Refresh: Balanced Challenge Day 11(Last Day)

This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!

March 21: Refresh (Chapter Eleven)

Don’t think balance will happen overnight—or even over an eleven-day challenge. It takes practice, and practice takes time. Spend a few minutes reviewing what you’ve learned throughout this challenge and what you hope to continue implementing in your life. Then blog about how you can keep persevering and working toward balance after the challenge has ended. Share encouragement for those who might feel they’ve failed at balance.

I am grateful to Tricia Goyer for writing Balanced and for inviting me to join in this eleven-day challenge. All good “balancers” need to have a set schedule; yet, be flexible when items on our “to-do” list interfere with the needs of those most important to us!  This is a list of the areas in which I intend to focus as I continue my ongoing pursuit of being Balanced in my life :)

  • God
    • Always take time for adoration and gratitude to the Lord, regardless of the form it takes (prayer, devotion, journaling, meditation) every single day.
  • Focus on the Task at Hand
    • I need to make sure that when I’m with the kids, my husband, and family that I’m completely with them.  If we are spending time together I need to shut off my phone, walk away from the computer, and put down that book that I’m reviewing.
  • Be Flexible
    • Know that if something just isn’t working or isn’t getting done that it’s not the end of the world.  God knows best and if I put my trust in him it will work out the way He intended.
  • Worry Less
    • God has this and all I can do is “Do What I Can.”
  • Don’t Let the Negative Pull Me Down
    • Our loved ones can be a huge support, but if they are having a bad day it doesn’t mean I have to have a bad day too.  Try to pull them up, rather than letting them pull me down.

If I am on the right path I know that God will support me, guide me, and never ask me to turn my back on my family to get the necessary tasks accomplished!  The correct path will still have struggles, but it is the journey that is the most important, not the end destination.  God wants me to follow my passion and give through my gifts.  My current season of life requires that my children and marriage take up most of my time and my writing and other career objectives need to take a backseat to the immediate and constant needs of my family.  This doesn’t mean I need to give up my career goals, but I do need to be realistic about what I can accomplish and not set myself up for failure.  Thank you God for making me a Mother, Wife, Daughter, Caregiver, and Friend.  I dedicate my life and all my life’s works to you!

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,

Ecclesiastes 9:10

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Eight: Balanced Challenge Day 10

This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!

March 20: Eight (Chapter Ten)

Read chapter ten and come up with your list of “eight.” Then write down those eight themes on a pretty piece of paper and post it somewhere you’ll see it often (bathroom mirror, refrigerator, bulletin board, etc.). Then take a picture of it and post it on your blog.




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Inspiration and Relaxation: Balanced Challenge Day 9

This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!

March 19: Inspiration and Relaxation (Chapter Nine)

Give your mind a rest and a dose of good, old-fashioned inspiration. Carve out some time today to implement one of my tips about finding inspiration and enjoy the feeling of creativity. Then come up with your own list of ways you can find inspiration and share those on your blog.

I am full of ideas.  I have great ones, horrible ones, and everything in between; however, turning those ideas into a finished product is another story.  Unfinished craft projects and half filled college-ruled notebooks litter every crevice in a home otherwise taken over with toys, sippy cups, and diapers.  My Pintrest wishlist is overwhelmed and my collection of “can’t wait to try this” continues to grow :)  Clearing my mind and chiseling out a work area among the chaos are often my biggest challenges to ensuring that I am able to flush out one idea to its grand finale!  My favorite ways to do this are listed below.

Favorite activities:

  • Talking to people who really believe in me and appreciate the talents God has bestowed upon me
  • Going for a walk or sitting outside with a cup of coffee either early in the morning when the birds very first begin to sing or late in the evening when the peepers begin their serenade
  • Cuddling with a loved one in warm comfy pajamas and a great book while it rains and storms outside
  • Taking a post it tab and using them to select crafts or projects from a cookbook or craft book
  • Reading something completely unrelated to my current work efforts
  • Participating in a challenge like this one  (This is especially helpful during church seasons such as lent and advent.  I achieve such great clarity and focus during these times.)
  • Focusing my energy on helping someone else; proof reading someone else’s work, donating time to the church, or helping my family with their projects
  • Donating and selling stuff we don’t need around the house
  • Dancing to “happy music”
  • Looking at photographs of my kids, my family, and my travels that bring me joy
  • Updating my gratitude journal – every night I list 3 things in the day for which I’m grateful (I can’t tell you what a difference this has made in my overall attitude.)

