Recently, I have made a renewed commitment to simplify my life and make a determined effort to get my life in balance. All the demands that came along with writing a book, editing, and work deadlines coupled with the normal responsibilities of taking care of my family and homeschooling my little ones left me feeling like my life had become chaotic. The past couple of months, I’ve been purposeful to make needed changes in my life although I still have a long way to go. I was so excited when my friend Salida contacted me about writing a new series for Time 2 $ave. You’ll be seeing more from Salida every other week in her new series all about intentional living. I’m so excited, and can’t wait to dive in!
I spend a lot of time praying on the go. With a three year-old, I take advantage of those few quiet moments to spend time with God—driving down the road alone (or when my daughter is temporarily entertained with a book or iPod), stopped at the dreaded train tracks near my house, and, I’ll admit, even in the bathroom (with my little girl and my dog pawing at the door!). Recently, I have been praying about a way I could share with more people my life experience, my profession as a Licensed Professional Counselor, and my passion for helping people live whole and healthy lives.
I have been couponing and practicing the art of “frugal living” for many years, but I just recently attended one of Kasey’s couponing workshops. Not only did I pick up some great shopping tips, but I was also inspired by her love for what she does and by how her faith in God permeates every part of her life. Her vision for teaching others how to save money simply and to focus on family life without financial stress is what led me here to share encouraging, empowering, and educational posts to help busy moms and families live healthier lives—mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
I “aspire” towards physical fitness. I’m a very novice runner, and I enjoy a bit of weight training, too. What if I was training for a marathon but I only worked out my left arm? My left arm may be in excellent condition. I may be able to do bicep curls with a 50-pound weight. But in addition to looking rather off balance, I would never be ready to run 26.2 miles! Or instead of just focusing on my left arm, what if I signed up for the race but spent no time training at all? To run a marathon, I must consistently train my whole body, focusing on endurance and heart health and muscle strength.
In much the same way, our lives get “off balance” as well. And we are all running the race whether we spend time training for it or not. We may get wrapped up in one part of our lives—work, education or physical fitness—and neglect the other parts of ourselves. Or we may be so busy with our families and friends and church and community activities that we fail to take care of ourselves at all. Either way, we can be left feeling empty, depressed, anxious, tired, frustrated, and lonely.
Where may your life be “off balance”? I challenge you to take a look at the included printable pdf for questions you may ask yourself to identify areas of your life that need some attention. We cannot fully and completely love and serve others—husbands, children, family, church, community, friends—unless we first take a look at ourselves and make sure our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies are ready to run the race of life.
In the weeks to come, we will take a look at ways to help you live a more balanced life and work toward a whole and healthy you. I look forward to hearing your responses to this post and those to come. Let me know if there are any specific topics you would like to see addressed to help you train for the marathon of life.
PDF Worksheet: Whole You
For more information about me or Summit Counseling Center, visithttp://www.summitcounselingcenter.org. For information about scheduling a counseling appointment, call (423) 855-0402.
Salida Brooks, M.A.
Licensed Professional Counselor and Mental Health Services Provider
Salida is an Independent Counselor at Summit Counseling Center, a ministry of Ridgedale Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Liberty University. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and has experience treating depression and bipolar disorder, self-harming issues, anxiety, abuse, trauma issues, family and relationship struggles, low self-esteem, anger and aggression. Her primary focus in counseling is adolescents and women. Her passion is ministering to the hearts of hurting people through biblically-based counseling.
Salida is a frugal shopper and enjoys the challenge and satisfaction of couponing. She also enjoys sewing and other creative endeavors. Her great love is spending time with family and friends. Date nights with dinner and relaxing at home are a joy with her husband of 12 years, Craig. Cooking and shopping are her favorite activities with their 4 year-old little girl, Leah.