When I read Debbie Macomber’s story in the January Guideposts magazine about choosing a word to live by each year, the word “balance” came to my mind. Therefore this year, I have tried to apply balance to every part of my life.

First of all, I want to balance my spiritual life with my physical one. That means daily morning devotions, prayer, and reading God’s Word. In this world, there are too many distractions that compete for our time to pull us away from our relationship with God. Worship means more than an hour or so Sunday morning; it means reporting to God each day to make sure we follow His plans for our time.

As for my family, I want to balance the time spent on my own pursuits with time spent with my husband and lately, grandchild. It would be easy for me to stay busy by myself, but my husband and I need our time together to strengthen our relationship. That also means balancing time working at my computer with time for him. To that end, I knock off my work around 5:00 like he does, prepare supper, then spend the rest of the evening with him.

In the same way, I need to balance my sedentary job that requires hours of sitting with time up and moving around – whether it is to do housework, gardening, go for a walk or play tennis. My body needs that balance to be healthy, and my mind needs the added energy to write effectively.

Balance in my writing covers several areas. First, I must balance my time reading with my time writing. Whether it’s email, blogging, Facebook, or researching, those non-writing tasks can take away time from my real focus: writing. Balance is also important when deciding what to work on – an article, a book, a synopsis, etc.

Lately, another aspect of balance came into play: that of balancing good news with bad. For example, not finaling in a writers’ contest was negative, disappointing news. It was easy to fall into a self-deprecating pity-party. However, once I recovered, I looked at the judges’ scoresheets I received, and they were not all bad. In fact, my scores were above average and the comments were more positive than negative. And even the negative comments had a positive side because they suggested ways to help me improve. Being part of a critique group offers the same benefits with the added plus of forming Christian relationships.

Every day I have the option of balancing my life, my time and my attitude. Sometimes it may seem that things are all bad. But that’s not true. I can be thankful for the opportunity to try and try again when I receive rejections. I can be thankful for the ability to learn and improve. And I can be thankful for a God who has given  me this high calling.

What about you? Are you balanced?

 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV