Does Life Balance Even Exist?

Does Life Balance Even Exist?

June 15, 2017

“LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6 (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

There have been many times when I lived without a pause button, but one season tops them all.

All five of our children were in elementary school and involved in sports. The three boys played on three different football teams, one daughter was a cheerleader, and the other daughter played soccer. If that weren’t enough, my husband ran his own business, I worked part-time and sang on the worship team, and my husband and I led a small group at church.

Our lives consisted of an ongoing handoff of children and responsibilities that needed military precision to keep moving.

There was no time to meander, stroll or take the scenic route. And there were literally no breaks. Days ran into nights and weeks blurred into months without us having any time to relax and catch our breath.

Thankfully, it didn’t last forever since the football season came to an end, but I declared that kind of overload would never, ever happen again. There was absolutely no margin for error or sickness.

In the aftermath, I realized we had no non-negotiable boundaries set in place to protect us against that kind of crazy. Everything was fair game to cancel so we could get more done: We gave up family dinners, leisure time and didn’t guard the Sabbath.

That season, and many others before it, proved that unless I put borders around my busyness, I will be a wreck, and my family will too. But it also begs the question: Does life balance even exist?

For most of us, there are few non-negotiable boundaries when it comes to busyness. We live without the built-in rhythms of the rising and setting sun that guided our ancestors just a few generations back. Few of us live an agricultural or pastoral life led by the gentle demands of animals and crops.

We could work 24 hours a day if our bodies and minds would let us. Hence, we get drawn into a nonstop lifestyle of work.

Although I firmly believe the Bible honors hard work, the Bible does not say we need to be busy all the time. This is where we need wisdom to find a balance between work and rest.

I love how King David acknowledges God’s perfect plans: “LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places: surely I have a delightful inheritance” (Ps. 16:5-6).

Although David refers to property lines, this is a lovely image of God’s plan for balancing our lives. God has boundary lines established for us that are pleasant and manageable. He never meant for our lives to be a jumble of overcommitment. Rather, God’s plan is peaceful and ordered.

And in order to find that pleasant place, we need to have healthy boundaries on our time with lots of margin built in.

Margin plays an important part with a boundary, whether it’s on our property or in our lives. Margin creates safe places, adding beauty, breathing room and balance for the eye and mind.

I learned this concept when I took an editing class. The beauty of well-designed page isn’t just what you see; it’s also what you don’t see. The un-designed area, called white space, carries as much, if not more, impact as the words or graphics.

A significant value of white space is to make the page visually appealing so you want to read it. As our eyes scan a crowded page, our minds tell us it’s too much work and we disengage.

But a page with lots of white space invites you in. It doesn’t feel overwhelming or chaotic. It feels simple, doable, calm. White space gives the reader a mental break while at the same time drawing your attention to what’s most important.

And this is what a life with margin around boundaries does for us. When our lives are overcrowded with “content” and lacking white space, we will feel cluttered and confused. It’s hard to identify what’s most important because it all runs together in a blur.

But by creating balance in establishing boundaries for our busyness, we give ourselves breathing room. We give ourselves time to think, dream and plan. Busy gets seriously out-of-control without boundaries.

Finding balance is possible. Establishing healthy boundaries involves editing the content in our lives, carefully identifying what’s most important … what God is asking us to do today. Then as we remove what’s not ours to do, we can breathe a sigh of relief at the beauty that’s revealed in our lives.

Lord, thank You that Your plan for me is pleasant and secure. Help me see those areas of my life that are crowded and confusing, and give me the wisdom to create a balance … to set boundary lines that bring peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
It is possible to end the cycle of overwork, exhaustion and guilt … guilt for working too hard or not enough. In her new book, Doing Busy Better, Glynnis Whitwer shows how to find a healthy and holy balance between work and rest, and find significance in the One who created both.

CONNECT:
Join Glynnis on her blog for tips for setting healthy boundary lines and a giveaway of her book, Doing Busy Better.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is there an area of your life that feels overcrowded and lacking peace?

Prayerfully consider what you can remove from your schedule, or to-do list, to create more margin in that area.

© 2017 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Thank you, Glynnis, for raising this topic. I see so many fraying families, frantic with kids’ schedules. No time for dinner together, for visiting Grandma, for worship, for free play, for ministry. Our culture calls them the “good parents.” But what does God say?

