Finding a Balance That’s Just Right

by Julie Lavender

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV)

Goldilocks had the right idea: neither extreme worked for her—she chose the one that was just right.

The same is true of potential social and civic commitments. Too many commitments cause us anxiety and stress and result in poor performance in one or more areas of our lives. Often, it affects our families. We might wish we could be a superwoman and do it all, but we can’t.

I found that out the hard way, when I agreed to serve on the bereavement committee at church. I love to bake and cook, and I thought that ministry would be a great fit for me. Trouble was, I was already serving in the children’s choir ministry, the youth ministry, and the college ministry. With four children, I wanted to give back to those who were ministering to my own kids. Other commitments involved attending two Bible studies, helping my mom with my ailing dad when needed, homeschooling three of the four kids, and writing freelance.

One night after yet another fast-food meal, one of my children asked, “Mommy, when can we have one of those yummy casseroles you’re always taking to the church?”

That one stung just a bit. I had neglected my family for a good cause, but the kids felt like they were my second choice.  

When we say yes to too many “good” or “great” causes, something will suffer—our health or our family’s well-being, a relationship with a friend, or maybe even our position at work. Saying yes too often can lead to anger and resentment, causing unnecessary stress or forcing us to put our family in second place.

Before giving an automatic yes to a request, we women need to learn to first say, “Let me pray about that decision.” Sometimes saying yes is the easy way to keep peace or get the job done.

But at times, saying yes means robbing someone else of the blessing of taking on that role or responsibility.

We need to pray diligently, read God’s Word, and seek counsel from mentors, if necessary, before making a decision that might over-commit us. And to abide in his will, we just might have to learn to say no more often.

The passage from Hebrews above reminds me to stay in God’s Word and seek His will in my life through consistent prayer. That helps me stay grounded and points me towards a balance that is best for His purposes and my life. And in that season of balance, I know that God will equip me for everything good in Him. 

Be like Goldilocks (aside from the breaking and entering, of course) and find a balance that is “just right” for you.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Julie Lavender is the author of 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments into Lasting Memories (Revell) and Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime (Z Kids/Penguin Random House). She’s had seasons of balance, and seasons of chaos, but she’s happiest when she allows the God of peace to reign in her life, equipping her with everything GOOD for doing his will. The above story is an excerpt from Be Still and Take a Bubblebath, a devotional she co-wrote with Michelle Sauter Cox. Connect with her at https://julielavenderwrites.com/.

Join the conversation: Are you struggling with over-commitment?