• Tara Banks

Balancing Act...


((Fair warning to my faithful "Wait-er's" here on the blog...

Confessions coming of a home-schooling-stay-at-home-yet-working-full-time-and-working-all-weekend-can't-get-it-all-done mom. ))


Many of us have been forced to become homeschooling parents in the last two years. (Wild applause for all the parents goes right here). While my sons are now much older, there was a season when they were little when I was homeschooling them and also working a full-time job that I loved. Those days were filled with managing the balance of family-work-school-sports-friends-church-relationships-and anything else that the day brought. Some days keeping all the plates spinning was doable. There were days, however, where that often wasn't the case. Relatable? Ever needed a purposeful pause in the middle of that....maybe even today? If so, this is for you. Welcome to a peek behind the curtain of my life from a very normal homeschooling day a few years back and what the Lord wanted me to learn in the pause that day.

"Today was algebra and arguments. Negative numbers and negative attitudes. Flipping fractions and flippant words. The careful and the careless. The methodical and the messy.


Before I could even open my eyes today, I could already hear the imaginary plates breaking. I knew I had a full day with work and felt the weight of the day's plates beginning to stack as my waking thoughts raced with the mounting to-dos. I had barely had coffee when the first plate stopped spinning with an unexpected email. Then school started. We were knee-deep in all. of. it. with emotions high by 10 am. By 2:00 pm, we had settled in a bit, but only after raised voices, reminders, and reconciliation. By 5:00 pm, our pace was perilous. Rushing from this to that...all good things...all things we enjoy. But the pace. The. pace. UGH. By 9:00 pm we were home, but the weary from the day had set in so hard it was as if we were looking for ways to offend and to be offended.


Right in the middle of the 13th argument of the night, that's when I heard myself say, "I just can't do all of this!" and as those words came out of my mouth - I knew a pause was coming as I heard all the imaginary plates hit the floor. So I took a deep breath right there in the kitchen, and the Lord began to speak to my heart and said, "who said you had to?".


And so - the pause.

In that moment, I was made painfully aware that the pace, the plate spinning, the standard I was holding myself to, was just that: a standard that no one else was asking me to keep.

Sure - the world says, "Pinterest yourself to death with crafty excellence that your children will adore you for, serve the neighbor down the street a home-cooked meal after you have created a culinary wonder for your own adoring family, make your house look like you won every HGTV award, perfectly dress your kids, press your sheets, home school your children, be a full-time mom (read: don't you dare work outside of the house) and make sure you look like a supermodel while you are doing it and...oh, and post it all on Instagram." (She smiles sarcastically). Yes - this is what the world and all of social media will tell us... if. we. listen.


Yes - those are all good, worthy, and honorable things maybe one day I'll live up to - or not. However, I have to make sure I'm asking myself, "Who in the world told me that?!" Was that the voice of my loving Creator who sings His love and affection over me? The one who beckons me to come and sit at His feet? Certainly not. If it's not my Creator, then it's the voice of the world that wants me to compare and strive and hustle to some imaginary finish line with all the plates intact. In that case, I have to learn to pause and regain His perspective over my life, not one I've allowed others to dictate as the life I'm supposed to live.

I have to regularly pause to remember: the Lord is already pleased with me - whether I keep the plates spinning or not.

Today, plates stopped spinning indeed ... but the world didn't, and neither did the approval of the Lord. I will, by God's grace, have another day tomorrow to try again, and to purposefully pause, hear His voice, and give myself the grace He so freely offers and I so desperately need. I'm so grateful that His mercies are new every morning, and tomorrow, with renewed perspective, I'll pick up fallen plates and give them to the Lord again. Not only will he take those broken pieces and no doubt make them into something extraordinary, but He will hold my face in His hands and tell me - "I am Everything, so you don't have to be." "

Faithful Wait-er... you are doing great - broken plates and all. You are not alone. ♡


-TB


"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

-Lamentations 3:22-24"


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