    Is the activity more important than relationships, more important than God? I pray that parents will take a stand: “Sorry, Coach. My child won’t be at any Sunday morning games.” “No, son. We won’t commit to missing dinner together for this six-week season.” “Our budget it tight. We can’t agree to spend that kind of money on dance costumes for a six-year-old to wear once.”

    And what are we teaching the children? That they are the center of the universe, all life revolves around them. That life is best lived in constant motion. That frantic is fantastic. That you can never say no. That sports (or drama, or dance, fill in the blank) is their God.

    • Debra L Finley says:

      Yes exactly, this is what the lives of patents today have become,constantly taking the children to & fro without much time to do anything else. There must be boundaries. Thank u for sharing.

    • Jennifer says:

      Amen Shirlee! You said it perfectly! Thank you for the challenging truth. This devotion is speaking to me today as I am ending a season of life where there is little margin. I am quitting my job to help create margin in our family’s schedule and to strengthen our mental and spiritual health. I know that guarding our family from too much busyness is a top priority. I, too, see the god of children’s activities becoming a snare to so many especially when it takes time away from serving or worshipping the Lord.

      • You won’t regret it! I stayed home with all 3 of mine and it was very rewarding. In fact, for a while, after the 2 oldest graduated they moved back to our home town and we all attended church together along with thier future spouses.Blessings on your decision and family!

    • Agreed Shirlee! God should always come first. This is a good devotion but in my opinion missed the opportunity to emphasize that when you put God first eveything else falls into place. Blessings.

    • I do agree with parents taking a stand. God is and should be most important. However, this is what you hear if you take a stand. Don’t make practice your child don’t play. Don’t make practice there is no place for him/her on the team. Or I know parents are all busy however the coaches set up a time when they can give to the kids because they are not getting paid to coach and so there will never be a time that will suit all people so if you can make it great and if you can’t then that is between you and your child.

      It would be great if it worked out the way Shirlee puts it but that is not reality. I have witnessed it too many times.

    • Perfect! I wish so many parents could read this and help them shape there life. I am not a parent yet but so much applies to single life as well. We control our schedules most of the time and we have the power to say no. I can’t pretend like I’m going to do it 100% correct, but I hope that I can remember and follow these guidelines when I am!

    • Amen Shirley! I am a mom of 3 kids and we have to limit what our children join. Our finances are tight and we just can’t do everything. I admit I frequently feel like we are in the minority and that we are missing out on “something” out there. But we are teaching our children about the Lord and His Word, so I pray the fruit of that will far surpass anything they could get out of any other extracurricular activity. Thank you for the devotional Proverbs 31 and for your thoughts Shirley.

      • Thank you Jen. I have 4 children aged 4-13 and often feel that I am the only parent whose children ‘miss out’. It encouraged me to read that you too feel the same. My 10 year old has many medical issues and while we have finished speech therapy, we still have frequent visits to the outpatient hospital. My 13 is now studying music at school and that means band practice, concerts and early morning choir!
        In the early days of discovering my son had some special needs, my husband and I decided that me working was not an option so finances were limited. We had many people tell us that we needed to put our kids in extra curricular activities and that because we live in Australia (we are blessed!) the government will help fund kids in sport. Even though we have this generousity on offer, we decided that I was busy enough and couldn’t manage practices and games for (at that time) 3 kids. But my children are blessed. They have a stable home, parents that love them and we too are teaching them in the ways of the Lord.
        I am only one person and God in his wisdom gave me only 2 hands! While I can do all things through Him who gives me strength, I’m grateful He also gives me wisdom to know when I can and can’t do everything!!
        Blessings Trudie

    • AMEN sister!!! I watch people brag how busy they are running around…and I wonder where and when did this culture develop? I feel frenetic and out of sorts when I am that busy. I can feel my body physically break down. I used to think it was okay but saw how it was a detrimental to my health and life a mess without focus on Jesus Christ. I mean a mess too!

  2. Very well written Glynnis!!!! I don’t see how some families do all they do. My three children are getting older so I am not running in circles as much. When they were younger I always felt like I couldn’t keep up with everyone else. I compared myself so much with other moms. Now I look back I have realized that I did better than I thought I did, by finding that “happy medium”. I think teaching your children priorities and a balance are very important….most of all putting God first. ~Lisa~

  3. Great post! I know I push myself to the point of total collapse before I sit back and assess what I’m doing. Busy is good, right? Noooo….. Busy is just busy. Balance, focus, priorities, … making a concerted effort to do what’s important to do and let the rest go. I’m not quite there but I’m better than I was … A work in progress!

