In case you missed the first two posts in this series, here are the links:
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Today I’m going to share some thoughts on how to avoid burnout and achieve balance. Balance begins with accepting your limitations. Realizing and accepting the fact that you can’t do everything will go a long way towards achieving balance.
There are 3 key areas where balance is needed:
Keeping in tune with the Lord is so important, because if we don’t keep close to Him, we aren’t able to do His work in our daily duties. We need to seek God daily for His guidance. This means making and taking time every day to spend in His Word, and in prayer. It’s easy to get busy trying to do all the “right” things, and like Martha, neglect the most important thing – spending time with God.
There’s a poem, written by a homeschooling mom, that says it very well:
Come to Me
Busy every day, have to find my way
Always striving to be better, doing what the books all say
Meet my family’s needs, keep my house just right
Get up even earlier, stay up late at night
Yet in spite of all my efforts, I’m not all that I should be
So I ask You, Lord, how to be my best, and you answer tenderly:“Slow down my child, come to Me alone
Shut the door, come boldly to my throne
AS you stay here with me, and you listen earnestly,
You’ll become what you should be – come to Me.
Now it’s very clear that You want me here
kneeling in your presence, Lord, daily drawing near
Delighting in your word, and giving you my cares
Brings my heart and mind such peace
In this precious time we share
It’s here with You Lord, that your plans come into view
When your Word’s impressed upon my heart
I’ll know what to do.
Many times moms will get so busy trying to care for their children and home, and their children’s education, that they tend to quit taking time to care for themselves. Things like getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and exercising are usually the first things to go when the schedule gets too demanding. The problem is that it will catch up to you, and then you won’t be able to do any of those things that are keeping you so busy. Make time to care for yourself. If you are feeling overwhelmed, or exhausted, you need to slow down. Listen to your body. Maybe you need to take a day or two off from the academics, and get some needed rest, or find an easier curriculum that doesn’t require as much time. Do what you need to in order to care for yourself!
If you are feeling exhausted, and physically burned out, let it draw you closer to God.
“In my own life, God has used seasons of burnout to draw me closer to Him. He has arranged circumstances, through illness or exhaustion, in which I have been forced to take the time to renew my walk with Him. Some of my sweetest times of fellowship with Jesus have been times when I’ve been forced to rest and read Scripture to knit both my health and my heart back to wholeness. Burnout requried me to surrender to God, to relinquish my own efforts, and admit my total dependence on Him.” – Christine Field
3. Emotional and social
Most homeschooling moms need more support – not more activities! Make sure you allow time for friends, time out with your husband, and fellowship with other moms who are in the same situation as you. Find someone you can share your heart with, that will encourage you and pray for you.
Paul Chappell gives 4 principles to help us find balance, and use time wisely:
1. Realize what God has given you is sustainable. God knows the number of our days here on earth, and He knows we can accomplish His purpose in His time frame.
2. Be sure to take time to rest. Time spent for God is never wasted time, but we must be careful to not get “weary in well doing.”
3. Opportunity does not equal obligation. Life will present you with many great opportunities, but remember to seek God’s face in every decision. We need God’s wisdom to help us discern between good, better, and best.
4. Identify and focus on a few things. By identifying exactly what God wants you to accomplish each day, you can focus on your goal and work wholeheartedly on each task.”
What are you doing to achieve balance in your life?