A Prescription for Balance

God tapped me on the shoulder. “Two weeks” were His words.

To take a break, recover, regain my footing. The thing about this particular prescription — this nudge toward respite and reprieve — is that I didn’t seek it out. In fact, I’m not even sure I appreciated it.

I’d been wrestling for time, for words to write in this space … well, for the reigns. Convinced I could squeeze it ALL in, I was stacking my schedule. The fact that I was penciling in time to breathe probably should have been the tip-off that something was going to give.

In a week of award assemblies, 6th grade promotion, year-end parties, swim practice, work responsibilities — in the 5 days where I insanely decided to invite 20 people for dinner 12 hours before we left for a 10 hour drive circling our home state — God was giving me a holy nudge to come up for air!

But this particular week, God was also writing “balance” over my heart.

And I was like, “Huh, what? What was that You said? B-A-L … how’s that spelled again?”

So my incredible, amazing, awe-worthy Creator said, “Here, let Me show you.”

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He is just downright beautiful, isn’t He? God takes my breath away.

My issues — my pension to drive forward, to race ahead, to head down charge the finish line, it isn’t a “busy” problem, it’s a sin problem. 

We weren’t made for fast paced, full steam sprints. We weren’t designed to toil and strive. We were made to worship. We were designed to linger, to meander alongside our Creator. We were made to stroll, hands open, hearts ready to receive His presence.

We meager people weren’t made to taste the contrast of good and evil. He had to kick our tails out of the garden just so we wouldn’t take eternity into our hands too, didn’t He?

Since the beginning of time God has been rescuing us from ourselves. Adam and Eve tried to tip the scales, to find their own balance, to run their own show. We know how that blame game, that fall from paradise ended. But we forget, don’t we?

I forget. All the time.

That I was made for Him. That when I’m pursuing fullness and coming up empty, it’s because I’m not pursuing Him. I focus on me and what must be done, instead of Him and what He desires. What He longs for. What He waits for. What is that? More of me.

My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me’
And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.'” Psalm 27:8 NLT

The fact that He desires me should be enough. The truth that He requires more of me is what really seizes my heart.

Ignoring Him.
Trying to talk Him out of what He’s prescribing.
Choosing other people or things first.
Running passed His promises.
Chasing my intentions.

It’s all just ignorance. It’s making an idol out of life. Rather than living to worship, I’m worshiping living.

And without Him, life is empty. It’s purposeless. It’s pointed in the wrong direction. Life without Jesus is simply, well … sin-full.

Balance

In the long, slow drawl of summer it’s quite amiable to say that I’m going to learn this lesson once and for all. But, busyness is right around the corner. Fall will bring its fullness once more.

Oh, Lord … don’t let me forget this time. Bring to mind this tender pace, this beloved balance. I’m quite fond of this place where body, mind, and spirit are in sync. The busy girl, the stressed out mommy, the less loving wife, the pressed to perform writer — I’m just not crazy about her.

After two weeks, this I know: I don’t want to let balance slip through my fingers again.

I can’t help but think that God would say, fully knowing my heart and my pension to pick up more, “This one thing, I’m okay with you holding tightly too.”

He doesn’t want me to forget what still feels like. He doesn’t want me to stop breathing, and lingering, and sinking into soul rest. I have His permission to relax — to read a good book, stay up late watching movies with my husband, snuggle with my sweet boy, sip ice tea and eat chocolate chip cookies, to sit on the back porch in the cool, quiet of the morning and thumb through His word and relish in His goodness…to see it all around me.

That’s what balance looks like to me. And its one thing I’m quite eager to know more of.


Linking up with the beautiful blogging communities and the friends of my heart, Holly Barrett (#testimonytuesday)Kelly Balarie (#raralinkup), Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Kristin Hill Taylor (#threewordwednesday), Bonnie Gray (#faithbarista), and Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory).

All photos © Tiffany Parry 2015 (shot with iPhone 6)

56 thoughts on “A Prescription for Balance

  1. What a wonderful post, Tiffany. Why is it we find ourselves pursuing so many things other than God? I’m so guilty of that. Thank you for this beautiful reminder to slow down, and that it’s okay not to be doing something all the time… but that God wants us to rest in Him and just enjoy His presence. Thank you for this blessing!

    1. Amen to resting in Him and enjoying His presence. Slowing down isn’t always easy and I know for me it takes conscious effort, but it’s so worth it to be with Him. So glad you visited…YOU blessed me. :)

  2. Great points. We live pretty chill here. We make sure that our time is spent wisely even our relaxing time is important to us. It is only when we give ourselves time to be still that we can really understand how we are to live.

