I just don’t know where to begin with this review. I have 19 pages of notes…from a 109 page book! Obviously I can’t share them all in this review, but let me tell you one thing:
If you have ever
- felt out of balance,
- wondered how to get things done and how to determine what to do,
- worked at home (whether for pay or not—and I think homeschooling is work, too!), or
- wanted to write,
you’ll want to get a copy of Tricia Goyer’s Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom.
Why? Because Tricia addresses all these issues at their foundation, by pointing you to God.
Beginning with her personal story, Tricia then moves on to why working at home is good for work and why working is good for the kids. Then she gets personal: how God works in us, how we work from our core, how we can follow our God-given dreams, and how we need freedom through knowing ourselves, confession, and repentance. As expected, she also shares practical tips on successful family living, managing your schedule, and not doing it all. But, she points out in the last chapter of Balanced, balance is not the goal; knowing God is.
To give you a taste of what Balanced by Tricia Goyer is all about, I’m going to share my favorite quotations from my 19 pages of notes.
“most of what I share here is centered on God’s Word because nothing in your life will be balanced unless Jesus is the core of who you are and you allow Him to clean out the center for Himself.”
“…as someone who’s been working at home nearly all of my twenty-four years as a parent, I’ve discovered three main things:
1. What I do isn’t as important as who I am.
2. What God can do in my life and what He’s capable of doing can be two very different things—I don’t want to limit Him.
3. My outward goals are only reachable if I submit my inward soul to God.
“Another truth about balance is that the only One who can control tomorrow (or even the rest of today) is the One who can also provide for our moment-by moment needs when our schedule gets out of whack.”
“Just because you want to do something and you pray about it doesn’t mean God will endorse your project.”
“Vision is knowing where you want to head and having an idea of how to get there. Prayerful vision is asking God to show you what He sees since He has a much higher, better view than we do, and adjusting your heart to His desires for your work, your family, and His world.”
“I’ve noticed society puts a lot of pressure on us moms, and often we buy into their thinking that our children need to be the center of our world. I love my children. I strive to be a good mom, but running a child-centered home doesn’t do anyone any good . . . especially my kids! Instead, children need to be seen as a welcome part of our family and home but not the focus of it.”
“Define the things that matter most to you. Now, consider how you can show your kids these things are important.”
“Since you can’t depend on your own skills, talents, and desires in the distinct worlds of working and being a mom, it will force you to turn to God. The greater the challenges, the greater your dependence on Him. And that is exactly where we all need to be!”
“The life we have is the one constructed for us by an all-loving God. It’s not the life, body, health, or circumstances we wish we had. It’s not a perfect life we strive to attain but it’s the life He means for us. God drew the blueprints. He’s the one molding the form, transforming it into reality.”
“And remember that when you put God first and your family second, all other things will fall into their proper place!”
“Just do what you can” is being creative in the moment with the time I’ve been given, and it’s amazing how much really gets done in the end!
“Working at home will break you at times, but it’s only when we’re broken that God can take those pieces and bring healing and transformation.”
“I could only write worthwhile content when I walked with God, listened to God, and knew God intimately. If anything I wrote was going to be of use to another person, it was because God spoke to me about it first.”
“How foolish for me to think that I, with my limited knowledge and no concept of what’s coming in the future, could do a better job at figuring out where to spend my time and energy, compared to a holy God. God is wisdom and truth, and He knows not only the past but the future.”
“So what are God’s dreams for you? Here is a good question to ask: “If I could be doing anything for God’s kingdom what would it be?” A second question is as equally important: “What is God asking me to do now in this season I’m in?””
“God will never ask you to follow Him if it means turning your back on your family.”
“I became so busy serving God—working for him—that I didn’t have time for Him.”
Tricia thinks about what REALLY needs to be done and then, “I also consciously put everything else on my “to-don’t do” list.”
“When you can sum up who you are simply and accurately in eight points, you can abound with strength and passion.”
“When you don’t know what to do . . . what you do speaks volumes.”
“God is not surprised by interruptions. He allows them into our day, sometimes for the sake of others and sometimes for the sake of us. He wants us to turn to Him to know Him.”
Obviously, Tricia Goyer is a woman who loves the Lord, who has learned to manage many different responsibilities (one husband, 6 kids, homeschooling, a teen mom ministry, 4-5 books a year—imagine all that!), who has thought about priorities, and who wants to help others use their lives in God’s service. I’m so thankful to learn from her. There’s so much here, the practical things like scheduling tips, priority examples, and so forth, but especially the God-centeredness in all she does.
Of course, that does not mean I agree with everything she says–or even with all the quotes I listed above. But Tricia has given me a lot to think about as well as some practical tools to seek balance in a particularly busy season of my life. She has reminded me of my focus and priorities and of God’s goodness and providence, and I am grateful for all of that.
Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom is about having the Lord at the center of life, as well as about practical home and work issues. I highly recommend this inexpensive ebook to any Christian woman, whether she works for pay or not.
If you like online accountability and want to do things together with others, Tricia is hosting an 11-day Balanced challenge beginning March 11, complete with some downloadable freebies.
Disclosure: I received this ebook from LitFuse for the purpose of this review and have presented my honest opinion.