I am a woman who seeks balance. Some say it’s because I’m a Libra, most say that’s the way God made me. Either way, I’m am hard-wired to strive for peace and harmony in all areas of my life. An area I’ve really been focusing on lately is the food that I prepare and feed to myself and to my family. This should be easy, but I tell you, it is not. I would love for each meal I prepare to be well-balanced, whole, fresh, local, organic, and free of any artificial flavors and dyes. But then there’s this thing called a budget and another thing called time.
I work full-time outside of my home. Our family is working to change this, but for now, this is the season we are in. While this allows a lot more flexibility with the budget, it really leaves little room in the time department. My desire for balance requires that I balance nutrition, time, and money when it comes to my table. Right now, the biggest struggle I have is providing fresh produce that is local and/or organic (for at least the “dirty dozen”) while maintaining my food budget and not having to spend hours shopping each week. My local farm basket pick up location was moved, and is now much further for me, so I’m trying to find another option. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to juggle farmers markets with my family’s schedule. The weekends are so precious to me and incredibly too short, weeknights are even shorter.
I’m constantly running across articles and research about how terrible the meat I buy at the grocery store is or how I’m poisoning my children if I feed them a cupcake with colored icing, and how we are bathing ourselves in toxic chemicals through our environment and the products we use. Finding validity and truth in the information, I’m sent into a tailspin because then I get all worked-up about this and that and feel like a failure for not doing more. Or feeling like a cop-out for not being able to find the time to make the necessary changes. It’s difficult to find that balance. I’ve found that I just have to take the information I have and make the best decision I can, given my circumstances at the time.
If my husband is out of town and I’m working full time and have to get dinner on the table with one hand because the baby won’t let me put him down, I have to offer myself some grace and not beat myself up for microwaving (thus killing all nutrients apparently) green beans and reheating some grocery store rotisserie chicken (poorly-raised and fed goodness-knows-what-GMO nastiness) for dinner. But on days I do have time, I feel good about serving up some local grass-fed beef with delicious fresh, local vegetables and homemade bread. I have to allow the dishes to sit in the sink for another day because my kids need me or because I need the time to pack lunches for the next day. It’s a bit of a juggling act. Funny, when I think balance, I think of the tightrope. The reality is that the world isn’t going to be silent and hold its breath while I navigate across it; nope, it’s going to keep on turning and send the bits and pieces my way for me to juggle as the band plays obnoxious music and the crowd roars. (I’m an analogy-kinda-girl in case you haven’t noticed)
The key, I think is to be intentional about the choices I make. Whether it’s my dining table or any other decision, I like to run it through the following questions: What is my priority right now? Is that priority sound and does my choice line up with it? Does my choice take into consideration the information and resources I have at the present time?
Does my choice show love to those who mean the most to me? Does my choice honor God? Whatever my answer to these questions, I like to think that at the very least, my choices are made with intentionality and consideration to what means the most to me. And through this, I somehow manage to find a balance no matter what season I’m in.
How about you… how do you find balance amidst so many things in life?