Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finding Balance

One thing that Robbie and I have been struggling with in our lives and relationship is balance. I'm sure you can tell from any one of my weekend posts (here or here, for example) that any free time we have fills up fast. We are finding ourselves busy almost every evening during the week and throughout the day on weekends. I'd like to think that it is all going to work itself out, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to be a bit more proactive than that.

We've talked about how we need to really prioritize our time and decide where we would like to dedicate our attention and focus. We've even given ourself homework and asked each other to identify what takes the most time and create goals around activities we would like to make more of a priority. Now it's time for the rubber to meet the road; no more talking, it's time for action! I've always said that we are doing good things and there is not really much I'd like to give up, but something is going to have to give.

So dear friends, I've asked before, but what do you do for balance? Andrew, you've said before that "life slows down when you make it slow down". How do you do that? Maybe I'm dense, but I'm not sure where or how to start. 


  1. I'm not good at sorting my thoughts into written words. I'm trying to get some stuff down right now.

  2. Finding balance is not easy. Most of us are clumsy people.

    I don't think I really have much advice to give but I will try to offer something. I apologize if my words are rambly and difficult to understand. I'm not very skilled at organizing my thoughts in writing.

    I think it is easy to lose balance when life is filled with events to go to and people to be with. I think those things are great and necessary but because they are so great it is easy to become kind of overrun and distracted by them. I've found a great deal of inspiration from H. D. Thoreau's Walden. The premise of his book/experiment was to, "live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life." I don't think everyone needs to go live alone in the woods for two years to find balance but I think that there is a beautiful and complex layered balance that is evident in nature. The more time I spend in and around nature the more I see that balance mirrored in my own life. Life is an amazing gift and to live it deliberately is, in my opinion, a (maybe low-level) moral imperative. I also think there is some moral obligation to be near nature. I know it probably sounds like a dry, boring, stick in the mud kind of life but it really isn't that way in practice. It is a life more full of wonder and curiosity that is made complete through the awe of God.

    Spend time with your God. Spend time with your spouse. Go to parties and social gatherings. Be with friends. Work hard at your job. Have hobbies that entertain you when you are alone. these are all really truly good things. Just be aware that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I know it is not simple and I do not claim to have it down. In my experience the less you have going on the easier it is to find balance. Simpler (or maybe smaller is a better word) lives are easier to balance. To quote the great poet Elliott Smith, "I don't think I'm ever gonna figure it out." But I'm gonna keep trying.

    I'd like to talk more in person. I'm not so good at writing.

  3. I, too, loved Thoreau when I was a young adult however, the thing I have found in my more recent years is that if I don't have enough to keep my mind active and involved, I will become lazy, sleep too much and not be involved in the projects God wants me to be involved in. In other words, so self absorbed and inward I can miss the projects God has for me.

    Priority was an excellent word however, and I agree with that. We can, certainly, fill our lives with too many activities because we have a tendency to accept everything we are invited to do because "we have the time slot open". I definitely agree that God intends for us to be available but not exhausted. Sleep and quiet time with Him should also be prioritized. He does invite us but, usually not as audibly as the phone call or text. When called by God, do we listen and accept?


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