finding hope and sharing it

Balance March 19, 2016

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 2:12 pm
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balance scale

Balance is so counter-cultural. We live in a day when many of us, including me, feel the need or pressure to wear a badge of busyness that will give us value and purpose. This is a lie that we must renounce daily.

I stand before you a recovering perfectionist, who would burn the candle at both ends, do as much as I could by getting as little sleep as possible, and say yes to all good opportunities. Sadly, buying into this lie led me to serve for my own glory, out of duty, ability and need. However, God wants us to serve for His glory, out of calling, passion, and joy. Through God’s provision, I thankfully and officially removed my badge of busyness last year.

Today I hope to provide you with a few nuggets of wisdom. This topic is near and dear to me as God has been working on my balance, schedule and heart for the last several years. For the readers, I am currently reading a powerful book called The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. I actually wish I had come up with that phrase because I use it every day. I also regularly utilize Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkher for my mini impromptu Sabbaths.

In praying about what to share today, the idea of focus rose to the top. When I choose to focus on God as my Audience of One, I make best yes choices, I serve for Him, and I serve and live at Jesus’ unrushed pace, or as close as I can get. I take time for weekly Sabbath with my family and break for mini Sabbaths during the week. When I reach the end of each workday leading Hope for Our Sisters, I can believe I have done enough by trusting in God’s provision. Could I spend more time on my work? Yes, but God knows it is also very important to me to have energy and time for my husband, Tim, and children, Peter and Lucy, friends, church and service. When I focus on God as my Audience of One, I trust in Him and find that I spend my soul better and I serve and live in an unrushed manner.

However, this does not come easily. It requires constant intention. We all have many voices speaking into our lives. Friends, family, bosses, school service, Facebook, culture, you name it. Voices vying for our focus, our trust, our value, even our worship. Voices trying to get us to buy into the lie and wear a badge that will never satisfy.

In my daily effort to hold God as my Audience of One, I choose to trust Him no matter what and seek His courage to protect the balance He wants for me. I mentioned my schedule. Last fall God led me to write out my schedule, including work, personal, family and church activities, so that I could make sure it honored Him. Is it hard to follow at times? Yes. I love my work and the women we serve. Fistula is an issue I personally want to eradicate today, but I cannot do it without God nor can I do it when I am totally spent due to a lack of balance.

Following His schedule of balance gives me the opportunity to trust God daily. I firmly believe that when I stop, He doesn’t. When having quiet time with God, reading with Peter, coloring with Lucy, sharing dinner with Tim, serving at church or out with friends, God is preparing hearts to hear about the amazing women we met who suffer from fistula and opening the many doors I will eventually walk through. When I trust Him, I can serve at the pace He has set for me.

Additionally, this focus has helped me serve out of joy and passion at church again. I joke with myself that I have a ministry of no. I don’t say no to everything, but I give myself permission to say no if it’s not a best yes for me and recommend others who could serve instead. When those I recommend get tapped to serve in the right way, it’s so beautiful. Where I would have served out of duty and ability they serve out of joy and passion. My respect and love for the Body of Christ has grown as I have allowed God to help me choose and serve wisely.

I stand before you today, with a clearer picture of how to best spend my soul at home, through our non-profit, at church, in my kids’ school and within our neighborhood and town. I truly believe we are to be His hands and feet and for me, this requires a balanced life lived at an unrushed pace with a focus on Him and Him alone.

In closing, may we worship You Lord by delighting in You, Your word and Your gifts. Your word is Your love letter to us. May we worship You by placing Your grand story in our hearts and making it central in our lives. We are part of Your bigger story. Grant us courage to say NO to things not along Your path for us and YES to those that are, especially when Your answers are different than we expect. TRUSTING in You this day, our Audience of One.

© 2016 by Brooke F Sulahian