Handing Down Interests

I have been interested in photography for awhile. I remember enjoying taking pictures during the big 6th grade field trip to Pittsburgh that our school always took. I don’t think it was my first time taking pictures, but I do think it was my first time getting to take a camera on my own without my parents around. Even though it may have just been a disposable one.

In late high school and college I also enjoyed taking pictures. I bought my first digital camera while in college. It was just a small point and shoot, but it was amazing to me. Especially when I compared it to having to deal with and develop film. Over the years I would occasionally upgrade my point and shoot camera, but not super often.

A couple of years ago I made a more significant upgrade and we bought a DSLR camera. I really enjoyed this upgrade even though it was a pretty intimidating jump. I learned how to use my camera and take pictures without relying on auto mode. Due to these developments photography has turned into a greater interest of mine over the years. I’m doing a photography challenge that forces me to try to take pictures of things I may not normally look for and also just taking more pictures of family and trips that I used to.

This interest in photography has been noticed by both of my kids I think, but particularly my son Ryan. He would try to help me find things for my theme of the week and occasionally pick some of the pictures out of the options for a given week. He always seemed to have fun and was interested in knowing how to use my camera.

It was after he asked about this that we thought about getting him a camera of his own to use. We had originally thought of purchasing a camera geared towards kids for his birthday later this year. I was cleaning out my desk one day though, and ran into the point and shoot camera that I had used before upgrading to a DSLR. It was already pretty outdated, but I thought that it might be a great camera for him to try to use.

We gave it to him a couple of weeks ago and he has really taken to the idea of taking his own pictures. He’s taken over two hundred pictures in those two weeks. He’ll try to take pictures of things that I take pictures of, he takes pictures of his toys, us, and anything else that he decides. While some of the pictures are a little blurry or have fingers in them, some have actually been pretty good considering. The following are all pictures that he took.

IMG_0034 IMG_0121 IMG_0316It’s just been fun to see him take to it, and it just makes me wonder if it will be something he continues to pursue or not. Even if he doesn’t keep with it, I’ve still enjoyed seeing him happily taking pictures of the world around him. I wonder how much he enjoys it just because it is something that I enjoy? I have little doubt that is why he is so interested in it, but I guess I’ll just have to see if he keeps with it or not.

The First Steps to Kindergarten

It always amazes me how quickly time seems to go. It doesn’t seem like it has been over a year since we were getting paperwork ready to enroll Ryan in preschool. Yet, yesterday I took him in to do his Kindergarten screening and we’re fully into the preparing for Kindergarten phase of life. It’s just kind of strange feeling.

Ryan’s year of preschool felt like it went so fast. Regardless of those feelings we’re now in the last month of preschool and preparing for the summer before he goes to the elementary school. It won’t surprise me to find that the summer flies by either, considering weekends are filling up fast with family events and other random activities.

In some ways maybe Kindergarten is coming a bit quicker for us than for others. Ryan doesn’t turn 5 until less than a month before the school year starts, but it’s clear that he’s ready for school. He’s already bored at times with the work in preschool. So while some might wait another year before putting him into school proper, that doesn’t really feel like the best option for us. So no matter how quick it may be coming, it seems the best path.

As of right now the transition to Kindergarten doesn’t seem too daunting. It’s going to be a little more involved than preschool since he’ll be gone every day, but at the same time it feels like a rather natural progression. Time will tell if I still feel this way come fall.

There is part of me actually looking forward to it because it seems like it will be a bit more congruent than preschool was. There were kids from our preschool from at least three different school districts, if not more, and after this year who knows if they’ll really see each other or interact again? Going to kindergarten will be the start of schooling that largely keeps the same group of kids together, barring moves and such things as that.

I’m sure time will continue to move fast. In a little over a year Anastasia will be able to go to preschool. They will keep growing and meeting new milestones. Time won’t get any slower. I guess the only thing we can do is enjoy the time while we have it. Right now we’re involved in the first steps towards kindergarten, but soon it will be the first steps to something else.

Attack of the Terrible Twos

Our first child spoiled us. We had heard the stories about the terrible twos and were rather worried about what they would bring. Partly because Ryan has always been a rather easy going, happy little boy and we hated to have that change. The other part was well, if that many people brought up the terrible twos, it must be pretty bad.

