Is there really such a thing as balance?

Is there really such a thing as balance?

In our home, we’re in that crazy season between the disappointment of a football season that ended faster than we hoped it would and the beginning of a hopeful basketball season. The man I’m married to is one of those guys who chose the career path of a small school.

He starts in August with two-a-days for Six-Man football, moves immediately into the role as a head basketball coach, and then juggles track assignments and coaching girls and boys golf all at the same time. He assists with junior high, JV, and varsity for every sport, and did I mention that we have two boys of our own playing in junior high and high school, as well?

Is balance real, or is it a unicorn we spend our days chasing? Is it a speck off in the distance that if we just work hard enough and say no more often, that we could see it getting closer on the horizon? 

I heard some questions the other day that I think fit well in this moment that we’re all in: What if balance isn’t something you do or something you feel? What if balance is something you create? Can you create a sense of balance and still be busy?

I am a true believer that there is a REAL enemy out there. An enemy that isn’t flesh or blood. An unseen enemy that uses whatever weapons, both spiritual and physical, to attack. And this enemy hates you because you (& your Coach) are in a profession that leads young men and women away from his darkness and towards God’s truth about how amazing they are and how awesome life without the enemy’s lies in their lies can be.

What weapons, weaknesses, and insecurities is that enemy using against you? How is that enemy throwing you off balance, and how do you even know?

For me, I have to pay attention to the patterns of the things that cause me to stumble. I have to watch for what spirals me into real anxiety. I have to notice when I am whirling into a place of negativity. Then, I have to decide to fight for my own mind and sense of peace.

I also have to pay attention to the patterns of positivity:

  • When am I happiest?
  • When do I feel most productive?
  • What am I doing when I feel real balance in my life?

In my world, it always begins with my spiritual life and when I am in prayer. For some of you, it might be easier to think of it as meditation or time in self-help if that’s an easier concept to grasp. My mood is always better when I’ve spent time in prayer or spent some quiet time in meditation, alone, just really focusing on what I’m doing well or what I am thankful for in my life.

I used to post something I was thankful for each day in November on social media, and I can truly tell you, this was always so good for me. Usually, by day twelve, I really had to think hard about what I wanted to be thankful for every day. Once I got past my initial Faith, Family, and sports posts, I had to dig deep to find something meaningful, and in those moments, my spirit was always lifted.

Zig Ziglar once said, “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” 

Even if it’s taking 5 minutes to write down or meditate on one thing each day, for which you can be thankful, I believe gratitude will bring balance.

Also, when I get disconnected, I begin to feel myself become more unstable. I believe in 2020; we were all so disconnected. Maybe not to our family unit, although after that many weeks/months home alone with Coach and two boys, with no practice or games or summer league, I’m not sure connection is what I felt for them. I tease, but in all seriousness, we came out of that season disconnected from our neighbors, our coaching community, extended families, and I’m not sure have we have all really and truly reconnected.

If you’re like me, you’re tied to that tiny screen more than anything; and that connection has left me wanting and off-balanced to my core. Taking time to make a girls’ night date with friends, calling a loved one on the phone and listening to the sound of their voice, really checking in with Coach, and spending some quality time with him, always helps me find my center.

And, I truly think the biggest lie the enemy attacks me with to create disharmony for me is the lie that I have to be busy. Since I was a little girl, I have fought this lie simply because I was raised by someone who created an association for me with works accomplished with my own value. If I am busy accomplishing, I have real value in the world, my home, and my job. I have truly struggled with the lie from the enemy that I am only valuable if I am busy and doing.

Just like with meditation or with connection, I have learned that I must stop and find time to just rest. This is the moment when I can hear that old saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” And there is no one for which this is truer than me. Real balance for me involves real rest. I keep a very specific calendar with games, and commitments, and holidays, and events, and if I must, there are real days of rest sprinkled sporadically in that calendar, as well.

Is balance like a four-leaf clover? No. I truly think there is real balance out there for each of us, but only if we’re willing to search within ourselves for what will help lead us to balance.

This is a moment when you must decide what weapons the enemy is using against you and how you will prepare to defend yourself. Is this work? Absolutely! Are you worth it? I have no doubt you are, dear sister. I’m cheering for you every step of the way.