One of the joys that I’ve had over the past three months as I have adapted to work from home is my morning routine. I wake up between six and seven in the morning, normally with just enough time to get dressed before our twin toddlers begin calling out our names. With my day barely started, my morning routine begins to incorporate their adventurous whims.
Every day is a little bit different, but it always involves play and breakfast. I get to engage with them in the role playing they have with their plastic toy figures, jumping and flying, while I creatively try to direct their attention to changing out of their pajamas. We eventually make it downstairs where we prepare breakfast. Most of the time they insist on helping to cook, which I oblige by giving them the simplest task possible. Fortunately, they are satisfied by pouring cups of water and oats into a pot. Once breakfast is prepared and on the table I lead a prayer together before our meal, after which they add a prayer of their own – they’re so independent! With the twins, it takes twice as long to prepare in the morning than it normally would, but the opportunity to peer into the world of toddlers’ imaginations is well worth it.
In this age when it is so easy to find reasons to complain, it is important to remember to enjoy the gifts that we are blessed with. Life abounds with things we need to take seriously, but if we remain in a mode where everything we choose to do triggers a stress response, it would serve us well to evaluate our balance in life. As Solomon observes, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven… A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4). By recognizing when the time is right to take a break from the world of problems and obligations that surround us, we will find renewed strength. A moment laughing at something silly, or dancing in the kitchen, or even better – doing both at the same time, can be a breath of fresh air when we may desperately need it.
As playtime and breakfast in the morning with my little ones eventually comes to an end, my workday begins. Laughter subsides, and I get down to the business of the day. It is normally not as fun, but it is also very important. If we neglect to take important events in life as seriously as we should or otherwise avoid difficult circumstances that we really need to face, once again, it would serve us well to evaluate our balance in life. God expects us to face our difficulties and work with dedication. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17). The Christian character we develop includes facing challenges that will not be as enjoyable as laughter and dancing, but a full life requires it.
Finding balance takes time and self-evaluation. Catching ourselves when we lose balance and correcting ourselves requires careful discernment. By recognizing when to laugh and when to cry; when to play and when to work; we will grow into the people that God is training us to be. Fortunately for us, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our search for balance in life. It is up to us to use it.