Tag Archives: life

Balance on the Tightrope of Life

Huffington Post image

I talked with my friend about the tightrope that we women walk today. While it is true that women have broken many social and occupational barriers, it’s ridiculous to think we can do and be everything to everyone. As sisters, daughters, mothers, wives, and friends we walk a thin line and wear ourselves out. Why?

Overcompensating?

If you or your loved one struggles with an addiction, you’ve likely fallen into the trap of overcompensating, living a false reality, and worn yourself out trying to make life more livable for you and your family. Much like walking a tightrope in the wind and fog, you can’t see where you’re going, yet you must trust yourself enough to take the next step.

I’m not a fan of Oprah Winfrey, but she is one of the most recognizable successful women in our world today who seems to have and do it all. She says, “I’ve learned that you can’t have everything and do everything at the same time.” Yet, we feel like failures if we aren’t doing or being everything to everyone: having a perfect body, wardrobe, husband, job, children, house, image. That, my dear, is a tightrope and virtually impossible to walk without faltering. There are responsibilities and standards we need to let go of to maintain balance in our lives.

Staying Balanced

Have you seen Nik Wallenda, 7th generation funambulist, walk across Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon? (Take a couple minutes to watch one or both of those videos.) Are the circumstances of your life equally precarious? Nik generally carries a 40’ pole, which naturally bends lower on the ends and helps him maintain a balanced center of gravity. What do you carry that helps you stay balanced? What can we learn from this tightrope walker?

Balance requires focus.

Carry only what is necessary.

Staying balanced can also be influenced by what/who you listen to/watch/read/consume. Wallenda heard his father’s voice cheering him on as he walked the wire. Wallenda’s family has been walking tightropes for generations and they spend hours in practice and need the support of loved ones. The same applies to you and me. We need others who love and encourage us to stay on course.

Chasing the wind

Do you ever feel like you’re trying to do and say all the right things? Do you say yes to things you’d rather not do? Do you take on more commitments than you’re comfortable or simply able to fulfill? Do you feel like King Solomon who said, “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.”

Ladies, we must stop chasing the unattainable. Walking this tightrope is something we’re not equipped to do well. We’re wearing ourselves out and living unfulfilled lives as a result. We are tired women in need of rest and balance. The beginning of a new year is a great opportunity to consider what we need to let go of and what we need to pick up, like Wallenda’s balancing pole.

William Arthur Ward, American author and teacher said, “A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.”

Let’s make 2017 the year to get off the tightrope and live more balanced lives.

Thirty Things I’m Thankful For This Year

Super bloom in Death Valley – March 2016

I’m not on social media as much as in years past, but I’m there enough to have seen folks posting daily about things they’re thankful for in the month of November. Studies prove being grateful is good for our health.

I’m not great at doing daily things, like daily devotions, so I’ll just post my 30 days of thankfulness here, in no particular order (except from shortest in length to longest because I like how it looks on the screen).

  1. Lily
  2. Love
  3. Tony
  4. Jeans
  5. Toby
  6. Sleep
  7. Grace
  8. Loren
  9. Music
  10. Aaron
  11. Words
  12. Nature
  13. Marisa
  14. Lauren
  15. Amelia
  16. Hot tea
  17. Daisies
  18. My BFF
  19. Silence
  20. Cookies
  21. Michelle
  22. Freedom
  23. Laughter
  24. Eyeglasses
  25. Sunny days
  26. Long walks
  27. Frozen treats
  28. Dark Chocolate
  29. Meals with friends
  30. Hoodie sweatshirts

It’d be rude for me not to ask, so what are you thankful for this year?

Click this link to help get your gratitude glow on!

*Photos property of Kim Bagato and cannot be used without permission.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me

I don’t read daily devotionals daily. I read them semi-daily. I read the one below one week ago, it’s still on my mind. I’m a slow processor and let things steep in my brain to really internalize them.

Here, in full context, is the reading from April 14, 2016 from the book/website “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers.

“Whom the Lord loves He chastens…” (Hebrews 12:6). How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us to the point where we can have fellowship with Him, only to hear us moan and groan, saying, “Oh Lord, just let me be like other people!” Jesus is asking us to get beside Him and take one end of the yoke, so that we can pull together. That’s why Jesus says to us, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). Are you closely identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God when you feel the pressure of His hand upon you.

“…to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29). God comes and takes us out of our emotionalism, and then our complaining turns into a hymn of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and to learn from Him.

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Where do the saints get their joy? If we did not know some Christians well, we might think from just observing them that they have no burdens at all to bear. But we must lift the veil from our eyes. The fact that the peace, light, and joy of God is in them is proof that a burden is there as well. The burden that God places on us squeezes the grapes in our lives and produces the wine, but most of us see only the wine and not the burden. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God living within the human spirit; it creates an inner invincibility.

If your life is producing only a whine, instead of the wine, then ruthlessly kick it out. It is definitely a crime for a Christian to be weak in God’s strength.

Comfort Music

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me; my heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him. Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

Sometimes I like to listen to “comfort music.” This is important when I feel like I’ve forgotten who I am or where I’m going in life. Familiar songs comfort me like a warm blanket on a chilly night and refresh like a tall glass of water on a sweltering summer day. Comfort music serenades happy memories to my mind, like comfort food helps me feel better.

Studies prove that music profoundly impacts our minds and moods. We can influence our thoughts by what we listen to. So, when times are stressful or I’m just weary from the grind of daily life, I turn on a familiar tune to spark a lighter time in my past.

Comfort music reminds me who I am. Some songs remind me who God is. I can feel the tension release when I hear the first few notes, and my spirit lifts as I sing along.

It amazes me that I remember every lyric without even thinking about it. But don’t ask me what I ate for lunch last Monday because I probably don’t remember.

(Excerpt from Dashes of Salt. Contact Kim to purchase a copy. Book also available on Amazon)