Today’s Truth

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

John 15:4-5

Friend to Friend

It’s that time of year again. Schools are recruiting parents for classroom duties, sports teams are looking for team moms, and the women’s ministry is begging for help … and the list really does go on and on.

How do you react when an opportunity for service presents itself?

Do you feel guilty saying “no” and give in to the demands for your time?

Why do women feel as if they have to do it all?

Oh, I am fairly certain most women can do just about anything they set their minds to do.

I’m just not sure they can or should do it all at the same time.

I tried. And the results were disastrous.

For years, I tried to earn the love and approval of God by doing everything I could find to do. If a position needed filling, I filled it. If a job needed doing, I did it. If volunteers were called for, mine was the first hand in the air. After all, if I was doing all of these important things then I must be important, too. Right?

The result was two dark years spent at the bottom of a deep, ugly pit called clinical depression. It was as if God allowed me to run to the end of myself, and then shut the door and turned out the lights. I heard Him loud and clear, “That is enough! It is time for you to abide in me.” I knew very little about “abiding” but a whole lot about “doing.” I soon learned that to abide in God means to rest in Him and requires a balanced life with right priorities.

One of the main factors in my battle with clinical depression was that I didn’t understand how to live a balanced life. I found it difficult to set boundaries. I failed to establish margins of time for the unplanned or unexpected, and unwittingly surrendered my God-ordained priorities to the empty, vain addiction of just “doing the next thing” or pleasing the loudest voice. Balance can easily become a casualty of this ongoing battle.

While sitting in the darkness, waiting on God, I discovered that the pit of despair is a common destination for those who refuse to measure and balance the sometimes overwhelming demands of home, family, friends, work and personal growth. I had been running the race for the wrong audience. I had been using my own power instead of God’s power.

I wish I could tell you that I now lead a perfectly balanced life, but the truth is that I constantly have to re-evaluate my priorities and goals in order to find the holy balance God intends. Many of you tell me that you have the same struggle.

I constantly have to make difficult choices between the good things and the best things. When I make the wrong choices, I can sense myself sliding toward the dangerous edge of darkness. I don’t want to go there again – so the battle continues.

The good news is that I don’t have to fight alone and neither do you. God is with us, urging us toward the light and His restoration power that comes from a heart and life that rests and abides in Him.

Let’s Pray

Father, I desperately need Your guidance in setting the priorities and goals in my life. I want to please You and do what You alone have created me to do. Please help me see and do Your plan.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

  • Set aside 30 minutes this week to spend alone with God.
  • Examine your life for areas that are out of balance.
  • Record each area in your journal.
  • Surrender that imbalance to God and ask Him to show you how to abide in Him instead of relying upon yourself and your own strength.
  • Set aside one day this month for a silent retreat. Go to the beach – a park – your back yard! Just get alone with God and take a spiritual inventory of your priorities, time management and goals. The results may surprise you.

More from the Girlfriends

The reality is that a perfectly balanced life was lived only once on this earth – by Jesus Christ. My chances of doing so are slim. It would be so easy to just throw my hands in the air or dive back under the covers and pray that the world will just go away and leave me alone. Been there? You are not alone, girlfriend. Gwen, Sharon and I fight the same fight. We are all in different seasons of life, but the struggle is the same – learning to put God first and then allowing Him to set the agenda for each day. Need help? My book, Escaping the Stress Trap is a great guide for learning how to abide in God. Check it out!

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website. Connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

4 Responses to “The Battle for Balance”

  1. Rita says:

    Love all the Girlfriends in God articles. Thank you for today’s especially as I battle with this myself. My friends commonly tell me they don’t think I know how to say no. I really do want to prayerfully consider and balance my priorities.

  2. Della says:

    I am a new believer and have recently found God. I was at the end of my ropes and was saved. I am trying to reach out to God more and more and allow Him to guide me but I still lose myself. Please help.

  3. Della says:

    How do I ever find balance and peace?

    • Tina says:

      Balance has been an issue for me for years. I’ve been saved for 15 years. I tend to be a black or white person without a hint of grey (balance). I was involved in a small group one time called “Enough”. Meaning, women in general seem to have an on going warped thought that they aren’t good enough. The leader was a counselor was a rehab facility. One visual she gave us, which has stuck in my mind for years, is you have two circles side by side. One circle is labeled EMOTIONS. The other circle is labeled FACTS. When the two circles come closer to where they enter lock, a third shape appears in the center called “WISE MIND”. Bottom line, when your emptions and facts are properly balanced, you are in your wise mind and can make decisions properly. Hope this makes sense.

      For me, accountability is a must. I am apart of a small group of women plus I have a close friend whom I meet with every Friday morning at 6am to discuss life over coffee. I am able to be authentically raw with her (good, bad, and ugly). There is no judgment between us. We sharpen each other spiritually and so look forward to our coffee “therapy” sessions. LOL

      Staying in your Bible, feeding yourself, is crucial in order to grow in balance, peace and many other areas of your life. Story after story and parable after parable, Jesus demonstrates how we should live our lives. And believe me, IT IS A PROCESS! We simply cannot reflect Him, without knowing who He is and how He conducts Himself. I still do things out of my flesh (sinful nature) BUT, the holy spirit is quick to bring it back to my mind so I can repent and move on. There are times when I’ve been reading and I felt like the words jumped off the page and did the hokey pokey for me. Every answer to any and every problem you will EVER endure, encounter, or witness, can be found within the pages of Gods word.

      Journaling has helped me as well. It is cheap therapy, per se, and I write as If I am literally writing Jesus. I so enjoy reflecting on my past words, prayers, thoughts, and hissy fits. Oh yes, I have documented my 2 year old tantrums as well. There have been many times when God has used my own crazy words to give me the answer I needed.

      Hope this helps. If you need to chat more, feel free to email me at

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8