“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” ~ Jeremiah 17:7-8
Spring had sprung. The flowers were bright and bulging from the soil while the sun was warm and inviting.
My husband, Adam, and I had been gifted the evening for a much-needed date night. Our two small children, ages 2 and 4, stayed home with my Mother-in-Law while the two of us ventured downtown for dinner and a movie.
I remember sitting across from my husband at the restaurant, staring off into the distance. “Mara?” he said, waking me out of my trance. I smiled, “Oh. I’m sorry, honey, it’s like I don’t know what to say or do without the kids here.”
We both laughed. But we both knew it was true. Somewhere along the way, we had both distanced. Not because we wanted to, and not because we were having issues in our marriage – it was just the nature of becoming parents, thrown in with both of us starting our own businesses. I didn’t realize until that moment that I was totally out of balance, and it sort of scared me.
After dinner, we decided to skip the movie and go on a walk. Hand-in-hand. It was such an amazing walk – we talked, we giggled, we stopped and enjoyed the beautiful spring greenery, God’s masterpiece. And that was when it hit me.
Lessons from the trees
Standing in the middle of God’s creation, I noticed all of the trees around me. Tall, strong, unmoved. I looked up and took in the magnificence of the trees. Each one was different, each one had its own story, but each one was blooming and green as could be.
Quietly I said, “You know, Adam, every single one of the trees in this park undergoes the winter months. They shed their leaves, they let go, they become completely vulnerable and then spring comes along and their beauty shines through again. I think we can all learn from God’s creations.”
You see, winter is a time of cold, dark and quiet. The trees release during that time so that they can recreate and grow from a time such as winter.
I can relate – can you?
There are times in my life when I feel like I’m being tested, times when I feel completely out of balance. You do know that mom-guilt is a real thing, right? I’m constantly on this ever-moving rollercoaster ride. When things are good, I’m climbing up and up and up, filled with so much excitement and anxious for the fun. And then there are times when I’m descending down into a valley, times when I feel so out of whack and unsure of what to do next. A rut. Fear. And then the process starts over again.
But in that moment when I was truly taking in a lesson from God, from His beautiful creation, I found that, yes, there are times when I’m not totally in balance. To be honest, I never truly find the balance I’m seeking. Just like the trees, I hibernate, I get down and out, but when I trust in God, and I allow Him to lead me through every instance in my life – my marriage, my parenting, my business – I find that spring comes again. It always does. I never have to stay in the winter months. There will always be a time of beauty. But I have to choose to learn and grow from it all.
Carrying the lesson with me.
I’m not always good at this. But I’m trying. And I’m trusting.
I remember when my first business came to a screeching halt. God was closing a door, but I really had a hard time letting go. Why would He allow this to happen? What if my followers, my clients, my people don’t like my new shift? There were so many unknowns.
But I tell you now, that when I let go and I let God take the wheel, things came out so much brighter, so much more beautiful, so much more abundant than could have ever have happened had I stayed where I was.
I so desire to remain balanced. It is a forever ongoing challenge for me. But I have finally discovered how to navigate and embrace every up and down.
Embracing the ups and downs
Number one is trusting God. 100%. I have to be honest, I dabbled in other things – putting my trust elsewhere. Without a shadow of a doubt, I always failed. But when I trust in God and totally lean on Him, even when it seems so overwhelming and I am so unsure, He always comes through.
Number two, I sought out a business coach, someone with morals and life experiences that align with mine. There is something so powerful in connecting with someone who can give you advice and guidance so that you never feel alone. She also has helped me understand that trusting the path is a huge part of it, but I also have to create action – purposeful action. That has been a total game changer!
Number three, is my journal. I just recently started journaling. I actually thought it was a waste of time beforehand, but now that I have dedicated just 20 minutes each day to journal and to reflect on the ups and the downs, I have noticed a positive shift in my perspective. Not only that, it also gives me time to be thankful. Reading back, even just a month, I notice growth in myself. And that within itself is so powerful and helps me to feel more balanced in my day-to-day.
And last, I intentionally disconnect from work. I have found that if I work and work, I end up in that valley again. But when I take time to really be present with my family, to go and do fun things on the weekends, to take my kids to the library for story time, and to simply walk in the park holding hands with my husband, I am able to reconnect with those who matter the most to me. Reconnecting allows mom-guilt to melt off of my shoulders. Reconnecting gives me a chance to let go and to bloom again. Reconnecting allows me to be thankful, to really see what God is doing in my life and to discover His path for me.
Yes, I still have so much to learn. And I definitely do not think I have mastered balance in my life. But I’m trusting and creating a plan of action so that I can feel balanced and satisfied in my life.
Many blessings to you!
Mara Watts is a 2-time mamapreneur and co-founder of Motherhood on Purpose . A wife, mother to two amazing children, a lover of words, a creative idea generator and a connection and relationship builder. She helps mothers all over the globe fall in love with themselves, discover balance, self-identity and a sense of purpose. Her passions include business and social media strategies as well as reading, playing the piano, dancing and exercising on her yoga mat with her 2.5 year old daughter. Through her work, it is Mara’s goal and dream to support and encourage mothers to fully live out their dreams and purpose.