As we entered the twos with Ryan very little changed. At least, very little changed regarding his temperament. At that age of course there were all kinds of changes going on, but he remained an easy to get along with little guy. The worst things about age two that stick out to me were dinner times (he was a very picky eater and we tried to get him to try some new foods with little hard won success) and the time after our daughter Anastasia was born and he regressed a bit to get more attention.

The same can not be said about Anastasia though. Admittedly, she has always been a bit more temperamental than her brother, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. While Ryan tends to mope, pout, and act sad when upset; Anastasia has always had a bit more temper to her when she was upset. So needless to say, now that we’re entrenched in the twos, it has been some hard going.

If you look at some parenting websites, they’ll say that the terrible twos aren’t really a thing and that all ages have their unique challenges. That may be the case, but it certainly has seemed that two has been rather difficult for us. The crying over minor issues, that even a couple months ago she wouldn’t have cried over. She can cry over these issues for so long, even after being comforted, that she forgets what she was even crying over.

This doesn’t even include her being contrary, trying to find countless excuses to not go to bed, or thinking that “I don’t want to” or “I can’t” is a valid response to everything and anything she doesn’t want to do. All together is just becomes rather exasperating. It’s extremely hard to be patient through countless fits that seem to bleed together into one never ending fit.

Even worse, is that I kind of hate feeling so flustered by the whole thing. It’s not like she can’t be adorable. In fact it is quite possible to go from adorable to frustrating and back again a number of times a day. This is better than the days that seem like she’s done nothing but throw fits, but at the same time it just makes it hard to know exactly what to expect.

It’s not all bad. There are days where she is more happy than frustrated and frustrating. Also both of our kids are typically good in public, thankfully, so we haven’t had to worry about too many public meltdowns. These are the good moments, but sometimes those good moments feel buried by the times that aren’t so good.

The terrible twos may not really be something that every kid goes through, but it certainly seems to describe what we’re going through at the moment. As much as I don’t want my kids to grow up any faster than they already are, I will be happy to be past this time and hopefully be moving into more stable times, at least for a little while.

Remembering to Be Thankful

Thanksgiving was last week. It is a time that many people decide to take the time to iterate what they’re thankful for. Some people even expand this celebration beyond just the holiday and list out what they are thankful for throughout the entire month of November.

Black FridayI think expressing what we are thankful for is a good exercise. It is just so easy to forget to be thankful. It may be a joke, but I’m afraid there is some reality in the clash between Thanksgiving and what we call Black Friday and even what we’ve turned the Christmas season into.

It’s not that I’m anti buying people gifts or anything like that. It is just that we can get caught up in the lie that if we just received or gave the right gift that either us or the person we gave it to would be happy. That true thankfulness comes from getting more stuff. I like getting stuff and truth be told I do like buying presents for others as well, but more stuff doesn’t typically make me happier in the long term.

So as we frantically get ready for Christmas, what becomes of our thankfulness? Do we still have it? Are we still able to be thankful or does that thankfulness evaporate on Black Friday or when the calendar turns to December? Even if it does last until Christmas, what about the other 10 months of the year?

I say all this not because I’m an expert on thankfulness, but because I struggle myself in being thankful as much as I probably should be. I see this when our kids pray. Most of our dinner prayer is about being thankful for things, and our kids will sometimes be very thorough on thanking God for napkins, plates, milk, bibs, and you probably get the idea.

Now it’s cute and the truth is we should be thankful for such things, but I sometimes find myself getting impatient as they go through this litany of thanksgiving. I think to myself “Yes, yes, we know to be thankful for that let’s just be done.” I take for granted so many things, and can find it silly to give thanks for those things.

I also understand that life can be difficult at times. We may be facing financial difficulties, relationship issues, health problems, death of loved ones, or some combination of these things. It can be hard to be thankful in the midst of such times.

This Thanksgiving we’ve had to deal with the loss of my Grandmother and since she was such a large part of my family, it has been hard not to focus on that loss. Yet, part of the reason for it being difficult is all of the enjoyable memories of her that we have. I am thankful for those memories even if losing her means that no more will be made with her and that there will be a large hole in our family as we move forward.

No matter how large of an impact that this loss has had on me personally and on my family, time doesn’t stop in that moment. There is still much to be thankful for even in the midst of the tragedy. This doesn’t mean that one is never allowed to be sad or that we have to pretend that our lives are completely put together and nothing is wrong at all.

My thoughts behind writing this is just that I hope I’m able to remember to be thankful beyond just the Thanksgiving season. There is a lot to be thankful for in our lives. It is so easy to take things for granted and to look to what we don’t have at that moment as what we need to be content and thankful. Throw in the difficulties of life that try to drown out thankfulness and contentedness and it is a never ending struggle.