  4. Proverbs 13:7 says “There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.” We must remember that we live this life so that we may enter the next one. Jesus told us that we are to build up our treasure in heaven, not on this earth. Our true riches are in heaven. In Matthew 6:33, it says “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” When we put our children’s activities first, ahead of church or Sunday School, or even our own Bible study time at home, we’re not teaching our children to put God first. We think that we are giving our children so much by getting them involved in so many different things, and perhaps we are, but how much of that is for God’s Kingdom? If we say on Sunday morning that we have this or that to do, we tell God that we have more important things than Him. He gave us 6 days to do whatever it is we want to do or need to do, and only requires ONE day to give Him our full attention (in corporate worship). I don’t think it’s too much for ask for Someone who gave His only Son to die for each one of us.

  5. Very much appreciated!

  6. This is also hard me, I struggle with the need to prove myself through work. Feeling guilty if I am not busy. My children are grown so now I find things to stay busy.

  7. Angelia says:

    This is truly an area where “more” is not better. I have set constants such as a sit down family meal, church, a day of rest, quiet time, moving each day….This brings a sense of calm and contentment. No matter what stage our children are in they are calmer when we set boundaries for ourselves and help them establish them as well. Anxious parents create anxious children and thus anxious families. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Connie Steger says:

    So thankful for this today! God had put the word “margin” on my heart two weeks ago. My plan was to journal about it .
    Have I made a margin to do it?? No! Lol!
    Thank you for writing about this and I know God has used it to speak to me about having margins in my life WHEN He speaks to me to do something like journal about margins !!

  9. Glynnis, I Like your Hair!

  10. Glynnis, I Like your Hair

  11. Lol, I love your message but I “live a pastoral life governed by animals”- I have horses and guineas and chickens, and I am up at 5am an go nonstop until about 11:30pm. It is constant work, sometimes very heavy labor, but I know it is God’s place for me so I feel blessed. I have also lived the active life with kids, so I know where you are coming from. I learned from those days that Sunday and church had to be the highest priority. God bless

    • While I agree with all that you say, that one statement about agriculture is completely a stereotype. My husband and I have a dairy, raise some beef cattle and also row crops. He definitely at times is more busy than an average person that works an 8-5 job. He receives no vacation time or time off and during planting and harvest season we are at God’s mercy for the weather to get the job completed. Sometimes that means that he works up into the middle of the night because rain is on the way. And milk cows have to be milked at least twice a day,everyday. I just want you to understand that agricultural, farming, ranch, etc. is not an easy laid back life like you depicted.

    • Candice says:

      I chuckled at that statement as well. We raise row crops and cattle, so we are out the door before sunrise and back in when it is dark. We miss a lot of extra things because of the high demands of the farm and cattle. However, my husband and I have chosen to eliminate the word busy from our vocabulary. We are blessed that we aren’t ‘busy’ like so many and that our ‘busyness’ brings us together as a family, it does not pull us in different directions.

      • Cari Wasson says:

        Yeah…there are no “gentle demands” of crops and animals. It is full on 24/7, and much so the same for the pastoral role. They, too, are on call 24/7 with every crisis imaginable within the “flock.” But your point is made in that no matter the occupation or calling, we have to set boundaries that allow us to honor God in our schedules and our rest.

    • I thought the same thing! We farm and at times it is such a demanding job. Harvesting wheat until the wee hours of the morning, starting pivots in the middle of the night and the agony of a entire field being hailed out. And then add a full time job for me on top of it, it’s hectic at times for us too and our kids aren’t super involved in extra curricular activities yet. It’s a good life though! 🙂

  12. Debbie W. says:

    Not only is busyness overloading the schedules of young families so are the electronic media devices and social networking. It is sad to see a family or even just a couple out to dinner with their faces buried in their phones. I think the busyness in their lives have taken away their ability to know how to talk to each other. Our family has always had dinner together. It’s always been the norm in our family. So much so when my son was in high school he discovered that most of his friends rarely, if ever, ate dinner as a family. They were all on different schedules coming and going. He had no idea that we were “not” the norm. My children were involved in sport and music lessons just like other children but we made sure that boundaries were in place. There was a time for school, homework, family, church, chores and rest. Saying “no” to them as they grew up hasn’t hurt them, rather it has taught them that they don’t alway have to say yes.

