We weren’t meant to live stressed out, depleted lives. We all must manage difficult and demanding responsibilities on occasion, but our seasons of busyness should be precisely that–seasons. If we’re constantly rushing about, always checking and rearranging our to-do lists to squeeze one more task or one more minute in our days, and especially if this has become a lifestyle, we’ve likely taken on assignments God never intended. Not only will this hinder us from pursuing what He has, but, as my guest today reminds us, it’ll also rob us of peace and joy.
And make sure to read to the end, because she’s doing a crazy fun giveaway to celebrate her debut release!
The Elusiveness of Balance
By Jennifer Hallmark
Tired again. I trudged through the house with another load of laundry on one hip and a grand-young ‘un on the other. I didn’t feel as if I could make the effort to finish my day, take a shower, and fall in the bed. But I had to. A deadline approached and I had much to do the next morning.
How did I fall back into this trap of twirling a hundred plates? Again?
I needed balance, something I’ve pursued in the past. I’ve sought it in my relationships, schedule, and work. Without it, I burn out over and over. Yet somehow I found myself there again.
My last year has been unbelievably stressful but things are working out. My mental and emotional stability isn’t perfect but it’s beyond what I believed it could or should have been.
Through it all, I’m learning what balance is and isn’t.
- Me figuring out how to organize my work, play, and duty so I have time for it all.
- Meals, bedtime, and worktime at planned intervals every day.
- Everything going smoothly and without crisis.
I sought those things for years. Order. My introverted, melancholy, perfectionist world to run as I desired. Then I’d experience joy, happiness, and rest.
But I’ve experienced joy in difficult and stressful situations and have felt depressed when I should’ve been happy. Order is nice but provides no long-term, life-changing effects. I find satisfaction checking things off my to-do list satisfies but not to the degree I need.
True balance can only come from God—as we align our lives with Him and His will.
- Omnipotent: all powerful.
- Omnipresent: always present.
- Omniscient: all knowing.
These facets of God enable me to find true balance. Schedules, lists, and order are helpful but can be, in themselves, unsteady. I’ve studied the Bible, prayed, and gone to church. This helps gain wisdom but since I’m not any of the “omnis” above, my interpretation and control is limited.
The solution: I hand my plans to God. I draw closer to Him and remain in relationship with Him. I talk, listen, then talk and listen some more. Then I take a step, listen, and take another step. I stop merely “going through the motions” and surrender my control, which I have very little of anyway.
When I feel anxious, instead of attempting to solve whatever I’m facing in my wisdom and strength, Scripture encourages me to turn to God. Philippians 4:6-7 says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (ESV).
In other words, when life feels stressful and demanding, we draw close to the Father, tell Him about our day, good and bad, love Him, and present our requests. We praise Him for all He’s done and provided. Then we sit and await His reply. When we sense His guidance, we move forward in faith. We believe He’ll give us enough light to follow.
Living this way leads to emotional and mental steadiness. God knows my energy level and the time I have. He’ll help me spend each wisely. He’ll help me manage all I must get done, whether that’s finishing the laundry or typing another article. Me taking time to breathe, pray, and listen, not checking off lists, makes all the difference.
Balance—and peace—rests in our relationship with God, one where we daily seek out our Father’s voice. Surrender can feel scary but it leads to deeper intimacy with God—and the peace and stability we all long for.
The old expression rings true.
Let go and let God.
He longs to take our hand and lead the way.
Will we let Him?
Let’s talk about this! What area is most difficult for you to surrender? How might remembering all God’s “omni” qualities help you to relinquish that area to your Savior? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
I also invite you to join me, in person or virtually, at Christ Community Church this evening to learn how to shift from orphan mentality (“Life, or this area, is all up to me; I must retain control”) to living deeply and wholly loved (“God’s got this and me; because He is fully trustworthy, I have no reason to fear and every reason to surrender”). Those who are local can register HERE. The rest of you can pop into Wholly Loved’s Facebook group to watch a live video then engage in discussion after. You can do that HERE. Please note, you’ll need to join our closed FB group first.)
Get to know Jennifer Hallmark!
Jennifer Hallmark writes Southern fiction and has published 200+ internet articles and interviews, short stories in several magazines, and has co-authored three book compilations. Her debut novel, Jessie’s Hope, released on June 17th, 2019.
When she isn’t babysitting or gardening, you can find her at her desk writing fiction or working on her two blogs. She also loves reading detective fiction from the Golden Age and viewing movies like LOTR or Star Wars. Sometimes you can even catch her watching American Ninja Warrior.
Visit her online at:
Check out her debut novel, Jessie’s Hope!
Years ago, an accident robbed Jessie Smith’s mobility. It also stole her mom and alienated her from her father. When Jessie’s high school sweetheart Matt Jansen proposes, her parents’ absence intensifies her worry that she cannot hold on to those she loves.
With a wedding fast approaching, Jessie’s grandfather Homer Smith, has a goal to find the perfect dress for “his Jessie,” one that would allow her to forget, even if for a moment, the boundaries of her wheelchair. But financial setbacks and unexpected sabotage hinder his plans.
Determined to heal from her past, Jessie initiates a search for her father. Can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love when additional obstacles–including a spurned woman and unpredictable weather–highjack Jessie’s dream wedding?
Buy it on:
June Blog Tour Giveaway Extravaganza
June 10th-June 30th
- $25 Amazon Gift Card
- $10 Starbucks Gift Card
- Print copy of Jessie’s Hope
- 2 Kindle copies of Jessie’s Hope
Giveaway details: Go to her Rafflecopter Page (HERE) to enter the drawings for five prizes to be drawn by Rafflecopter from all the entries. Winners will be revealed on the author’s blog on July 1st.
Link to Rafflecopter found by visiting my June blog tour from June 10th until June 30th. Blog tour includes:
June 13th–Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud/Jennifer Slattery
June 14th–Favorite Friday Fiction/Me
June 15th–Inspired Prompt/Betty Thomason Owens
June 17th–Author Trish Perry/Trish Perry
June 17th–Southern Writers Magazine
June 18th–Author Liz Tolsma/Liz Tolsma
June 19th–Inspired Prompt/Betty Thomason Owens
June 21st–Snark & Sensibility/Linda Rondeau
June 24th–Fear Warrior/Jerusha Agen
June 24th–June Foster/June Foster
June 25th–Trumpet Tuesdays/Julie Arduini
June 26th–Seriously Write/Sandra Ardoin
June 28th–Heartfelt, Homespun fiction/Cynthia Herron
June 29th–The Write Conversation/Edie Melson