There is a myth that many – if not most – of us have bought into, hook, line and sinker. We spend money on courses and ebooks, spend time listening to podcasts and video recordings, and spend energy frantically searching for proof that this myth can in fact be true in our lives.
It eludes us, taunting and teasing and smirking. It tells us that if we don’t have it, we never will and we’re failures in all that we do. It seems to show up in the lives of others, beckoning us with a wisp of truth then vanishing into thin air as if it never was.
Which it wasn’t, because even in HER life it doesn’t exist.
Thanks to the parade of perfection on and offline, to the culture of doing-it-all without missing a beat, to the perception that everyone else has their ducks in a row (and they’re coiffed and happily marching along)… we’ve managed to convince ourselves that balance is a thing and that we can obtain and sustain it.
And I just don’t think that’s true.
It seems to me that if we’re doing one thing well, logically another thing is not being done well. And maybe that’s the actual kind of balance that’s maintain-able. But what isn’t is continually thinking that work/life will balance happily. I just don’t think they always can. Especially for those of us with a work schedule and young kiddos.
The laundry will always pile up. Same with the dishes and the guilts and the “in a minute”s. We will never be caught up. And this bugs me. Like, to-the-core bothers me. I have this picture in my head of one evening, looking around the house and at my to-do list and sighing happily and nodding as I think, “I’m going to read a book because there’s nothing left to accomplish!” And then reading in bed with a hot cup of tea until I drowsily switch off the lamp.
Nope. Not gonna happen. Like ever.
Because I have a job. Because I have three kids who make messes and I let them. Because words roll their way through my brain and heart and I can’t catch them fast enough. Because I love all of the above, and if I focus solely on one thing allllll the others suffer. Maybe not a lot, but always a little.
Because nothing good is ever finished. There is and will always be more to clean, more to schedule, more to promote, more to wrap up, more ideas and goals and problems. BUT we can rest in the midst of the undone, and know that the process is fulfilling in and of itself.
So while balance may be a myth, grace is very real and available in spades.
Grace for when our very best falls short.
Grace for when we fall into the trap of comparison.
Grace for the days we’d rather be with our kids.
Grace for the days we’d rather be at work.
Grace for using a too-small diaper because we ran out again.
Grace for the weeks that go by without bathing our kids – or ourselves.
Grace for our ‘meals’ being comprised of scraps off our kids plates, or treats smuggle-eaten behind the pantry door.
Grace for the friends who don’t reply to our text, and for when we’re that friend.
Grace for days, people – grace for eternity. There’s a good chance we will never EVER live out that scene in my brain where I roll over to go to sleep, satisfied smile on my face because that to-do list is done. But every day we have the chance to live out our far better reality of laying our head down, a grin playing on our lips because we gave it a go and God was there and tomorrow, we get to do it again.