  13. When my kids were little we had very little money. They didn’t get to participate in activities outside the home. But we made our own fun. We had adventures after chores were done. We played kickball with the neighborhood kids. Made forts, had picnics with the neighborhood kids… It was a special time. They never noticed they missed out on what the other kids had. We had family dinners nightly..each child cooked a meal( to learn to cook). We laughed and lingered over the dinner table. We had Friday night game night,it was fun. Sleepovers and bonfires! My kids remember there younger childhood days with fond memories. It was what we made them. Less is more!

  14. This will make a great summer read for my daughter. As she learns to balance the life of being a wife, middle school teacher and a new mom. She has already experienced the whirlwind of no white space. Thank you !

  15. “Gentle demands of animals and crops”. Not sure about that.
    As a member of an agricultural community, the pressure is intense just to survive. Long days, 7 days a week. Times have changed.

  16. Good points made about the need to set boundaries. Not only with our children but within ourselves. I find it interesting that Glynnis mentioned the Sabbath and noted it’s important to recognize the principles in the Bible. I’m glad I’m a Sabbath keeper as designed by God in Genesis chapter 2 verse 1 from the very beginning before sin entered the world – it speaks to his original intentions when he created this world. At the end of creation when he had completed his work in 6 days he designed and kept the Sabbath himself in noting that he rested from all his work on the 7th day and called it a day of rest, sanctified and to be kept holy. Growing up a Sabbath keeper, it was a great excuse to not do any homework on Friday evenings or Saturdays and yet I was successful in school all the way by faith. Growing up a Sabbath keeper it has created an understanding of the importance of life balance and provided an opportunity for taking time out of what can be very busy in life by emphasizing a full 24 hours dedicated to rest. Don’t get me wrong because even aa a Sabbath keeper at church, life could become very hectic with meetings and get-togethers and fellowship. Growing up my mother was a very strict Sabbath keeper and I was very involved in church. As I’ve grown older and am making my own choices I now set my own limits and boundaries on how much I’m involved in a church and how I keep the day so I find myself doing things that are more relaxing and enjoyable as opposed to Keeping Up With The busyness. At times I struggle with allowing work to consume my life during the week just because of commuting from a distance between where I live and work. However God’s design of the weekly Sabbath allows a greater balance in my life for which I look forward to at the end of a busy week. He knew the needs of his own Creation in mankind when he created the sabbath principle, demonstrated it by keeping it himself in the Garden of Eden and then commanded that his chosen people the Israelites follow it. Of course the Israelites lost track of the significance of the principle itself and became misguided and legalistic in following due to the importance. However when Jesus came to Earth he reminded them time and time again about the real purpose and meaning of the Sabbath when noting that “the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath”. It was not lost or left behind from the new Covenant as it was his original intent to stand the test if time as referenced throughout the bible in many placew. We all have busy lives at one point or another but I think if we weremember God’s principles more and aim to be intentional within our lives and what we emulate to our children then we will have more fulfilling and balanced lives.

    • Thank you for sharing with our brethren, Lori!!!!!!!!!! I just ‘discovered’ (a year ago) the Words in the Bible from God commanding believers to REST on the 24-hour Sabbath (beginning Fridays @ sunset) with clear ‘evidence’ that the Sabbath is for ALL time (it’s not the legalistic “Law”). I smile when I see/hear everyone militantly defending God’s definition of Marriage (Genesis 2:24 ~ YES!) when they don’t recognize that God defined the 7th day Sabbath as holy before that (Genesis 2:2-3). Within a week or so after FIRST resting on God’s Sabbath, I began to receive His Gifts of the Sabbath; my behavior very quickly turned to a love for blessed Quality Time with others. A gift TO me! Additional gifts from His Sabbath have unfolded since then as you mention.

      Here is a link to Scripture for others to meditate & decide for themselves if God gives us this Gift as a blessed command, (knowing our frenzied nature to multi-task & always keep busy): https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/search?q=sabbath%2C+in+nt&translation=all

      The verse where Jesus, Himself, says that we better hope that the END TIMES (fleeing) does not occur on the Sabbath, or we’ll have “great distress” (Matthew 24:20) is an eye-opener! For ALL time, probably through the Millennium and Eternity… but only God knows that!

