What are you juggling this year?
Posted on 20 January 2020
During the school holidays one of the things my kids loved to watch is 'Fail Army'. You know the compilation videos of people doing stupid things? Hilarious! A series they also do is called 'People are Awesome' where instead of stupidity ruling the day, it's a compilation of people doing amazing things; lifting, jumping, trick shots, all amazing! One guy was doing these amazing juggling feats and it got me thinking...
What I've learnt from a juggler.
I don't know if you've ever seen a juggler, it doesn't matter what they are juggling; chainsaws, balls or scarves, but if you watch them, you'll notice they're not looking at their hands or what in fact they are juggling, they are actually looking up.
They look up to the highest point to where they are throwing the next object.
They look up and focus so they determine when the next object leaves their hand.
They look up to ensure the timing is right.
It made me think about all the things we juggle in life.
Particularly at this time of the year when we are determining what actually goes in our calendar, what we are committing to for the year. For me right this week, it's culling and re-framing the expectations of extra curricular activities for my three kids (I'm going with the less is more option right now). Maybe you're doing the same culling or maybe, looking ahead, you've got so much you're trying to juggle it's a tad overwhelming. Maybe the juggler will help remind you as it reminded me.
I was reminded that we need to "look at the highest point". Like a juggler, we need a focal point when the expectations, to-do list, or mental load gets too much. We need to look up to Jesus. He is our focal point. He is the one that we need to keep our eyes on.
What distracts me from my lifting my eyes.
Like I mentioned, one small area of my life I've been juggling and planning has to do with my kids. Looking at the logistics and priorities around how we spend the block of time after school hours and on the weekends. I want to be a great mum.
I want my kids to have opportunities and options, to be fit and healthy. To be good at sport and the creative arts. Of course, I don't know a mum who doesn't. And I am very thankful we live in a place that we have such luxuries. But there are so many options to google; gymnastics, guitar, swimming, hip hop, soccer, etc. I started to feel like my kids were missing out if they weren't doing 'one sport & one arts'. Maybe they won't turn out as well-rounded as Jane Smith's kids up the road if we don't give them these amazing, team-building, developmental and socialising opportunities (Gee there's peer pressure even when you're an adult right?!). But how ridiculous!
I have to lay expectations down because it's just not true that missing out will mess my kids up.
Lifting my eyes, focusing on Jesus and remembering.
I also have to remember I have other priorities in addition to extra curricular activities for my kids. I want them to be part of God's story.
I want to teach them to prioritise God in their lives and not glorify busy.
How do I do that? I try and show them. I remind myself.
I try and show them what we value as a family, how we want our weeks to look so we aren't too tired coming into the weekend for church and family commitments. We want to create space in our week to host a life group or just BE as a family.
I remind them there are limited finances and I remember for myself that love doesn't mean directing all our finances to ensure my kids have a great sport or social life. I remember to make time to breathe and enjoy family & friends!
I wanted to write this down to remind myself when I'm tempted to believe my kids are 'missing out', that I'm making a conscious choice to not juggle more than I can handle. And this is just ONE of the things to decide on!! So many balls, so few hands. Haha : )
If you are juggling 'trivial' or large things as we move into this new year, prayerfully ask him, 'What should I be juggling this year?'
Maybe you don't pick up that thing. Maybe your circumstances mean you pray He gives you the strength to keep juggling. Or maybe you need to make some hard decisions and lay some 'balls' down.
I pray that you and I will both 'lift your eyes' and 'look to the hills' look up to God, our focal point!
I'd love to hear what you decide and what God's whispering to you about the juggling in your life. Drop a comment or shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org