Filtering for Balance

Filtering for Balance

The most recent episode of the In the Light podcast, with Dr. Anita Phillips, featured the author, motivational speaker, actress, and Christian evangelist Priscilla Shirer. Dr. Anita and Priscilla talked about many things, but one of the things that stood out to me the most was when Priscilla mentioned that when she can share space with older and wiser women through which she can glean wisdom – she often does.

When Shrier was a young mother struggling to balance her aspirations with her season of motherhood, she had the opportunity to sit under Jill Briscoe, a British American author.  The first question that she asked this great woman of wisdom was, “How do you balance it all?’

I think it is a question that all of us have asked ourselves, if not daily, then at some point in our lives.

Well, Mrs. Briscoe’s response was, “you don’t!”

“Most women think that having balance is having all levels the same across the spectrum of their priorities.

I want you to picture all your priorities as clear boxes, about ten (10) of them.

Most women would say that filling them up equally (picture a blue liquid in them) to the brim is balance.

She said that what you see looks like balance, but it is really a recipe for exhaustion, chaos, and frustration.

What balance truly is, is more about alignment; it is about seeking God’s face and saying, ‘Lord, of these ten priorities, which three am I supposed to invest myself in this season?’ Then, ask Him to give you enough courage to push the other seven (7) boxes to the back of the line and align those three at the front. Then fill those three boxes with your time, energy, and effort, and let the other seven diminish. Let them be so diminished, that it is almost painful for you to look at them.

For those of you who know me well, you know that my husband is an engineer. Well, he used to talk about something called digital signal processing or DSP.

It is one of those courses in college that all the engineering students toil over. In his class, he learned how to deal with different digital signals. And in dealing with processing digital signals, you apply several filters to get the output you need.

Three of those filters that he spoke about came to mind when I heard this interview.

There are:

bandpass filters – devices that pass frequencies within a specific range and rejects frequencies outside that range,

low pass filters – filters that pass signals with a frequency lower than a selected cutoff and, then there are

notch filters – filters that are very narrow and only allow a specific frequency to pass through the system.

I was thinking in life, how sometimes we struggle to focus and find balance in our lives, and it is not because we are not skilled or intelligent women. It is that we cannot focus because we do not apply filters in our own lives. We are not filtering out the right noises in our lives. Noises can be priorities, people, activities, several different things.

In that podcast interview, Shirer added that at the beginning of each year, she takes the time to pray and ask God what areas of her life she should focus on that year – be it family, ministry, or speaking  – and whatever He says, she does just that.

For us to be more productive, we must apply the right filters in life and all our situations. Maybe, a season calls for you to focus on family, yourself, and our job. Here we could apply the band path filter or even the low pass filter, the filters that let some things in, and keep some things out to get the most value out of that time.  Some seasons will call for us to use our notch filter, which will call for us to focus on one thing and have more focus and productivity.

Far too often, we say YES to things and commitments without considering the impact of those decisions. As a purposed woman with a calling, your time is your most valuable asset. Please be intentional about how you spend it.

Ask God to help you identify your focus areas. He will help you put things into perspective and clarify your priorities.

As you process this message today, this week, or this season, ask yourself: Am I stewarding my time the way God would want me to?”

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