our lives are shaped. And often, with those joy choices, comes happiness. Happiness in the little things.

I’m tangenting onto another topic. Let’s get back to the challenge of finding balance. If my desires are at the forefront of those balancing act decisions, it’s never going to happen. But when I steward those decisions based on choices that I am called to for my family’s  journey, the right track sets its course.

Personally, it was a tough week of reality checks for me (yes, in January 2016 too). Much of my margin had been lost in the rat race of life. I had to admit that some really important areas slid, and the only one responsible…me. Plain and simple. How’s that for this Family Manager’s Monday morning looksee in the mirror.

Yet that’s where our attempt at balancing beauty and bedlam begins…evaluating on a regular basis the good, bad and ugly, and embracing them for what they are – life.  Real Life! Life lived graciously to the fullest juggled in with lots of imperfections.

There are many steps I need to take to create a more balanced life, yet I will never be a perfectly balanced woman.   I’ve tried and it leaves me feeling frustrated, inadequate and “less than…”

But you know what…if I was even close to that perfect woman, then I wouldn’t need Him.

Right now the Lord whispers His affirmation that it’s OK to be “less than” because He is more than enough.

So for today  I quickly type these words off the top of my head and heart. Every thing in me knows I shouldn’t hit “publish” because all good bloggers edit, think through and process before publishing their posts. But then, if I did that,  I wouldn’t be able to go do my Next Thing…and the Next Thing needs to be done, even if I’d rather be …

Are you feeling out of balance?

Do you care to join me in Just Doing the Next Thing?

Let’s encourage each other along the way.