      I realized the worldly-difficulty of observing the Sabbath when most every Christian equates Sunday to worship. Sabbath-worshipers are aliens (again! Phil. 3:20 & more) to this world by following God’s commands… even to our Christian brethren who strongly resist (even fight) to define the Sabbath in opposition to God’s Word. Then I realized that God allows worship Any (and every) Day of the week including Sunday (as Paul went to the synagogue on the Sabbath to convert Jews yet gathered his new believers on Sundays). However, Sunday is the 1st day of God’s defined week and His Sabbath REST is the prior 24 hours, the 7th day (where the super-important “7” in the Bible is a symbol of “spiritual perfection”)… worship is CERTAINLY allowed on Sunday (and every day)!!

      It’s my OPINION that the majority of institutional churches are embarrassed about this (perhaps intentional) error in teaching God’s Word (since they’ve not stood up to it since a secular Emperor Constantine decided that he wanted to influence a change in God’s definition, c. 325 A.D… he was prejudiced to “things Jewish” without realizing they were “things from God”). Thankfully, the Bible has been translated since c. 1525 allowing each saint and royal priest (God’s words for ALL believers) to teach themselves ALL of His Word, not only what a minister chooses to emphasize to each congregation. God does NOT want His Flock to ask ministers for permission to follow His Word… we ARE His royal priesthood thanks to Jesus’ finished work in tearing down the Veil between us and Him! Oh My God, we love you, Jesus!

      All these years, I never realized the Lesson and the Beauty of Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 when God defines each of HIS days as beginning at sunset, e.g., “And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.” This doesn’t mean we have to change our calendar system, but it DOES mean that holy days defined by God DO begin at sunset (the day prior to what we’re used to calling the actual day). Love it! Love to learn His ways!

      “I rejoice at Thy word, as one that findeth great spoil [Treasure!].” ~ Psalm 119:162

      “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up just as, in fact, you are doing.” 1 Thess. 5:11 Keep exploring His Truth!

      Blessings to Lori and each of you!

  17. Thank you for this devotion. I actually looked at a picture on my wall. (I know you were speaking of editing) The margins gave the picture beauty and depth. I tend to take my time to the limits so thank you for helping me to keep that in mind that setting boundaries before you commit to something can keep you safe and at peace.

  18. Needed to hear this today. Work has been extremely stressful the last few weeks. I am feeling overwhelmed. My family and I are going camping this weekend. I am so ready to just sit and relax!!!
    I am praying for better ways to deal with the stress at work.

  19. I have over-committed myself and have lived the consequences. It’s not pretty! Fortunately, I learned what my limits are and know not to cross those boundaries. So what if someone else thinks I’m lazy or not as accomplished as they or another person are ???? Comparison kills, too . Know thyself, and know thy limits !!!!

  20. So appreciate this message! Yes, we need to set appropriate boundaries to ensure quality time for both family and God.
    However, having grown up on a farm, I had to laugh at the phrase “gentle demands of animals and crops”! Anyone who believes farming is “gentle” needs to go spend time alongside a farmer or farmwife.

  21. Thank you for these words of challenge, comfort and hope! I am tired all the time and burnt out from the busyness of life. I think too often our society doesn’t talk about these things as struggles but victories. As a homeschool mom, and co-owner of our business, I find “doing” things outside of our already full schedule of teaching and learning and errands is a challenge. I like the kids to be involved in other activities like Baseball, Awana, Swimming, etc, but it is a balance. Just because it is good for the child to have these skills and make friends etc, it needs to be done so that they are not burnt out and I am not burnt out. Thank the Lord for His grace to help us through these seasons. “Help us Lord, to have the wisdom to say, “no, not right now”, and to limit the things that we want to do wth the things that need to be done. ”
    God bless you Glynnis and the others reading here today.

  22. Heather Tessier says:

    This is a great message and good advice..not sure about the “gentle demands” of farming and animals though..that is also a very busy and demanding life. I don’t want to be negative to the writer but want to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work that these people also do. I am not a farmer but know those who are and was slightly offended, so I hope that anyone in that profession that reads this knows that many of us know how hard and important your work is. Thank-you : )

    • Thank you for your comment! 🙂

    • Luke 14:5 ~ “And [Jesus] said to them, “Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?”” Taking care of animals!

