on finding balance {erin's story--part three}...

{the other posts in this series can be found here.}

over the last two weeks, i've told you much of my personal struggle in finding balance.
i constantly battled the MUST-do mentality...
feeling like i had to get it all done...
and feeling, most days, like that all was enough to bury me.

in the space of a single saturday, while i vacuumed my living room and cleaned my kitchen, 
the Lord was good enough to show me three faulty areas of my thinking...
three little tweaks...
three minor adjustments that made a world of difference to my daily outlook on life and all it entails.

i learned about my all.
and the fact that my all isn't your all...
and the fact that my all is just exactly the perfect "weight" for me...
causing no imbalance in my life...
unless i start looking around and thinking that my all should look more like your all...
and maybe i should be doing what you are doing...
and maybe i should be doing it how you are doing it...
and maybe i really am a lesser person because i can't do it that way.
and then i learned about comparison.
and about how dangerous and hurtful...but normal...it really is.
and about how, if i am going to compare {knowing what a pitfall it can become}, 
i need to compare honestly.
and how honest comparison means seeing the good in others...and seeing the good in myself, too.

and then, that very same day, He showed me my third error in thinking.

i was scrolling through instagram and came across a blog belonging to one of my friends.  i followed the link in her profile, visited her blog, and started reading back through many of her posts.
way back at the beginning of this february, she'd written a post called as is life.
the more i read of it, the more i felt like it was written just for me.

go NOW and read it.
follow that little link above.
i'll wait, i promise.
go read it and then come back and read the rest of this.
so good, right?
you see...i am one of those people.  
i'm one of the ones who went into each new day thinking that, surely, this would be the day with no inconveniences...no delays...no problems...no mistakes.

but what she said made so much sense.
if i can just accept the fact {and it is, indeed, a fact} that each and every day i live through will bring with it its own satchel-full of inconveniences...and delays...and problems...and mistakes...if i can accept that, then when those issues do arise, i can face them head-on, knowing that they were inevitable.
inconveniences aren't nearly as inconvenient when they're expected.  
it's when we have the unrealistic view that life is going to run without a glitch 
and that everything is going to be perfect 
that the molehill of an inconvenience becomes the mountain that ruins our day. 

of the three "lightbulb moments" i had that day, this one is, perhaps, the most simple one of all.  
it, also, was the very easiest change for me to make in my thinking...it was quite literally like flipping a switch for me.
i went from each difficulty seemingly startling me by its appearance in my life to expecting, if not anticipating, mundane bothers and disruptions.
it required a bit of re-training of my mental dialogue...instead of letting out a huff and a puff and a sigh with each little nuisance, i tried to consistently remind myself that i had planned for this disturbance. 

so, this monday, when i was elbow-deep in work--juggling the wash/dry/fold of that day's fourth load of laundry; shipping multiple packages for my husband; photographing/measuring/posting sale items to instagram; along with the general upkeep and daily household chores--and i came upstairs 
{from folding clothes} to the sound of my four-year-old crying because she didn't make it to the bathroom in time {she was playing an engrossing game of dress-up},  a quick mental dialogue with myself reminded me that this was ok...it was expected...it wasn't really a terrible inconvenience...it was simply a minor interruption in my work flow.

i'm still not perfect in this area {or in any area, for that matter}, but i've come a long way.

do you find yourself being put-out by the same minor annoyances day in and day out?
did you wake up this morning hoping that your children would sleep in?
hoping that your potty-training two-year-old would have NO accidents?
hoping that today your husband wouldn't text needing you to call this place/
ship that package/iron that shirt?
hoping that your children would let you sew/read/knit/crochet/exercise/shower without interruption?
before you read this post, were you hoping that today would be a much better day than yesterday?  
or is it already so bad that you're hoping-against-hope that tomorrow will be better than today?

allow me to digress for a moment...
i run three times a week.
i say "run"...keep in mind that "run" is a very relative term.
my average pace right now is 5.5mph...which basically means that i run about an 11-minute mile.  
i've run that same pace, give or take a few seconds, for my past six runs.
if i went out to run tomorrow evening, and told you that i was hoping to run an eight-minute mile, i'm sure you'd be kind, and encouraging, and supportive, but you'd also probably try to let me down gently and encourage me to base my goal on my most recent averages.

and that sums it up in a nutshell.
look at your most recent averages.
keep it real.
i am not saying that we should walk through life with a defeatist attitude...like we're beat before we've even started...i'm not saying that at all.
i am saying that we need to take an honest, realistic view of our daily lives, and base our hopes and expectations on that.
live your daily life with your expectations based on solid reality,
not your hopes based on perfectionistic ideals.

gina's post really said it most perfectly.
when you have time, go back and re-read it.  i've read it several times myself, and it never fails to help me push that reset button.

this is the last installment of my finding balance story.  i so hope and pray that these posts have been a help to you.  i know that just typing them out has been a great reminder to me of lessons that i've learned along the way and resolutions that i need to renew on a consistent basis.
next week, our guest posts will begin!  
i absolutely cannot wait for these friends to share their stories with us.

and also, i can't stress this enough...like i said in the introduction to this series, 
words unwrittenun-offered cannot assist.
we'd really love your input...your advice...your insight...your helpful hints...your interaction...
we want to hear from you just as much as every guest writer that will be posting here.
leave a comment, email me {address found here}, or contact me via instagram (@tweetpotatopie).  your thoughts matter.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Erin! First I usually hate when blog posts lead to blog post lead to blog posts... ;) but I went against my usual scroll over and read Gina's post. So thankful!

    Life is hard and messy for me right now (like literally this rv is a disaster!) but I set myself up every morning with "it's going to be great today I'm going to get so much done!" and then get frustrated when it isn't. I'm now going to look at great just a little differently. Thanks for sharing your story.


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