On the crest of a cool breeze, the fresh scent of pine fills the air, and pink blossoms from a towering Crepe Myrtle carpets the patio like spray from the Master Painter’s brush.


I survey the landscape of home after our absence of two weeks where we visited my stepdaughter .  She has graduated from college and begun a new job….too far away from home.  I begin to look for jobs to show her that are in between far away, and far enough for her to feel her independence.


Grass grows calf high and covers the stepping-stones to the creek.  Rain droplets on grass so green cover my feet, my weight balances as one foot journeys in front of the other, carrying me to the water’s edge to feed fish.


They dive and jump at the morsels of bread as it lands on the water.  Charlie, our black lab,  trees a squirrel, then for the next half hour barks his dare at the squirrel to come down for a rematch.  There is no middle ground for fish or dog; they go after what they love with no regard of pacing themselves.


Exhaling, I return to the house to begin the laundry,  whose height is half that of the washing machine with width just as wide. I try to laugh at what lies ahead. For a few days I am home before leaving to help my daughter prepare her classroom and children for the beginning of school (yes, already!) Before I leave again, the grass needs to be cut and string-trimmed, the gutters cleaned, gardens weeded, restock the refrigerator, spend time writing  blogs and post for online magazines, and try to get one more chapter added to my book .  Breathing in I shake my head and smile.


That’s what you do when it feel like the world is crashing in, you breathe in.  We are surrounded by His breath, and we take Him in.  We take Him into our situations, our stresses.  We breathe in and it makes us feel a little lighter, and more hopeful in the task before us and the more emotionally balanced we feel facing the mountain of work.


“The fuller your cup, the more you need balance” ~Rick Warren



Balance comes first by praying for wisdom.


“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him.” (James1:5 NASB)


Unless we are wise in our choices of what needs prority we will never have balance because we will choose what gives us satisfaction over what is most important.  We will choose cruising through Pinterest instead of cleaning the sticky floor, or pulling weeds in the garden (so we can get some sun) instead of finding that document buried beneath piles of unfiled papers. We need help to make good choices.


Try to Do one thing everyday that will fill your tank.


 If you are dealing with people all day, maybe you need a quiet walk,  or crate by painting, or sewing; but do something relaxing with you hands.  Maybe you’re the type that needs to smash a few tennis balls around, or take a walk around the block with your family, whatever it is, do one thing that fills your tank.  All responsibility and no fun will drain you until you are of no use to anyone. It will also make you so grouchy that no one will want you around!


Learn to be comfortable saying,  “No”.


Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33NASB)


Allow God to help you choose what to do after you have taken care of your family. Many people have a difficult time saying the word, “No”.  Whether it is because we have a servant’s heart or because we want to be liked, saying “No” can be a word we don’t use nearly enough.  Saying “Yes” to all things can place you far behind what you need to accomplish.  Helping others is what Christians are called to do, but remember Charity begin at home.  Helping with Bible Studies, Vacation Bible School, Prison Ministry, whatever it is, are good things to do, but, there needs to be balance.  There needs to be priority and there needs to be a written schedule so that you can see where your time is spent.


Learning to have balance is a life lesson that will be valuable to your children and husband.  They will begin to see a mother and wife who is calmer, more focused, and more productive because she has learned balance.


“She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25 NIV)





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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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