I guess I just want to remember to be thankful for napkins, milk, and spoons. To have the same thankfulness that our kids do, at least at times. I think I need to cultivate that more than just one day or one month a year. I have a feeling I’m probably not the only one.

 

Embracing Similarities and Differences

We only have two children, but it is pretty clear that they are not the same. They have some distinct differences, but at the same time there are also a number of similarities between the two of them. While I understand that reality, sometimes it is hard not to focus too much on what makes them alike or different.

Sometime it can seem like the differences between our kids are made into a negative thing. I was getting my hair cut a few weeks ago and during the haircut we were talking about what I did. After saying that I stayed home with the kids, the hairdresser eventually asked me if I had a favorite kid. I responded that I didn’t and that they can both be adorable and both be incredibly frustrating. They both have their pluses and minuses.

I often wonder if the idea of a favorite comes in because we ultimately want all of our kids to be just like that one. We want all of our kids to be the quiet well-behaved one; the outgoing and athletic one; or whatever combination of traits we like in one of our kids. We want them to be similar and so we try to force them into those roles that they just don’t fit into.

Trying to focus on making each child completely different may seem like a better idea, but I’m not sure it is. Mainly just because I think it requires ignoring the ways that they are the same. It doesn’t acknowledge common ground and the things they have in common which can be part of their relationship as they get older. I don’t really want my kids to think they’re completely different from each other and lack that common ground. Of course I don’t want them to think that they’re just carbon copies either.

I want to be able to see them for who they are; both in the ways that they are similar and the ways they are different. I don’t want them to be exactly the same, but I do want them to be able to have common ground and even common interests that may connect them as they grow up. At the same time I want our kids to be able to feel that their interests and personality are part of who they are. They don’t both have to like the same things, do things the exact same way, or have the same personality.

This can be a challenge. I mean our kids have been quite different. For example, Ryan as a baby and toddler did not get into much trouble. He never really pulled things off of shelves. If he ever did, all we needed to do was tell him no and he wouldn’t again. Anastasia on the other hand was not quite that way. She wasn’t to the point of making a gigantic mess by getting into flour or anything like that, but she would and still does grab anything she thinks she can have.

However, they are also very similar too. I mean there have been times that Anastasia has reacted in a very similar way to how Ryan acted when he was her age. They are both empathic little kiddos. They both love books and can spend a long time either looking at books themselves or being read to. They both love building with the big Duplo blocks and enjoy coloring although I’d say that they’ve influenced each other in these activities.

Maybe it is just easy to appreciate the similarities and differences when they’re this young. I don’t know, but I hope that I will be able to enjoy the similarities and differences in our kids both now and as they get older. To be able to acknowledge them as their own unique individuals, but also appreciate the places where you see that they are very much alike. We’ll just have to see how that goes as they continue to get older.

 

 

Distractions, Worship, and Real Life

“To do that we’re going to need to get rid of the kids.” This is my response whenever I hear someone pray to “remove our distractions” so that we can worship and pray to God. I’ve heard this said a number of times over the years, but it never bothered me until we had kids. Actually, I don’t remember it bothering me until we had two kids.

After you’ve wrestled your kids all morning in the seemingly never-ending quest to get them out of the door on time without having a meltdown of some sort the last thing you want to hear is “remove our distractions.” This is especially bad if your kids are actually in the service with you. How can you not be distracted? Kids are pretty much inherently distracting or require you to be distracted to make sure they aren’t throwing toys or bulletins or trying to rip the hymnal or pew Bible up.

Hearing such things certainly makes it seem like families aren’t really welcome in the worship service. Mom and Dad are, but those distracting kids aren’t. Now I’m coming from this from the position of a parent, but I wonder who else may be feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome through its use? Does the person who is distracted by the death of loved one feel like they’re welcome? Do the families dealing with chronic illness or economic hardship feel like they’re welcome? Or do they feel like the distractions of their lives hinder them in their worship?

I understand what the phrase is trying to accomplish. We want to come to God and not be worrying about what else is going on in life. We want to be fully present in the worship of our God. But is this really the way to be fully present? Do we have to remove part of our lives in order to come before God and be able to worship Him?

