(AP Photos/Discovery Channel, Tiffany Brown)

A world record was set last month on June 24 when Nik Wallenda, a tightrope artist, made his way across the Grand Canyon in just 22 minutes. My Pastor, Joel Osteen, was there to pray with him before hand. This man has a wife and kids and yet, his dream was to be the first in history to conquer this great feat. Along the way, he knelt down twice in order to make the rope stop shaking. With every breath, he was praying and thanking God for helping him. He also thanked the many people who supported him along the way. When it was all said and done though, he was the one who walked it and him alone.

We all walk a tight rope of some kind in our lives. Sometimes we get out of balance and feel like we are falling down a great canyon! But it is possible to do it.

How do you balance your personal life with your ministry? That was the question posed to me on Saturday when I met at the coffee shop with a small group of young women, hungry for answers. I took a deep breath, wishing I could say that I have, in fact, mastered that question. It was a mixed group of young, single and married. So what do you do when your whole life is based around ministry, or any job for that matter? Even for my husband and I, our whole adult life has been about serving people. It has only been in the last couple of years that I have been able to say I even know how to experience what that looks like!

Here’s what we came up with:

  1. Have a sabbath. For those in full time Ministry, that day is certainly not on Church day! So, that doesn’t count.  If possible, set aside a day that is for Y-O-U. No work. No ministry. If you are on call,, it doesn’t count.
  2. Set boundaries around yourself for your family time, if you have one. If you are single, do the same. Don’t let people take advantage of you, assuming you are more available to do things because you are single! It’s really surprising to see how people really can get along without you if you are not available. I know I always thought I had to be the one to “be there” when people were in crisis. But, it has been so liberating to know that I don’t have to be! They will find someone else or figure it out themselves, or do the last thing we all seem to forget: that God is right there the whole time, ready to take our hand and walk us through it HIMSELF.
  3. Realize that sometimes, a total separation can’t be made. Jerry and I have been in ministry our whole 26 year marriage. Our lives are intertwined with it. But if its conversation around “work” or talk that creates homework, its not personal time. If this comes up, don’t sweat it, just jot it down on a pad or on your phone notes for later pick up. Then get back to carving out your personal time with those close to you.
  4. Guard your quiet time with God. Everything you do in your life flows out of that relationship. It makes you better. It empowers you. It satisfies your soul! He is waiting for you, always there, and would love to walk with us all individually in this thing called life!
  5. Don’t feel guilty for saying no. Really.
  6. Do a weekend or 3 day getaway every few months. A personal retreat. To take stock. To look at where you are on your journey. To ask yourself, are there changes that need to be made? It is a life-giving time to clear your head and get back in touch with you!
  7. The last, but not least, is to download Creating Your Personal Life Plan by Micheal Hyatt. This exercise is a great way to help you get from here, to where you want to go. It’s easy! Just sign up for his enriching updates and you get it for free!

For all of us who find ourselves in different places along our way, we can know that with some adjustments, we can go through our day, satisfied that we did what was in our heart to do and feel good about it!

PHOTO: Nik Wallenda gives a thumbs-up as he nears the end of his successful untethered high wire crossing of the Grand Canyon. (Reuters: Mike Blake)
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MAP: United States