Achieving Balance?

IMG_4224I get asked all the time how to balance “everything,” and I usually say, “Don’t try. Decide what you can give up for this season.”

I recently read Jen Hatmaker’s newest book and feel I must share a couple excerpts for all the people who want to know how I do it “all.” I hope you can find some freedom in this. I gave up doing a lot of other things (tutoring for our homeschool co-op, being in a Bible study, babysitting for friends whenever they asked, freelance writing and editing, TV, reading books just for fun, cleaning my house unless absolutely necessary) to build my business to Diamond in 2 years. And then I ran away in an RV for a while! Not everyone can give up so many other things; if that’s you, be OK with it and embrace YOUR journey.

Don’t compare; find joy; sacrifice where you can and do your best where you can’t. And Balance? It’s my favorite oil blend, but Jen is right: It isn’t a thing we can achieve 100% of the time in real life. (Take this photo, for example. That seems to be a picture of me riding a bike on a high wire. But things aren’t as they seem. The bike had a counterweight that made it impossible for me to get off balance and fall. I promise that if this is how you see me, you can’t see the whole picture – the exhaustion, the mistakes, the poor choices, the people I hurt and must beg to forgive me because I was barreling through the day and barreled right over someone, and especially my “counterweights” – friends, family, faith. That’s real; the “balance” you may perceive is not.)

We are building businesses here, and there will be imbalance and chaos at times. Give yourself a break, friend. We all need that grace. And now for the excerpts:

Balance. It’s like a unicorn; we’ve heard about it, everyone talks about it and makes airbrushed T-shirts celebrating it, it seems super rad, but we haven’t actually seen one. I’m beginning to think it isn’t a thing.”

“You have permission to examine all the tricks and decide what should stay. What parts do you love? What are you good at? What brings you life? What has to stay during this season? Don’t look sideways for these answers. Don’t transplant someone else’s keepers onto your beam. I could cook for days, but this does not mean you want to. Classroom Mom for me would mean a nervous breakdown; it might be the highlight of your year. You do you here. There are only twenty-four hours in a day.

“We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise.

“Decide which parts are draining you dry. What do you dread? What are you including for all the wrong reasons? Which parts are for approval? Is there anything you could delegate or hand off? Could you sacrifice a Good for a Best? Throw out every should or should not and make ruthless cuts. Go ahead. Your beam is too crowded. I know it.”

Excerpt From: Hatmaker, Jen. “For the Love.”

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