Wednesday, May 2, 2012

is that really the question you should ask?

i hear this all the time. i used to think it all the time. i have struggled with this thought for a couple of years actually.

i need to find a balance. it's all about balance! we must find the balance!

you know, between being a mom or wife and being me. of spending time with my family or spending time being creative. of work and home. of this and that. fill in your balance struggle.

but i think we have the wrong concept here. and i think we're preaching to each other something that is of wordily wisdom and not the Gospel.

i would submit to you that the problem is not finding this perfect middle ground. that is something you will chase for the rest of your life and not find what you are looking for. we all want to be the perfect mom and the perfect wife, the perfect friend and the perfect professional at the same time. but that's unrealistic, is it not? and will the planets ever aline perfectly and make this so...

could it be that how do i find a balance is the wrong question?

when we should instead be asking, how can i be obedient to Christ today? or in this season of my life?

because the pendulum will always be swinging, friends. there are times when God is working more on some particular area of your life than others. there are times when you are going to be full speed, sprinting in life. and then there are times when God wants you to rest. there are times when we must zoom in on our parenting and there are times to sit and enjoy the kids. there are times when we must work intensely on our marriage and there are times when all is calm on the marriage front. there are super creative times and there are times our minds are quiet. shall i fill this post with the million other spectrums of life? no, because i would bore myself.

we know that the bible says,
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV)

yet we listen to the world. strive after a balance! put your hope there!

this thought process will take your eyes off God and will disappoint you terribly.
instead, come to the Lord and submit your plans of what you thought your day/life/situation would look like in this moment and ask God how you can be obedient. better yet, admit that you don't know what you're doing and you need direction.

we tend to have a very convenient view of God when we move through our day, making plans, making decisions, doing what we prefer and then asking God to bless those things. while fitting worldly wisdom into that same prayer. bless what i've already planned to do without submitting it to you. oh and things are off in my life...i feel stressed! i need a better balance!

in contrast, the bible says, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness...


and

trust in the Lord with all your heart. lean not on your own understanding. in all your ways acknowledge him and HE will make your path straight.

submitting everything we do in complete obedience. letting God dictate our lives and our path by living in submission to Him, instead of flapping around in life chasing a nonexistent "balance". if you look at a person that seems to have a balance in their life, you perhaps are viewing obedience.

there is calmness in obedience. there is freedom in obedience. there is peace in obedience. and there is JOY!  because intstead of exhausting yourself chasing the world's wisdom of the "perfect balance", we look to God to tell us what our life will look like that day. and in this moment. and in these words. and when i'm interacting with my kids. and when i'm talking with my husband. and in our sex life. and in my artwork. and at my job. and when i'm driving. and so on and so on. there is no area of life untouched by the need for God's direction and wisdom.

when you submit yourself in this way, you are admitting that you are not a savior. you admit that you can't do this on your own and that you've in fact, made yourself your own God by creating your own path.  when we quit hiding and hoping in seemingly good terms like "balance", we stop living in the guilt of what we think our lives should look like and instead live in the freedom of obedience and submission to Christ.

and sometimes your life will be fast and sometimes slow.
and sometimes messy and sometimes clean.
and sometimes hard and sometimes easy.
and sometimes busy and sometimes quiet.
and sometimes your floors will be clean and a lot of times they won't. just look at mine.

the world's wisdom says you must chase this magical unicorn called balance. but nowhere in the bible do we find God telling us to search for that. in fact, try and find a story where life is perfect and someone has this incredibly balanced life.

IT'S. NOT. THERE.

you find rebellion and adultery, hardship, persecution, stress, joy, struggles, heartache, redemption, all sorts of craziness, hope, questions...real life!
real EFFING life, people.
(yes, i semi cussed to make a bold statement. go with it.)

because perfect balance is an illusion that takes our eyes away from the one who supernaturally provides for our needs perfectly in each moment--when we look to him. only in obedience will you find what you're looking for. Christ is sufficient.

find your Hope in Him. and then receive peace and joy in wherever you are.

damn, that's good news.

**do i even have a really nice camera? yes, but i still use my iPhone camera.

73 comments:

  1. So true! I love how you share truths of the Scripture as applied to real life struggles. Thank you!

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  2. good stuff. i may or maynot have written several of your statements in my journal... #freedevo

    also, love romans 15:13. baller.

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  3. ps - is that penelope standing up already?

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  4. that is good news, and what i needed to hear. thank you, very much.

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  5. Thank you for this godly encouragement! I need to remember it daily.

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  6. Oh, Jami, thank you for this meditation today. I totally needed this message. I've been striving for balance, but it's not what I should seek at all.

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  7. very nice jami nato. love every word of it.

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  8. OH JAMES! You're speaking Spirit-inspired stuff into this ridiculous internet. Thanks for letting Him use you.