That is what gets me concerned about such a phrase. It appears to say that we can’t really worship God if we’re distracted by the events of our lives. I think this sets up a divide between church on Sunday mornings and all the rest of the time that we’re out in the “real world.” In the real world we have distractions and if we need to remove them to really worship God fully, then we’re in trouble. So how do I pray or praise God while I’m working, being a parent at home, or doing the errands and chores that are required through the week?

Not only that, but it subtly says that our real life isn’t really welcome on Sunday mornings. Our goal is to come to church without distraction so that we can worship God fully. So check the issues you’re dealing with in life at the door please. We’ll get to those another time.

Now it’s not that I think our real life should get in the way of our worship of God. Sometimes we do come with stress, worry, and perspectives that just aren’t healthy, but I also don’t think it is so easy for us to remove them as we come into God’s presence. I think we need a way of prayer and worship that is able to help us pray and live through the issues in our lives without missing God in the midst of it all.

That’s what I wind up taking from the Psalms. These songs and prayers didn’t try to create a sterile environment or blank slate that magically enables us to come into the presence of God. No, they came from very real situations and emotions. These situations and emotions were not the ending point, but rather the connecting point where they worshiped God.

If we are really wanting to be fully present (if that’s even possible in the first place) as we worship God, I don’t think that removing the distractions of life is the way to do it. It is coming to God where we are. We may be broken and battered, but we look to God who can heal and give hope. Life may be going our way and we give thanks and praise to God for those blessings. We may even have kids and pray to God with half-closed eyes and arms full of wiggles.

We don’t need the removal of all distractions to worship our God. Worship can take place even amid the distractions and details of every day life. I would even say that our worship of our God is stronger when it is connected to our lives as they are rather than connected to a worship service sterilized of all the distractions in our lives.

 

When Time Keeps Moving

Time is a funny thing. It can seem like it is going so fast and so slow all at the same time. I don’t really know how that works that way, but it does for me at times. Thinking about certain aspects of life makes time seem like it is going so fast, while other areas it seems like more time should have passed.

Why have I been thinking about this? Well I think it is a required train of thought for parents to have from time to time, but in addition to that Ryan has started preschool or pre-K or whatever the correct term for it is. It doesn’t quite seem like he should be starting school and honestly even though he’s only attended for a couple weeks it seems like he aged a year or so during that time.

It also doesn’t feel right to think that Anastasia will be turning two in only a few more months and that she’s getting close to the age that Ryan was when we had her. It doesn’t seem like that should be the case at all. I guess what I’m trying to say is that when I’m thinking about the kids then time seems to be slipping away so quickly. They’re growing up and it seems like it is happening so fast.

Yet, time seems like it is going so slow in other areas of life. It is hard to believe that it has only been two years since we’ve moved back to Pennsylvania, for instance. I’m not sure how this works. That two years seem so fast when I think about our kids, but can seem so long at the same time.

Maybe it is just that I notice change in our kids because they are changing at such a rapid pace. Every day seems to bring growth of mind or body and because of that rapid change it seems like time is going so fast. At the same time certain other aspects of life don’t seem to have that same kind of progress.

I guess it just fascinates me that my own perceptions of time can be so varied. That I can at the same time think that time is going fast and slow depending on what I’m thinking about. It’s not like there is really any more or less time passing in either of the cases. Life and time keep moving on regardless of whether we think it is going fast or slow. I guess the best you can do is try to enjoy it all as much as possible regardless of if it seems to be going by quickly or slowly.

 

A Look at 2013

Well it’s the end of 2013 and many people, including myself, tend to use the end of a year to reflect on what has transpired over the past year. What major life events have happened? Did I accomplish the goals I set out for myself at the beginning of the year? Was it a good year? Was it a bad year? Was it a bit of a jumbled mess?

So I want to spend some time looking over 2013. To see the major changes that happened over the year, see how I did with the goals I set last year, and present the most popular posts I had this past year.

Major Events of 2013

It many ways it seems that 2013 was a mixed bag. Every major positive thing came with some unexpected consequences or took a bit of work getting to the good stuff. It was just a mixed year, which I suppose most years are, but this one seemed pretty mixed in the bigger events not just the every day stuff.

DSC_0004

We started off the year with one of those big events, the birth of our daughter Anastasia. It is hard to believe looking and interacting with her now that she was born this year, but that’s the way these things work I guess. No doubt this was one of the good events of the year. Sure it’s been a bit stressful getting used to dealing with two kids this past year, but it’s also been very enjoyable getting to know our little girl and see her grow and interact with her brother.

