Finding Balance in Life and Ministry

The November issue of The Redbud Post is all about finding balance, which seems to be such a challenge today whether you work for the church or not.

Balance between church/work and family. Balance between experienced and new members on committees, different gifts, different ethnic backgrounds, men and women, older, younger, and middle-aged. Balance of music styles in worship. Balance of chores and leisure time. Questions of balance seem to be everywhere.

I’m grateful that I was able to contribute a short article on this theme, but before I get to that, I’d like to highlight the rest of this timely issue. You’ll find the entire November edition on the home page for Redbud Writers Guild, but since that page is updated monthly with each new issue, I’m listing the articles below with their individual links so they can be more easily found at any time. I hope you’ll appreciate each of these as much as I do! I’m glad to highlight them here along with my own article below.

Finding Peace in the Chaos

by Elizabeth Vale

With homeschooling, writing, church planting, and life in general, how do you find peace in the chaos?

These types of questions flooded my mind because when we started our home church and ministry directives, nothing else in our already busy schedule went away. We still had four kids who all had different activities. We still worked long hours at our day-to-day jobs. We still homeschooled our children. My husband still attended graduate school.

Our schedule didn’t change, but our call did.

Vertigo Taught Me Balance

by Taryn Hutchison

I’ve never experienced vertigo, and was only vaguely aware of the Epley Maneuver until I read this article, but it holds some important lessons about life balance too.

Why is my first inclination always to take control, get busy, and try to fix it? To do something? Anything! Instead, what I’m so often desperate for is to slow down. To stop. To just be.

That day, lying on the doctor’s table, I gave in. I stopped fidgeting. I lay there, breathing in, breathing out.

“Now it’s time for the next step,” the doctor said.

The Marriage of Physical and Spiritual Balance

by Christine Litavsky

Exerciseboth physical and spiritualallows me to keep my perspective, health, and joy. Without these disciplines, I honestly don’t know how I would have navigated these past two decades. I may have made it through, but the path would have been much steeper, much darker, and much more hopeless.

Finding Balance in Limitations

by Kimberly Pelletier

What can we learn from chronic illness about the limits that all of us face–limits of time, energy, finances, and other human limitations?

I don’t know exactly when the crossover happened, but somewhere along this road, I crossed a bridge that changed everything. It’s a pedestrian bridge, in the dullest sense of the word, built brick by brick with the mundane moments of my daily limited life. Yet, walking over this bridge unveiled my eyes to see limitations utterly anew. . . . Crossing over this bridge I found the truth to be this: limitations are invitations, each one a bridge to transformation on the journey toward Christlikeness..

Finding Balance in Seasons

by Gina Butz

I’m not looking for balance in every day or every week. I’m looking for balance over my lifetime. I rest in the truth that God knows my way. He brings new purpose in each season, and I listen and respond to what that focus should be. He knows the healthy pace for me.

By the Grace of God

by Caroline Hinojosa-Cisneros

The only poem among the entries, and one which speaks powerfully to the dilemma of balance and the grace of God. Unfortunately, I’m not able to get the spacing right here, so please do click on the title to go to the original.

“How do you juggle it all?”
I don’t.
By the grace of God, there are flickers of hope in time

 

Finding My Balance

by April Yamasaki

As I moved through the buffet line, I tried to choose a well-balanced meal: half my plate for vegetables, one-quarter for protein, one-quarter for carbs. The selection of crisp salads, hot vegetables, perfect roast chicken, fresh bread, and rice made my dinner both healthy and delicious.

I used to think of living a well-balanced life in much the same way, as if I needed to choose just the right proportions of work, worship, and rest, time for family, time for friends, and time for me. My well-balanced life would be much like my well-balanced dinner plate, with a healthy variety of good things.

Only I didn’t always get the right combination. Between full-time pastoring, blogging, and book writing, some weeks I had way too much work and not enough rest. Or lots of family time but no time alone to think. Balance proved to be both elusive and precarious, for as soon as I thought I had it, everything seemed to shift. I found myself more off-balance than on.

Then one Sunday, I discovered a new way to think about balance.

To find out what I learned, please read the rest of my article that appears as part of The Redbud Post.

Your turn:
What helps you to find or re-gain your balance?
_____________________

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2 thoughts on “Finding Balance in Life and Ministry

  1. Oh, April, how did you know I needed this so badly? After the last 20+ months of pain, then treatments that didn’t work, and finally surgery and now going through recovery, I’m still not back to writing, keeping home fires burning, and more! Sometimes I feel frantic, and I ask God for help but then I get busy and don’t think on Him again until I’m about to fall asleep while bemoaning my life’s fractured state of affairs. Centering on Him is all important and I know that. However, I fall into a pattern of drifting to the outer rim and not staying close to the hub. Thanks for sharing this helpful and beautiful analogy.

    • You have been through so much, Sherrey! I’m glad that the analogy of the bicycle wheel with its rim and hub is helpful to you. I also appreciate Gina’s article on looking at balance over a lifetime rather than focusing on just one season of life. As you have been and are going through a challenging season, balance may look different than at other times. May God continue to be your hope and stay.

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