It’s difficult to balance everything we have to do each day. We want to do the best by our families as well as serve in our wards, neighborhoods and communities. There are jobs to perform as well as yards to maintain, goals to achieve, people to help, cars to service, bills to pay, houses to clean, and on and on. I won’t go into an exhaustive list of responsibilities we must try to balance on our shoulders, but suffice it to say…it can be hard to do it all.
In Michelle Wilson’s new book, The Beautiful Balance, she reminds us that we don’t have to do it all.
She gives examples and teachings to help inspire, tutor and comfort us in finding the beautiful balance of control. The key to this beautiful balance is to claim personal control over what we can…and then give the rest over to God.
She relates a story about when her life felt out of control. A sick daughter; a terrible storm; a son to be picked up at school, but no way to get him. She felt beyond stressed and prayed to Heavenly Father for control. His whispered answer was not the one she wanted right then.
No, you do not have control over your surroundings,” He told her, “but there is no need to fear. I have given you control over the one thing that matters—yourself. You take care of you, and I will take care of the rest.
Wilson came to realize that all the ‘stuff’ around her was temporary, but she was a child of God, and her spirit was eternal. If she took care of what she did have control over–herself–all would end up right because Christ would make up the difference.
I loved this book. The writing was beautiful (like the title) and flowed easily. It could be read in one sitting (if you’re desperate and need peace and help immediately) or it could be read a chapter at a time and savored. It is so inspiring. Here are some quotes I liked:
...Even though we cannot always control our surroundings, we can choose how we adorn ourselves on the outside and, more importantly, on the inside, and we can trust the Lord with the rest.
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Our priorities guide our actions. We do and seek after what is important to us. And how we choose to seek these things is important too. When we set goals of an eternal nature as our priority, our lives reflect that choice. What we choose to value affects not only our schedules but the condition of our character and our heart—our very countenance.
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Fear is one of the devil’s greatest weapons to keep us from God, growth, and happiness. We are afraid of sharks, so we don’t go in the water. We are afraid of heartbreak, so we don’t open ourselves to love. We are afraid of looking stupid, so we don’t take chances. We are afraid of being unworthy, so we don’t pray. We are afraid we will fail, so we don’t try. Fear is a tool the adversary uses to rob us of peace, happiness, opportunities, and growth.
Satan wants us to be afraid. Heavenly Father and our Savior do not. So why do They allow us to be afraid? Why can’t They simply take fear away from us? Why must we experience it? I love Sister Virginia Pearce’s answer to this question:
Perhaps our Heavenly Father’s greatest hope is that through our fears we may choose to turn to him. The uncertainties of earth life can help to remind each of us that we are dependent on him. But that reminder is not automatic. It involves our agency. We must choose to take our fears to him, choose to trust him, and choose to allow him to direct us. We must make these choices when what we feel most inclined to do is to rely more and more on our own frantic and often disoriented thinking. As we try to live his commandments and pray to him, there are things he will direct us to do that will help calm our fears. These actions often require great courage and direction from the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost may help us to understand when and with whom we should share our fears. He will support us as we face our fears and try to do things we have never done before. (Pearce, “Fear”)
If you’re feeling a little off-balance or stressed about life, this book contains great words of wisdom to help you feel in control again. Seek the beautiful balance and receive the peace and joy God wants you to experience right now.