      Exodus 34:21 ~ God said, “Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest”

      Just copying & pasting for us all. I certainly DO understand. Meditating (although I’m not a farmer… but I do care for my pet all day on the Sabbath Rest).

  23. Michelle Howe says:

    I loved this post, but want to mention one piece from the article: “Few of us live an agricultural or pastoral life led by the gentle demands of animals and crops. ”

    I’m one of those crazy few who DO live by the demands of animals and crops, as a farmers wife. And unfortunately, it is NOT a “gentle demand.” If you want to learn more about the life of modern day farmers, follow my Facebook Page at Farmwife 101. Nowadays, farmers have the same schedule that most people have, taking kids to soccer practice, serving as worship leaders, etc. The difference with our lives is that we ALWAYS have to be home to care for the livestock and crops. We don’t have the luxury of taking frequent weekends away to recharge.
    I just wanted to share this as a modern view of agriculture, the demands are not so gentle 🙂 Great post!

  24. Thank you for another beautiful devotion.

  25. Thank you so much for speaking to my heart. We are constantly in busy seasons with having two boys in sports, music lesson, Cub Scouts. We do manage to sit down and eat as a family most of the time. Sometimes Dad eats a little later because he goes from work to the field. I have told coaches no for my sons attending practices during the week or on Saturdays because the sport was supposed to be on Sundays (both practice and game). I need to learn to put church first on Sundays though. Sports usually take priority which I know is wrong. I am so thankful for summer break. But even that isn’t restful with all the school activities that are now being pushed on our children. (daily math problems & reading requirements) not to mention keeping up on practicing their instruments per their instructors request… No wonder us parents and children are tired… even a season of rest isn’t rest anymore. I pray God helps us to balance life a little better. I have noticed our lives are based on our children’s schedules. no date nights and limited friend gatherings… I wish more parents would speak up about sports being played on Sunday mornings. I speak up when I can to let the organizers know that some families need to attend worship services and they should schedule games in the afternoons.

  26. This post really speaks to be and I have been struggling with this so much lately as a mom of 3 yr old twins working part-time, super involved in church and in the middle of building a house/starting a homestead! But this is why the Lord commands us (not suggests, but commands) to keep the Sabbath. It is for our own good–an amazing blessing to us!! I have been convicted recently in doing better to keep the Sabbath–I want to start completely devoting our Saturdays to rest, relaxation, and time in fellowship with the Lord. I want my girls to know the importance of this command and its meaning!

  27. Thank you for sharing this todAy. It is exactly what I needed to read!

  28. The gentle demands of animals & crops??? No doubt that our agricultural ancestors dealt with our same issues. Lack of birth control often led to large families. Try managing a large household on top of the “gentle demands” of a farm. Plants & animals have no concept of time, holidays, sickness or pre-made plans. Great article, but the problems we deal with are nothing new.

  29. Lynne Molyneaux says:

    Perfect timing on this post. I took a vacation day from work but feel like I’ve spent half the morning checking my email. I definitely need to set boundaries. Thanks.

  30. Praying for Lysa and her family HARD and thank you for all you do- this makes a HUGE Difference in lives of so many women across the globe and me being of them:)

  31. Melanie Davis Porter says:

    Such sage advice and reminders sweet Glynnis. Life balance is difficult in all seasons of my life it seems. I’m looking forward to reading your book. 😘

  32. Cindy Lamia says:

    I am the proud daughter of a farmer. I laughed at the comment of “gentle demands” of animals and crops. Does going out and feeding cattle early every morning in freezing temperatures sound like a “gentle demand”? There are no weekends, no holidays; there wasn’t even a honeymoon. Does working from dawn to way beyond dusk bringing the harvest in sound like a “gentle demand”? Again, no weekends, no holidays. These farmers and ranchers have the same family demands and life demands that everyone else has, and have to set boundaries as you describe also. However, they have their own unique set of challenges, not fewer challenges.