However, this major event had some negative events that followed. Kristen had some issues about two weeks after Anastasia was born and had to have an emergency procedure done. Thankfully it was all able to be finished in one day and everything went well, but it wasn’t the best experience in the world and I wasn’t even the one directly going through it. We also had some issues with Kristen’s job temporarily firing her after taking off more time after birth than was allowed for employees who had only worked with the company under a certain amount of time. However, everything worked out in the end.

As far as I can remember the rest of the events of the first half of the year were mainly just getting used to having two kids. Going to grandparent’s houses and having them visit us occasionally. Just settling into some sort of routine. Really the next major event of the year was my grandmother’s stroke in September.

This one really just set a bit of a somber tone for the rest of the year. She was in the hospital/rehab for awhile and we were trying to go see her once a week. She came back home shortly after Thanksgiving, but she still has a ways to go for recovery. It’s just taken a lot of getting used to. Hopefully, she’ll continue to recover over the next year and things will get closer to normal after awhile.

New House

Finally at the end of the year we bought our first house. We’re hoping it will be our only house, at least for quite some time, but at this time we know for certain it is our first. However, this positive was a lot of hard work. It felt like quite the roller coaster ride going through the experience. We thought we had the house, then something would come up and we weren’t sure, that would get taken care of then something else would happen. However, eventually we bought our house and moved into it a week and half before Christmas. This made December even busier than normal, but we’re happy to be moved in rather than having a house and not really being able to settle in yet.

So those are the major events of 2013. Of course they weren’t the only events, but they’re the ones that impacted us the most.

Goals

At the end of last year I set some goals that I hoped to achieve by the end of this year. They were five fairly simple goals. So now that we’re at the end of the year how did we do? Well let me run through them.

My first goal was getting used to staying home with two kids. This has gone rather well. Sure it can be challenging and we get into our ruts and battle of the wills and everything. Is it weird to say that in some ways it was easier than I expected and in others more difficult than I expected at the same time? That’s really how it feels.

The second goal was to blog more regularly. I’d say that I’ve done better this year than I have previous years, but I could be better. I felt like I did okay most of the year, but then took a hit in the last few months. Overall, I’m pretty happy with being more consistent, but I still want to improve.

Thirdly, was the goal of getting rid of the loan on our second car and to pay off one of our smaller student loans. We achieved this, but didn’t really gain any ground on getting out of debt due to the achievement of buying a house that wasn’t a major planned goal from last year. However, that’s hopefully the only extra debt will be taking on anytime soon.

After that, the fourth goal was to be active in ministry. Sadly, this one never really materialized. My wife and I did help with VBS at our church and I did some scripture readings throughout the year, but I don’t really consider this goal much of a success. The combination of getting established in a new church, having two kids while trying to do that, and trying to visit my grandmother after her stroke I think caused this one to fall by the wayside.

Lastly, our fifth goal was to make some friends locally. That never really happened either. We didn’t really connect with any of our neighbors at our apartment. Even at church I can’t really say that we’ve made too many meaningful connections or friendships. Of course moving again at the end of the year also screws up consistency and everything too. Maybe we’ll get friends we can do stuff with again sometime.

So overall I’d rate myself as achieving 3/5 of the goals for last year. I’ll take it. Could have done better, but certainly could have done worse as well.

Top Posts

This last section is just going to go over some of my top posts for the past year. I’ll be completely honest, it’s not like I get that many visits here, but I’m happy for what I do get. I mean my top post (that wasn’t my home page or my about page) only had 29 views, so as I said we’re not talking massive popularity here, but it’s always interesting to find out what others looked at most in the past year. I’m not going to be including my “Wanderings of the Week” in this list. They were fairly popular posts and made up five of my ten most viewed posts. So with those caveats in mind, here are my most popular posts from 2013.

  1. Final Thoughts on The End of Our Exploring
  2. What You Wish You Never Had to See
  3. Education vs. Indoctrination
  4. Reflections on Church Membership
  5. Brand Wars
  6. When “What Ifs” Backfire
  7. The Enemy Within – Good, Evil, and the Human Condition
  8. The Great Fish Conspiracy
  9. Assassin’s Creed II, Religion, Power, and Control
  10. Some Food Photography

I’m not sure if I really see much of a pattern. Regardless those are the most popular of my 2013 posts. Maybe some of you can find patterns here, but I’m not sure I can. Not that it’s a bad thing there isn’t a pattern.

So that’s pretty much an overview of my 2013. How did your 2013 go? Did you have any major life events? Did you reach the goals you set for yourself?