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  9. Thanks so much for posting, Jami - this was exactly what I needed today. You have no idea how much I needed this, thank you! xo

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  10. Even as a college girl, this is so applicable and touches my heart. So much truth. Thank you for posting something that I know I'll think back to as my life transitions over the next few years.

    Love,

    Victoria

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  11. amen and amen. What a good word sister. Thank you

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  12. A (wait for it...) MEN!!!!! Oh Jami, you hit it on the head for me today... or is it that you it ME on the head today? I love the way your mind works I would like to read this post to my MOPS group. I see this struggle- and the guilt that comes with it- ALL. THE. TIME. Thanks, woman.

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  13. best post i've read in blogland in a while. it's so true.

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  14. Worded perfectly. This is where I am! Writing my heart!

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  15. thank you, Jami, for sharing that. :) I am struggling with this myself, and you said it PERFECTLY! Jesus/the Word>everyone else/world/myself :)

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  16. Love this post. I've had this same subject on my heart lately. thanks for digging for His perspective and wisdom. very encouraged.Love it!

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  17. I'm sure you hear this ALL the time, but this was sooo what I needed to hear this morning. God is working :) Thanks, Anne

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  18. i have no other words than a profound AMEN!!!

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  19. Never thought about it like this. We assume that God wants these things sometimes... a balanced life. Like she who has the cleanest, cutest house, most obedient children, and happiest husband wins in Christ's eyes. Maybe we should be checking these thoughts with the Word... what is most honoring to Him? It may be to spend more time reading it and less time on those things. Thanks for posting!

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  20. It's true, isn't it? The concept of balance sounds so good, so right. But it's a distraction, and for most of us, I suspect it' nothing but a mirage.

    A few years ago, I came across a passage in a book that said, when it all comes down, and you are evaluating your day, the question you want to weigh yourself by is "Did I love well today?" I was so struck by the razor-like simplicity that I used that idea to name my blog. (Mostly as a reminder to myself.)

    I'm a fairly new reader, by the way. Love everything you have to say. Even - especially - your iPhone photos.

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  21. Kinda new 'round here, but this? My favoritest post yet.

    (not that I would know balance even if it were sitting on my couch eating a tuna sandwich)

    (does balance like tuna?)

    (see? I don't even know that....)

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  22. this is why i adore youm jami nato. for realz. can we be far-away bff's?

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  23. Freedom in obedience. Preach it, my interweb friend!

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  24. Jami,

    May the Holy Spirit continue to fill you with wisdom. Your words always leave an imprint on my mind, and put a voice to my heart's cry.

    I needed to hear this today.

    Thank you.

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  25. wow. love this. thanks for sharing.

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  26. Whoa. Never thought about things this way.. which is probably why I the whole "balance" thing is so hard for me most of the time. Thank you for shooting us straight. Just what I needed to hear today!

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  27. Thanks for that. God uses your blog (and by that I mean you!) so profoundly. So glad you took time out of your day to write this encouraging and hopeful challenge.

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  28. Jami,

    This is exactly what I needed to read today! Now, it's just a matter of following through. :)

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  29. this slays me. you are speaking my language. i think i have struggled with this every single day since becoming a mom three years ago. i should've known it could be simpler. the Gospel. the end.

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  30. amen and amen. good news for us for sure.

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  31. That's some truth right there, sister. nicely effing said.

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  32. I needed this today. Thank you.

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  33. Beautiful and excellent post. Thank you for being bold and sharing truth.

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  34. This is the first time I've ever visited your blog. I needed to read this! Thank you so much!

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  35. Gosh. Yes. These words are great. I always cringed at this idea of balance & loved your thoughts about a life that finds "balance" is just a life of complete obedience. So true!

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  36. many cuss words were said as i read this. [the good kind, of course] dear woman, thank you for speaking truth into that balance subject. thank you for reminding us of our identity, our way to exist, and our joyful duty. truth is freedom. obedience is freedom. even when i don't want to choose it and seemingly drag my heart along- freedom is found.
    thank you for being a woman of integrity, or wisdom, and courage.

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  37. as usual, thanks for the kick in the gut. i LITERALLY have that romans scripture taped to my laptop. man, our God is an awesome God!

    thanks! seriously....thanks

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  38. Such a wonderful post!! And I'm gonna focus my prayers on his will now-fell off the tracks on that one-so thank you!! You inspire me!

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  39. Slow clap for courage from this corner. Be affirmed, Jami, for not making yourself your own savior, and thank you for the reminder in such a time as this.

    I wrote a resonant post a bit ago. Love you to lend an eyebone.
    http://kendraspondence.com/?p=2144

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  40. I often find my heart longing for the kind of balance that you're alluding to, and when that happens, I eventually remember that what my soul really longs for is heaven, my true home. And since God has placed eternity in all of our hearts, I'd say that that is what most people, albeit unknowingly, are longing for too. That time and place where all things will be made new. Thanks for pointing me back to the gospel tonight, Jami.