  3. Tiffany, I can’t tell you how much I needed this post today. I had just emailed you about guest posting and trying to find balance, and then I read this. Thank you for letting the Spirit speak through your words, friend. I’m so glad to you listened and took this time. The rest you took definitely shines through your writing. (Hugs)

    1. Aww…He is just so good to us, isn’t He!! So glad the words met you in a time that you needed them. It’s funny how we sometimes think the slower pace of summer will bring more balance, when in reality it often stirs the pot. Praying His Spirit whisks you away for some quiet moments of rest, as well. Hugs back, sweet friend. Looking forward to having you here in a few weeks. xo

  4. This: “It’s making an idol out of life.” I so get that statement. Balance has been a lifetime struggle for me and honestly, God has been pushed down the list far too many times. I’m still dealing with these issues today even after almost a month off. Now I can’t seem to find my way back to writing, but I feel the need to take it slow and steady so as not to let God drop down on my list ever again. Beautiful advice, encouragement, and inspiration here, Tiffany!

    1. I hear you, Candace. When there are things we are passionate about, even the pursuits God calls us too, it can be difficult to not allow those to push their way into first place. It is very much an intentional choice to choose Him first. And slow, steady steps can be quite wise when we know our own tendencies to jump in with both feet. :) Here’s to finding that proper balance in all things. I know He’ll lead you back to the page in due time and more so, that He’ll meet you there once He does. Thank you for sharing your heart here. Blessings!

  5. I loved this one Tiffany, I felt so convicted, but also encouraged!!! He knows what we need, when we need it

  6. I pushed myself and got to a bad place a few months ago. Hard to believe we aren’t supposed to be like that, based on pressure I feel from the world and ourselves. Great words!

    1. I’ve been there too, Sarah. No, we aren’t designed for that are we? Makes me grateful this pressure fill world is not our home. Here’s to taking time to rest in His presence and savor the God who made us for more. Rest well, friend.

  7. Hey Tiffany,

    What a great and challenging post!

    You have mentioned some great points about balance and perspective! I was just praying about taking Saturday and Sunday with no Social Media at all.

    Your post has encouraged me to do just that! Thank you!

    Hope you have a restful 4th~
    Blessings,
    Melanie

  8. ” We were designed to linger, to meander alongside our Creator. We were made to stroll, hands open, hearts ready to receive His presence.” Amen, friend! Oh how I need such reminders! My mind and heart like to race at their own pace and then wonder why I collapse in a heap of exhaustion. It’s not just about stilling the body but quietening the soul before Him. He is our strength and the lifter of our head.
    May you truly benefit from this break and return refreshed and restored for the days ahead. Blessings and love. xox :)

    1. Thank you, Joy. I love that…He is the lifter of our head. So glad that He draws us toward Him, lifts us up, and allows us to walk by His side. So glad you visited today, friend. Be blessed!

  9. Wow, did this post resonate with me. So beautifully written, Tiffany. I think you and I may be cut from the same busy-cloth. I struggle with busy-ness. Although I’m getting better, there are days when it still leaves me gasping for one still breath. Saying no more has helped, but it doesn’t always assuage the guilt that results from that two-letter word.

    And this line? “Rather than living to worship, I’m worshiping living.” Yeah, been there. Totally challenged by your words today, friend.

    1. Well Jeanne, I consider it a compliment to have anything in common with you. May it spread to other areas in my life. ;) This busy thing, I think we can tackle together and entrust to Him! It really is a choice isn’t it? To say no, to choose stillness, to make Him first in everything. Here’s to purposeful steps away from busy and toward balance. Always blessed when you are here, friend. Hugs!

  10. Tiffany, your writing is lovely and particularly on this subject, so articulate and point-on! I’m your neighbor at Kristin’s today in #28! ENJOY YOUR SUMMER and BE STILL.

  11. Love the pictures, Tiffany, and that you took the time off. Bravo! Your post is definitely in sync with Holley Gerth’s today. (That’s where I’m visiting you from.) It’s been crazy around here with the summer schedule. You gals are speaking to my heart. #goJesus

    1. I was so blessed by Holley’s words today too…more confirmation that God is leading me towards choosing balance. And boy, it’s a choice! Thanks for being here, Kristi. So glad you found encouragement in the words.

  12. Love this: “We were designed to linger, to meander alongside our Creator. ” I forget all the time too. And this: “Rather than living to worship, I’m worshiping living.” Yes, yes! Thanks for sharing your experience, Tiffany. We can all learn from it.

    1. That visual picture of strolling beside our Savior is one that really just draws me toward Him. Who wouldn’t want to meander with Jesus, right?! Thank you for being here, Lisa – always a blessing to hear from you.

  13. I love this! I explore balance often because each time I seem to let go what I have learned. I need to look to God as my center and continue to stay focused on Him and balance will follow. Beautiful words today!

    1. Oh, good…I’m not the only one who lets go of those lessons. ;) So grateful that He keeps teaching us and is ever present for us to follow. Blessed to have you here today, Mary.

    1. I’ll have to check that out, Karlene – I’m a fan of breathing these days! ;) Wait is such a hard word – wow – there is much to be taught through that. Thank you for stopping by today. Blessings!

