Tag Archives: finding balance

Children are vulnerable

Nathan and Joseph at Mount Scott

As a parent with two young, wild, and amazing children, about half the time I want to put a leash on them… and the other half, I feel like I’m the one with a leash.

Think about it this way. Children ARE vulnerable. We hear it from our children’s doctor every time we visit – be careful around pools, be careful what they put in their mouths, make sure they wash their hands, watch what you say around them, so on and on.

You have to have your head on a swivel, always keeping them in the corner of your eye.

Just the other day, Joseph, our two year old, climbed down from the steps on his grandmother’s porch, saw a cat in the neighbor’s yard across the street, and took off with joy, curiosity, and reckless abandon… never mind the busy street between him and the feline.

Such moments test you as a parent.

Other moments shouldn’t test you… but they do. Watching the kids play on a local playground should be an opportunity to sit back, relax, and let your little ones have fun, but that nagging suspicion that something terrible might happen if your child falls from a precarious perch from the tornado slide grows. You end up watching nervously, ticking off the moments till you can strap him or her back into the relative safety of their car seat or stroller.

Is there a perfect way? Maybe not. Parenting is what it is – an exercise in constant conversation and delicate maneuvering and hopeful decisions. Your child is vulnerable, and yet… we must all let go. We must trust that our kids will be okay.

Perhaps the worst case scenario is when a child grows up without such an attempt at balance. What happens when there is no supervision at all? What happens when a parent smothers a child in overbearing, micro-management parenting?

It’s funny that those two scenarios are also how a lot of people see God – either as One who is absent from Creation or the Ultimate Micro-manager.

I think the truth is that God is always shooting for that balance in our lives too. God knows we are all vulnerable. God sends people into our lives – friends, family, and mentors – to shepherd us along. The Bible’s constant underlying current and message of God’s preferential care for the poor and outcast in our midst also underscore this desire for people to treat each other with compassion. God also leaves us to our devices from time to time, sitting back as we learn, grow, make mistakes, and do what we think is best.

I have a lot to learn as a parent and as a human being. I bet you do too. As we attempt to find this kind of balance, may we always keep in mind how vulnerable all of life is… and especially remember those in our midst who are the most vulnerable of all.

Finding Balance [Video]

Finding Balance

Feeling out of balance? The Table this JuneLike many of you, I struggle trying to find balance in life. Whether its work, family life, time for me, or time with God, I’m always having to make choices that reveal where my priorities are. Sometimes, it feels like I make the wrong choices. Other times, I make the right choices. It feels like I’m doing a high wire act over the Dallas skyline.

This has been especially true for me as I just sent my wife and kids off to Korea. When they are here, I can easily tune myself out when I am in their presence with tv, computer, or work issues. But now that they are gone and our apartment is so quiet, I regret tuning them out at all. I would give anything for them to be back, even with my kids’ uncanny ability to leave out toys in unlikely places so I can step on them and almost require medical attention.

In the moment of life, priorities can easily get mixed up. Yes, bringing home financial resources to provide for our family is so important, but is it important enough to risk missing out on events in their life that only come around once?

Is taking on a second job to pay off debt worth it if it means we end up working ourselves into exhaustion?

Can we find time in our lives to say “no” to our family so we can rest in quiet or have a conversation with a close friend over a cup of coffee?

If we commit to growing as followers of Jesus, how do we make spirituality a daily affair in the chaos and unpredictability of life?

These are not easy questions to answer, and yet we are all there in one way or another. Learning how to set boundaries and priorities may go a long way in determining the kind of balance we develop in our life. And it is so hard to do.

I don’t have all the answers, but I am inviting you to share in conversation with us through the month of June at the Table. We’ll be digging into these questions, looking at some great stories and passages in the Bible that challenge us, and listening to God and one another as we seek balance and wholeness. Maybe you know a friend or two who might be interested in this conversation.

Let’s practice this tightrope walk together.

See you in June!


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