Peggy Goodrich

Do you seek balance in your life? Think about it.

In this day of too many clubs, activities, schools, sports, etc. etc., many of us find it difficult to fine balance in our lives. We are torn between things we must do and things we want to do and things we should do. Every student is involved in some school activity like singing, sports, drama, 4-H or something useful and educational. At the same time, the parents are involved in their own activities that they enjoy or feel it is their civic duty to participate in.

Where is a balance? We must make a choice. We must decide for ourselves which is more important and what is morally and personal for our own lifestyle. I know my priority is church and church activities. I know it does not give me “Brownie Points” to work for my Lord, but I want to do it just because I love God and enjoy my church and its members so very much. If I have a choice, (which I do) I give more time to that than to any other activity.

I love singing in my church choir. I love worshiping with like-minded Christians. I love our Sunday school class and studying the Bible with them. I enjoy our Wednesday evening prayer groups and studying with these small groups. I was in a small group that started in our home about 15 years ago and is still active. And I could not give that up for anything. We have the most wonderful, gifted teacher who has opened our eyes to reading the Bible and studying every day.

I have found that to be balanced I had to give up the delightful singing group (The Melody Girls) who sang often at various nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Those residents seemed to enjoy our singing as much as we did so that was difficult to finally say no. One thing I certainly do not want to stop is teaching my 11 sixth-graders at Hillsdale Christian School. They have become one of the favorite things I do. They teach me as much as I teach them and they are such a delight. We talk about everything and anything that interests them. We bake, we sew, we glue, we study the Bible and talk about it. We spend a lot of time on manners and kindness. It is difficult to describe what all we do, but it is a lot and all of it is pure pleasure.

I would think that everyone I meet now is seeking balance in their lives. Many my age are dealing with illness of a loved one and that takes a lot of time and patience. Marriage vows say love and cherish until death do us part and my friends take that very seriously. Therefore, they spend a lot of time caring for those they love. Many doctor appointments and 24/7 loving care is part of their vows. That also takes balance in their lives.

It seems to me that we all need time to be with people who share our sentiments regarding money and morals. We have to spend time doing what brings us peace and joy to embrace personal growth and fitness. In other words we need to take time for ourselves no matter how busy we get doing for others. Refuse to let someone’s emotional manipulation hold us back. I am speaking here of people in general, not our families we hold dear. We never feel what we do for them is a sacrifice.

We need to take care of our responsibilities before doing anything else.

There are several worthwhile help groups that meet to share problems and work out solutions. Many find them very helpful just knowing there are other people out in the world who have the same problems. We owe it to ourselves to get involved with people with like challenges.

It is necessary to offer to volunteer to do only what we can. It is more important to take care of our responsibilities than to promise to do things for others. Question others’ motives and avoid manipulative people. Keep a level (balanced) head when dealing with friends, relatives and colleagues. Not everyone will offer sound solutions. Once you say you will do something, you have to do your part because you are a part of that team. So be careful before you agree to volunteer.

We need to fully understand a situation before we make a decision. Remember the old question to ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” Take a deep breath and dissect what we have always known to be truth. Then make any changes to find a balance that will ease stress and add comfort and convenience to your living space. One can only do so much and then they get sick of it all.

You will like yourself more and make more people happy when you balance your time and do what you do best. You will gain respect if you are practical and use common sense. Work hard and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. You will help more people when you are calm and in balance.

I am coming to the end of this week’s “sermon” but I want to repeat a saying from last week that a dear friend suggested to me. “Say no to the good things you are asked to do, so that you can say yes to the better things you are asked to do.” We all know our limitations so we must act accordingly or we get ourselves, and everyone around us, out of balance.

Balance is defined as: composure, equilibrium, poise, stability, steadiness, proportion, symmetry, excess, remainder, remains, residue, residual and/or rest. Which one fits you? Think about it. Peace to all who are searching for balance in their lives.

This recipe kept balance in my family for years. Granddaughters loved it.

G-Ma’s Cheesy Chicken

Cook and bone a chicken (about 5 pounds)

1/2 pound shell macaroni

2 small jars pimentos (optional)

1 can peas (drained)

1 can cream of chicken soup

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken broth (from cooking chicken above)

1 pound grated cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni by package instructions. Drain. Melt butter and add flour. Stir and add broth. Cook until thick. Then add all other ingredients except cheese. Mix well and pour in buttered 5-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with cheese. Bake one hour at 350 degrees. Note: I usually use about four chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken.

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Goodrich writes a weekly column for the Enid News & Eagle​. Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

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