  14. Oh I love this friend! He has been calling me to slow and silent and sabbath rest, as well! A little unproductivity, it seems, produces more in us than we know!

  15. Balance is a beautiful thing! I’m so happy for you that you have listened to father God and he has shown you that you were created for balance. This was such a lovely post. I’m so glad I stopped by :) Thank you so much for the encouragement!

    1. He is incredible and I’m so glad that God takes the time to show us what we need, rather than what we want. And I’m exceedingly grateful I have heard His voice. Thank you for being here, Beverley. Blessings to you!

  16. The need for balance and gentle pace that’s what is most needed in this stife for time and performance oriented generation.
    I am learning to enjoy the process rather than focus on the product.
    You are blessed Tiffany.

    1. Amen, Ifeoma. He is what is needed in this time of excess and the pursuit of more. I’m learning to enjoy the process too and give the results into His capable hands. Thank you for visiting today!

  17. Amazing post, Tiffany! And beautifully written! Your words have truly blessed my heart! Wow! “My heart has heard YOU say, ‘Come and talk with ME’ And my heart responds, ‘LORD, I am coming.’” Psalm 27:8 NLT <— Yes, yes, yes! Thank you so much for sharing this! Peace and many blessings to you, Love! :-)

    1. Thank you, Tai for your sweet words. Doesn’t that verse just grab you? It’s one that you can’t ignore, but just have to act on – and what a joy to do so. Thanks for visiting me today. Peace and blessings right back to you!

      1. You are most welcome, Love! And yes, that verse truly spoke to my spirit! I’m so grateful to have gotten a chance to visit with you today! Thank you so much! :-)

  18. “We weren’t made for fast paced, full steam sprints. . . We were designed to linger, to meander alongside our Creator.” Love this message – this invitation “to stroll” with the Savior. Not running out ahead, just walking beside, in sync with His steps. Just beautiful. . .
    Oh and the verse in Proverbs, going to look it up and write it down!
    Thank-you friend

    1. Doesn’t that verse just make your heart skip a beat? “I am coming, Lord.” I want it to be forever on my lips and pouring from my heart. It’s a beautiful thing – a privilege not to be squandered – that we get to walk beside our Savior. That He walks beside us! Here is to strolling with Him. Thank you for walking beside me with such faithful encouragement. You are a blessing!

  19. Dear Friend, this is one of my favorite posts of yours. It’s so beautiful, right on target. It helps me not just know the Truth in words, but to believe it. To really believe it’s ok to just be. To rest with Him and who he’s put in my life. To refresh my soul with a slow pace. To be still and listen. Thank you!

    1. Hi sweet friend – so glad that the words spoke to you. His truth never fails to meet us where we are at, doesn’t it? I know we’ve had those “just be” conversations before, and I’m so grateful that God doesn’t stop having them with us too. Soul refreshment and slow paces – I’m with you, sister. Hugs!

  20. Oh how I get this. I’ve missed your words but I’m so glad THESE are the ones you came back with. Balance as the world would define it is fleeting, really. And I’m not sure it exists. Different seasons exist and they each look different. Matthew 11 in The Message talks about the unforced rhythms of grace. THAT’S what I want. I want balance and order and details, but, really, when it comes down to it, those are fleeting and what I want are the unforced rhythms of grace that only God can give. And when he does, the balance and order return. Your words are refreshing and encouraging to me. I’m so glad I read them today. And those pictures? They’re lovely too. Thanks for sharing, friend. xoxo

    1. Kristen – YES! Those unforced rhythms of grace cry out to my heart as well. Any of our pursuits are futile without that incredible balm of grace that washes over us all. My heart is set upon breathing in and breathing out that grace – not taking it for granted and using it as an excuse to skip what I know is vital. Would you believe those pictures (except for the Golden Gate) were taken from the passenger seat of our moving car? Those Apple folks are just geniuses. ;) Thank you for being here, friend – it’s always a special treat to hear from you!

  21. Tiffany, I love the beautiful way in which God taught you the lesson of “balance”. He is just so amazing. Grateful you shared this. May He continue to seize our hearts!

    1. It certainly isn’t an easy one, Holly. Balance and I have done this dance before, but I’m grateful that God continually places those things He values before us and gives us chance upon chance to hold them close. Thank you for hosting us in your beautiful home and for visiting me today.

  22. Oh, this is so me: “It’s all just ignorance. It’s making an idol out of life. Rather than living to worship, I’m worshiping living.” It takes great humility to be still. But only then can we really see His work. Thanks for sharing your honest struggles and about God’s provision in your life. Both are encouraging! Great post!

    1. So true, Karen – it indeed takes setting self aside and humbling ourselves before Him. But there is no more worthy pursuit. And the reward – oh, it’s priceless, isn’t it?! So glad you visited today. Blessed to have you here.

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