Favorite Bible Verses:

  • Phil 4:13: I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
  • Prov 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
  • Prov 3:6: In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
  • Phil 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
  • Mathew 6:26:  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
  • Luke 11:11:  ”Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?

Role models, both near and far that offer advice and inspiration:

  • “Write something every day.  If you wrote just one page per day, you will have a 365-page novel at the end of a year.” – Robin Lee Hatcher  (from Balanced by Tricia Goyer)
  • “Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Lying by your side the greatest peace I’ve ever known.” – John Denver
  • “If you want to be a writer get out there and do everything else first – that experience will give you a lifetime of great stories.”  - My Dad


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Make Today Amazing: Balanced Challenge Day 8

This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!

March 18: Make Today Amazing (Chapter Eight)

Take one of my tips to make today amazing (toward the end of the chapter in Balanced) and implement it today. Did you notice a difference in your attitude? What changed? Blog about it!

Today, I’ll be playing the part of Dori, a little blue fish with no idea where she is or where she is going and an uncanny ability to call people anything other than their correct name. Fortunately, Dori can speak fluent whale and is not afraid to ask for direction.  If this sounds completely crazy, don’t worry just watch “Finding Nemo” and the world will make sense to you again.  Like Dori, I often feel as though I’m floundering along and must remember to listen for the small, but steady voice of God to guide me.

In her eBook, Balanced, Tricia Goyer includes the words of Peter Marshall, “Give us the faith to believe that when God wants us to do or not to do any particular thing, God finds a way of letting us know.”  Tricia herself notes that, ”Many times Jesus taps you on the shoulder when you’re busy doing other stuff.”  This couldn’t have been more true for me this week.  As a participant in this challenge I have been working hard on clearing my mind and believing that if I listen and open myself up to God’s message that I will hear him.  In the unlikeliest of times, dancing with my kids to Richard’s Sweatin to the Oldies (yes, I actually do this – the 19 month old loves it!) I finally gained the clarity I was looking for with regards to my writing.  AMEN!

To make today amazing and open my heart to the word’s of Jesus I did the following:

  • Thanked God for letting me wake up and have another day with my amazing family.
  • Kissed my husband and asked him about his day.
  • Spent time with my devotional and prioritized prayer in my schedule.
  • Thanked God for my abilities and gifts and asked for support with my weaknesses.
  • Hugged my family and told them how much I appreciated them and loved them.
  • Requested a book for review that discusses the art of meditation; a process I long to master.
  • Greatly increased the size of my donation bag for Goodwill.

What made you day amazing?
What were you doing when God tapped you on the shoulder? 

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Tricia Goyer Balanced

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Teamwork: Balanced Challenge Day 7

his post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!

March 17: Teamwork (Chapter Seven)

Many hands make light work—and moms, you shouldn’t feel the need to do everything yourself. Schedule a quick family meeting today to talk to your kids and spouse about the responsibilities you all can share to make your load a bit lighter. Blog about what task was given to whom.

My husband has taken on the responsibility of generating our primary income and purchasing insurance to cover our family.  He also works hard to repair and fix things around the home.  How I wish we had known we were going to have kids when we purchased this crazy fixer upper!  He’s fabulous about letting the kids lend a hand when it’s safe to do so and they love having the opportunity.  I’m so happy that God chose him to be my partner in life and father to my amazing children.

I’m also blessed by a mother who is very supportive and active in my children’s lives.  She routinely makes dinner and watches my eldest when the youngest is cranky.  She takes them on small field trips to the grocery store and the library to give me a few minutes to clear my head.  She is truly the glue who holds my calendar together and reconnects the pieces when they are so scattered a dust pan and broom can’t collect them all in one sweep.  I am forever appreciative that God called her to be such a strong support for me and my family.

I joined a women’s bible study group at my church for the first time this year.  It has helped me honor my commitment to read, study, and listen to God.  They are an amazing group of women and they help me feel fulfilled and lifted.  I cherish each and every one of them and are so grateful for their presence in my life.

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Tricia Goyer Balanced

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