The Changing of Seasons – Perfect Balance? Part 4 of 4

“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

This quote is probably familiar to many. It is a quote from the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1 to be exact. For those who haven’t cracked open a Bible, yet feel that the words still sound familiar it is the opening line from the Byrds hit song, “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)”.

So what does this have to do with balance? Well, as I said the three things that help define balance for me are understanding our own strengths and weaknesses, tension, and priorities. To me this verse and the rest of chapter 3 talk about how life has different seasons and how there are times for all activities and purposes even within man’s limited lifetime. In other words there will be times in our lives where our focuses are different.

It seems to me that often times when I hear people talk about balance, it is often balance in the short term. It is the idea of having a day in which we get a number of different types of activities done throughout the day. We work, spend time with the family, exercise, develop community, and any other list of things. It is then believed that each day we are supposed to do that to be balanced. When we find out this isn’t possible, because it isn’t, we give up on the idea of balance and throw it in the waste basket.

Don’t we go through different seasons of life though? Aren’t there times in our lives where it is good and even necessary for there to be priorities in our lives? Right now Kristen and I have two fairly young children. As any parent can tell you, your children will take a high priority in your life. Particularly when they are young and can’t really do much of anything without your help or without you doing all of it for them. Now, this priority is good and right. There will be things that you can’t do that you could when you were single or even married without kids. However, even with that priority, we still need balance. The existence of priorities doesn’t destroy the need for balance, if anything it highlights our need for it, even if it may not look all that balanced in terms of time or effort each day.

What do I mean? Well, one relationship that is easy to go by the wayside when you are focused on raising your children is the one with your spouse. You’re focused on kids, you can’t go out as easily as you used to, there isn’t the time to have long conversations, and when the kids are in bed you’re pretty much done too. Now does the fact that kids are a priority mean that your relationship with your spouse has lost any priority whatsoever? No, and so despite this new priority that has come into your life there is still the need to take time for the other priorities in your life. This is true of more than just our relationship to our spouse.

Now, here’s the tricky part, this is again not going to look the same for every person. For the single parent who is trying to provide for their children as best as they can, work may take up a substantial amount of their time. It may mean there are fewer priorities that get focused on. It may be survival, and making sure my kids are provided for. It may also be trying to gain experience or education on top of things to be able to get a better job and not have to work as much in the future. Depending on where you are and the circumstances you’re dealing with your priorities will play out differently.

We all won’t join gyms and get washboard abs while raising three young kids, but we might want to try to take care of our health as best as we can in that time. We may not all be able to have romantic getaway vacations, or even date nights, with our spouses after having kids, but take the time to invest into your relationship with your spouse however you can. We won’t all have careers, book deals, or professional success, but we might try to work on new skills and hobbies anyway. We won’t all have time for quiet times or reading the Bible everyday, but maybe we still need to work on our relationship with God any way we can.

Life will change, and priorities will change. Even if the label on the priority may not change, how it looks in our daily life might change significantly. The kids who now take up so much time today will grow and be able to do more and more themselves. Someday they will move out and set forth on their own. They will always be a priority, but how that plays out will be different.

I guess that’s why I look at balance as more of a long term thing than short term. Some days it may seem like you can get nothing done because of your kids needing you or some other priority. However, on other days you can spend time with friends, make time for your spouse, whatever. Just because one day didn’t have a balanced split between your priorities doesn’t mean you failed. You may still not get everything done you want, you may only be able to juggle a certain number of priorities successfully at a given time, but I do think that having a sense of what our priorities are in this season of life will help us achieve a certain level of balance.

So don’t worry if your day didn’t include every priority you have. Maybe you haven’t even really thought about what the top priorities are, and putting some thought and substance behind them will help. Even then each day may not accomplish all of those priorities, and I’d recommend looking at things over the period of a week or even a month depending. At that point I think you can look to see if one priority is taking up more time than it should, or if another priority is is not really seeing the light of day. If this is happening then take action, but let’s not worry about having one day that didn’t include all that we wanted to. I have yet to have a day that has, and I’m probably sure nobody has.

So that’s my thoughts and reflections on balance. I don’t think balance is perfection. I don’t think that it will all look the same for everyone. We’re all different. We have different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. We’re all at different seasons of life with different priorities. We all have to face and wrestle with the tensions of life.

Any final thoughts on balance out there? Feel free to leave any comments, but that’s all for this little series on balance.