How do you balance all the roles in your life (wife, mother, ministries etc) with making health a priority as well. How do you find the time and with small children the way to exercise and keep making new goals? -Laura
1. Don't feel sorry for self...Don't even think about it.
Honestly, the first time someone asked me this question, I hadn't even thought about it. I never thought about my kids or husband or other responsibilities making it more difficult for me to stay focused on healthy living. But once the idea was pointed out to me I could see that these things did present more challenges. I am always looking for an excuse, so the fact that these things really hadn't occured to me is simply more evidence of God's grace. Now that I do recognize these challenges, I try not to focus on them. This is my life. I am a wife. I have small children. I have responsibilities inside and outside the home, one of which is taking care of my body. These are blessings and I believe God works them all together for good.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
2. Ask for and accept help
I am not afraid to let people help me. I do not feel guilty about asking a friend or family member to watch my kids so I can go run. We were never intended to do things on our own. That is why God gives us community and family. We are not capable of doing things alone and it is a form of pride to think that we can or should. Now, those people we call on to help us should never be taken for granted or taken advantage of. I thank God for them! Hopefully they have a concept of #5.
"People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world." (Barabara Streisand song)
Determining priorities is as simple as asking myself the question: "What is important to me?" Once I have honestly answered that question, I am able to find the time for it. Always. We find time for what is important to us. Remember--if you want things to change, you have to change the way you do things. Your priorities must change. My relationship with God is most important. From this relationship, he directs everything else in my life. By putting Him first, the balancing act becomes much easier because He will do it.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
4. Don't listen to the world.
When we allow the world to dictate what we spend our time doing, to decide our values, that is when we get in trouble and our lives end up way out of balance. We all have values that guide us in determining what is important to us. The goal for me is to draw my values from what is important to God. Most important to him is not how much money I earn, how well or how many sports my kids play, how cute my hair is, how clean and nice my house is, what size jeans I am wearing, how many "good" things I am doing or what everyone else thinks of me. It is very difficult to push those things to the back of the line because those are things the world is always SCREAMING and constantly whispering should be most important to us. It's a lie!
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
5. Master the art of saying NO.
This is clutch! We have been told a really horrible lie--that we can do it all. Well, maybe we can do it all but if we are doing it all I think it's pretty safe to say we aren't doing any of it well. And to make matters worse, not only have we been told that we can do it all, we've been told (or we tell ourselves) we should do it all. There was a point in my life when I thought that I needed to say yes to anything ever asked of me. Horrible times. I learned a lesson there and started to only say yes when it was a really good thing. Really good things include volunteering at school or church, attending a Bible study, helping a friend in need, the list goes on. All really good things. Problem: there is still not enough of me to do every really good opportunity that comes my way. Some really good things? A few? Yes. Perhaps. There have been points in my life recently where the only thing I was doing was taking care of myself and my family. That is okay sometimes. Guilt can not rule our lives! Trying to live up to the "supermom" fantasy is not possible so stop trying! Also, you can never please everyone and yes, saying "No" will offend people and make them mad. Sometimes it will hurt feelings. I hate that--I really do! But they get over it and even if they don't I can't let it consume me. Consider the bigger picture. Best advice ever: Sometimes we have to say no to very good things so we can say YES to the very best thing.
"Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23
So after typing all of this out, I think I want to correct myself. We actually can do it all--learn to say no, accept help, prioritize our lives, tune out the world and care for our precious bodies--but there is only one Way... I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13