Do you feel like you’re juggling too many things in daily life and you can’t keep up with all of the tasks? Do you ever feel overwhelmed the moment you wake up or feel bombarded with decisions while you sip your coffee? Maybe in the evening, you realize how many more tasks still await. I do.
It’s possible that you’re juggling a career while managing your home and raising your children at the same time. Maybe you’re like some of my friends, homeschooling five or six kids. Or you’re in school and working full time. It could be that you’re carrying more weight on a project than you feel you should be carrying. Maybe you’re an at-home mom like me, who feels overwhelmed by laundry, dishes, housework, and parenting while my husband provides financially. Maybe you’re like my husband, working hard at your job, exercising, then coming home to a family who needs more from you than you can give in the moment.
I suspect that many of us feel overwhelmed. I’m sure that our modern culture contributes to this. We have too much stuff, too many obligations and opportunities, endless virtual distractions. Simplifying everything is a good idea – but until we get there, we’re juggling! We wonder which ball to drop and how to keep going.
I want to share a few things that have encouraged me when I’m feeling this way.
Someone brought to my attention specific words in Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV):
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
I learned that a root word for “evil” in this Scripture means “full of labors, annoyances, hardships” and “pressed and harassed by labors.” I know that while I am juggling parenting, housework, marriage, and writing, I frequently feel “pressed and harassed by labors.” So many tasks call for my attention. How can I be wise and make the most of my time when my days feel like this? How can I write creatively while juggling daily life?
Recently, I attended a baby shower, and one weary mama read aloud Psalm 127:2 (AMP):
“It is vain for you to rise early, to retire late, to eat the bread of anxious labors—for He gives [blessings] to His beloved even in his sleep.”
The footnote for this passage in my NIV Bible says that “while they sleep He provides for those He loves.” I might feel pressed by all the work I need to do – and I do need to live wisely – but first and foremost, I need to remember that I am doing life with a God who blesses His beloved. He can even provide for us while we sleep! Our God designed us to work, but He also designed us to rest. I don’t need to be “harassed by labors.” Instead, I need to walk with my God!
As I was sorting out these thoughts, a handwritten note arrived, tucked into a birthday card from my father-in-law. He was responding to an email update where I declared that I was “juggling all the things” and couldn’t find time to write. He encouraged me with these words: “Juggling, done well, can border on an art form. Done poorly, and we will be swallowed up in frustration. Jugglers juggle alone… but lean on the Holy Spirit, who is the only one who knows all of the trade-offs that are available.”
Juggling involves balance and focus for one brief moment at a time. Each day, and in every stressful moment, I am learning to pause and remember that God has called me, and the Holy Spirit will guide me.
As you and I juggle all the things before us such as work, home life, relationships, family, parenting, creative endeavors, hobbies, fitness, and more, let’s remember that we can juggle well when we lean on the Holy Spirit. God alone can show us what to focus on at any given moment. When our days feel “pressed by labors,” let’s pause to ask the Holy Spirit for direction in that moment. Let’s trust our loving God who not only gives sleep to His beloved but also provides for us as we sleep. He’s got it all figured out, He can direct us, and He will hold us and every aspect of our lives together (Colossians 1:17).