  33. Michele says:

    I agree with several of the comments, but even with the time we do have, a lot of our time is still wasted and/or unproductive. Some may not have children in sports or other extracurricular activities and our family interaction time is misused. Even knowing there’s bible study or some other church activity is and has been an ongoing scheduled service evening for 100 years (a little exaggeration, of course), we will still make it optional in our schedules. Those options including, but not limited to: my tv show is coming on and I can’t miss it live. No recording on this one. Or, woo, I’ve been out shopping all day and I’m so tired. They won’t miss me anyways, I’ll go next week. And, I’ll even add, next week sometimes turns into next week and so on. Or, I just don’t feel like going.
    We will even stay home and visit our social media sites or play our favorite games, that we’ve gotten hooked on. Even, send requests to our friends and church family that we’re friends with and ask for lives, while we’re supposed to be in church. LBVS. I’ve seen some individuals make a post about how bored they are, when they’ve called ahead to say they’ve got something going on and can’t make service. LOL.
    I recall, my family going through a tough time, my at the time husband, had made a habit of calling ahead and saying that we wouldn’t make it to service. It was a family church. His family. Granted, we did have about a 75 minute drive, both ways. Our children grew up knowing that slots on specific days and times were already taken. After some time, we both noticed that something, not so good, was taking place. Our children began asking, if we were going to church on those days and time slots, that were at one-time filled automatically. Seemed as if things only worsened. The children and I would sometimes attend alone. Eventually, we found a church family here. If you followed the nuggets of my story, you might see a couple of important reasons why my marriage failed.
    But, to conclude my “story”, bc I could write all day, we must be intentional about our time. Make an organized, yet flexible, schedule or your schedule will DISorganize you. Disorganization creates stress…stress leads to a lack of production…and lack of production brings about discouragement (Satan’s slam dunk). And when discouragement lingers, it leads to hopelessness…which causes us to give up!
    Let’s stay engaged, connected and intentional!

    Sorry, it took this long book, to come to this! But, because of who Christ is in my life, I love each and every one of you!😘

  34. Susan G. says:

    Amen! Keeping telling these truths. I see the younger generation still caught up in busy, busy, busy.
    Thanks for this!

  35. Janice Alston says:

    I have really enjoyed reading this article, a very inspiring article. We all can be lifted up by this reading. Thanks so much, I needed this.
    Janice

  36. I really appreciate the devotions I get everyday but feel I need to make a comment on this devotional. Our son and wife are ranchers and their lives are lives of animals and agriculture but be assured, it is not a life of “gentle demands”, it is hard work, 24 – 7!!! One must experience it to really appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that go into trying to make a living that way. It’s not a life that Hollywood makes it out to be. They, too, have to prioritize their time. Blessings to you and Pro 31 ministries, keep up the good work for Jesus.

  37. I can totally relate to what you’re saying. Why do we push ourselves so frantically? It’s so hard to slow down. However I did laugh when you mentioned the quiet natural rhythms of farming. I am married to a farmer and although I wonder if that’s what it used to be like now days not so much they are pushed by consumer demands and low payout and it gets frantic for them too.I think our worldliness just pushes us and we either fall into line or we have to work at not staying on the treadmill.

  38. Each person is called to give sacrificially what God has ordained for them to do. Why does the pasture on the other side of the fence always appear to be more lush? It is not!! The devil uses our own misconceptions in evil ways to trip us up. Scatter kindness one day at a time, one step at a time. BLESSED!

  39. I still say that the very best summer we had as a family was the summer that I missed the deadline for the kids’ summer soccer registration. That was the eye-opener for me. it was so peaceful to see my kids paying on the swing set and not having to interrupt their play for the madness!

  40. Joyce Moeckly says:

    For the most part, I enjoy reading these devotionals. I do have a bone to pick with you on a comment you made about the “gentle demands of animals & crops” in an agricultural environment. I am an Iowa farm girl and I can assure you that, while living in the country is wonderful & rewarding, it is also very hard work. It is not a 9-to-5 job, nor are the demands “gentle” by any means (especially with livestock). Perhaps you should read Sharon Glasgow’s post on “Marriage is Hard Work”. She speaks about living & working on a farm and the hard work involved.

  41. I have known for a while now that I need to set more boundaries and have more down time. I always feel so exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed. Thank you for the reminder that it’s okay to take a little time to relax along the way.

  42. Thanks in favor of sharing such a nice thought, post is good, thats why i have read it entirely

  43. Well said! And much needed…thank you!

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