In Jen Hatmaker’s new book, For the Love, she has a chapter titled “Worst Beam Ever.” In it she compares our attempts at finding balance in our lives to a gymnast on a balance beam. Balance is kind of a whacked out word in this day and age. I mean, honestly. Even when we finally find “balance” it’s gone the next day because no days are ever the same. No matter how hard you try. A kid is gonna get sick, you’re gonna get stuck at all the red lights, you’ll oversleep, overeat, forget to workout, yada yada yada. There is no such thing as balance.
We don’t need to equally distribute ourselves everywhere. How awful would it be if we gave every single aspect of our lives the exact same amount of effort or time. But as we stand on our beams of life juggling our have-tos and want-tos we’ve got to throw some things off the beam so we can cross it and not completely fall off of it!
Over the past two years I’ve become the queen of saying no. It’s been a battle and I haven’t quite won yet. I likely never will because our life is ever changing. But the more I taste and see what this life is about and what’s important to me, the easier it is to say no to the silly things that used to stress me out. And you know what? It’s easier to say, “OFF THE BEAM!” than it is to say no. Just try it 🙂
Trying to teach all three of my kids every single school lesson #offthebeam. Online courses and charter classes, ON.
Volunteering in homeschool classes – #offthebeam. Enjoying the other FIVE days a week I’m with my kids, on.
Guest posting for other blogs – #offthebeam. I can’t even keep up with mine!
Throwing extravagant parties #offthebeam. Having people over and not caring what the house looks like or what we eat just for the sake of community, on.
There are other things I’m throwing off too now that my business is growing and I can hire help. My life may be looking a little different than I ever thought I would but I’m trying my hardest to keep the most precious things to me, steady on the beam.
If you’re having trouble even figuring out what is important to you and what’s not, maybe it’s time to get a birds-eye view of your life. In my book and in the planner, I walk readers through a very simple exercise of figuring out their roles in life. Not ten, just four. What are the four most important roles in your life?
My most important roles:
- Child of God
- Business Owner
Of course there are other roles I play in life but these are the most important to me and if I’m failing in one of these areas it’s usually because I’m taking on too many things.
Next, I figure out what I need to be doing in each of those roles to play the best part. For example, I need to be spending time with God EVERY day. I have to read my bible, journal, and pray. As a wife, I need to be spending time with my husband every day and we try to go on a date every week. Sure it costs a lot of money but I’d rather work that into our budget than anything else. As a mom I homeschool my kids and plan fun activities. Nothing crazy here. We head to the pool or the beach as much as possible and it’s FREE! As a business owner I need to be organized and efficient so that it doesn’t overtake my life. I need to be disciplined with my work hours (still working on that one!) and I need to delegate as much as possible.
When I know what’s important to me and how I can be the best wife, mom, etc., I have a better understanding of what’s not important. And please know, when I say best wife or mom I don’t mean the best in the world. I just mean the best one that God designed me to be. HUGE difference there. Stop trying to be the best at everything and just be the person that God wants you to be.
What are some things that you really need to let go of? The things that are making you wobble and dip? Let them off your beam, friend. You will feel so free and you’ll be able to handle the more important things with much more grace and joy. You only get one chance at this life. Don’t waste it.
PS – If you need to get some of the crap out of your house so you have a free beam, you’ll want to sign up for our back to school declutter challenge that starts TOMORROW!