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  41. A friend told me about this blog post of your's and I am so glad she did. Thank you for pointing out the fact that no where in the scriptures do you hear of someone who has perfect balance. I NEVER thought of that before! There would be no purpose of life (or our Savior for that matter). We need chaos sometimes so we can practice obedience. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  42. A friend of mine shared your blog post with me and I am so glad she did. I really enjoyed your thoughts on balance. I NEVER thought about the fact that no where in the scriptures do you find perfect balance. I guess there would be no need for our Savior if we had it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  43. Thank you thank you thank you! Boy did my anxious heart need to read this. I am so grateful for the TRUTH in His Word! :)

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  44. I swear sometimes its like you write these posts directly to my heart. thanks again.

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  45. This is a fresh perspective of the verses in Ecclesiastes. Thank you for letting our God use you to inspire people and start change in other's lives! All glory to Him!

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  46. thank you.
    damn good news indeed.
    praise jesus. he's cleaned my plow over this already. and holy HELLO! freedom!

    when our scales are tipped, heavy leaned on him we ARE balanced and are able to not only obey him, but, watch out. ENJOY him and whatever he asks of us.

    jami, girl. i just love you.
    soak up this lord's day, may he fill you up and renew you. xoxo

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  47. "when we quit hiding and hoping in seemingly good terms like "balance", we stop living in the guilt of what we think our lives should look like and instead live in the freedom of obedience and submission to Christ."

    The freedom and peace and joy of obedience. I love that. And I needed so badly to hear that. I've been daring to believe lately that my dreams and my family can coexist, and not just "can" but "should". They are all part of me and part of a story that I am not writing. But I get to live it. And that is awesome.

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  48. oh my gosh, thank you thank you thank you for speaking up and speaking TRUTH and boom boom pow and i am speechless to read this in the christian blog world and I am stunned and relieved and did I mention i was speechless? i mean seriously! i get so tired of God being in a BOX to fit around our lives! That's not how it is, He doesn't work that way...we are living for ONE thing and one thing only and the is THE KINGDOM LIFE. Your Kingdom come Your will be done. There is so much twisted scripture and world views it's scary.
    anywho, THAnks FOR being so faithful because that's why you get IT.

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  49. Needed to hear this today! Thank you for writing that out!

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  50. I really needed to hear this. Especially the part about submitting the Lord where I THOUGHT I'd be, and then giving it to him to handle. He knows what he's doing, but so often I just tell him what I want, and when I want it.

    Thank you.

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  51. I am so thankful to you for writing this. I struggle with this often and fight guilt, but this is a wonderful reminder to submit always to God and allow him to rule my life....its much easier that way;)
    Blessings,
    Anna

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  52. Thank you for this! I've been striving after balance for years, but I'm coming to believe that there's really no such thing. How freeing to think that we're allowed to be okay with that.

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  53. Can I tell you how bad I needed to read this right now??? Can I just say that I SUPER needed to hear this. Today. Right Now. We are still living out of boxes to some extent and my heart is ungrateful and life is our of kilter and I am exhausted and tired and grumpy and teary and this is GOOD news. Thank you!!!

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  54. Thank you for this post this morning! The way you share openly on your blog is completely refreshing and inspiring. I love it "real".

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  55. I heard somewhere that balance is choosing wisely the thing you are going to cheat. For example, if you are going to be spending time with your family then you are going to be "cheating" time away from your business/work.

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  56. I was catching up on your blog today and saw I missed this post... feel like it was written for me. today. I needed that word of truth & encouragement. I've been walking a lonely battle & journey. I've lost so much hope. I kept telling myself if I could find the balance maybe I'd be better. Not the case. Lies all lies I've been telling myself. I haven't been walking in obedience. I've been angry, guilty, bitter and jealous of so many women around me who "seem" to have it together... when I have been falling apart from the inside out.
    I've got some heart searching to do. Thanks for the words.

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  57. I needed to re read this today. and read it slow. sometimes I get frustrated when the season of life I am in is not the one I WANT to be in. but I love that you say in obedience is freedom. I don't think of it that way all the time. thank you for this post. I am sure I will be visiting it time and time again.

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  58. just so you know, I posted a blog about this blog it has stuck with me so much. of course I linked it up back to you :)

    thanks again for the encouragement.

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  59. Hmmm, lots of stuff here to think about. Thought I needed balance, but maybe not! :^) Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  60. I just found this through the jones design company blog. Crazy small world that it was you! I'm not sure if you would know my name but Allie B is one of my very good friends. This whole topic is exactly what I've needed to hear this week. Life has been full and guilt has set in about many things. God definitely showed himself to me today. Thanks so much for your heart.

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  61. Even months after writing this, your words still bless lives. :) I needed this today, thank you.

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  62. Stumbled across this today through Jones Design Co, very encouraged. Thanks. A LOT.

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  63. Found this through Jones Design Co today. These thoughts will stick with me for a long time. I really needed that perspective. Thanks. A LOT.

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