About the Author

Melissa Michaels is the NY Times Bestselling author of Love The Home You Have and The Inspired Room book. Her blog, The Inspired Room, was voted Better Homes & Gardens Readers' Favorite decorating blog in 2014 and 2015. Melissa is a church planter's wife and a mom to three human kids and...

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  1. “When we are in step with God’s priorities and purpose and remember to put Him first, I think we can find a sense of balance even with a full and productive life.”

    I’ve been praying about this a lot lately. It can be easier said than done sometimes, but I find when I am fully aligned with God, everything falls into place.

  2. Melissa,
    I agree with NJ, that when I put God first and am in step with HIS priorities, my life is more productive. I also find that I HAVE to start my day off with God and reading His word. It sets the whole tone for my day. The (in)courage post is always a part of that quiet time and it really helps me to head off in the right direction. Like the scripture you quoted, I am reminded that I must be grafted into Christ’s vine because apart from Him I can do nothing. Thanks for the beautiful encouragement this morning!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. Thank you so much for this post. I’ll be sharing it to encourage my (in)couraging teachers ladies because I feel this is something we struggle with in our careers as well as in our personal life. Thank you for your words of blessing and encouragement this morning.

  4. Great points, Melissa! I write down my priorities in order: 1×1 time with God first, then husband and health, housework, job, friends, etc on down the list whereever. And I try to keep reminding myself that I have no business spending time on priority #3 until I’ve taken care of priority #1 and #2, etc. Sometimes I have to re-organize and re-strategize when I drift too far away from the right priorities in the right order. (Health seems to be one of the easiest ones to forget about!) Overall, though, setting a specific list of priorities for my life has really helped me.

  5. Thank you for this post Melissa. Such wonderful, encouraging and wise words. Your girls are lucky to have you as their Mom. My mother has been such a huge role model in my spiritual life and I pray that I can be the same for my baby girl. Blessings to you! And thank you again for this post.

  6. Hey Melissa … Since I follow your blog, I really am appreciating your post today because I’m getting to know the spiritual depth of the woman behind the beautiful home!

    I’m all about life balance. I thought. But it took a month of no blogging for me to discover how much was out of whack. And to realize that a few basics were really off-kilter and needed to be tended to …
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2013/12/two-sabbatical-takeaways.html

    Without these two necessities, I’m toast.

    Really.

    • Wow! I just read both blogs. Both were very encouraging. I’m 17 years old and going to college soon…I’m having trouble with priorities. I’m applying to all of these scholarships but I’m not totally positive about my degree. Isn’t what I’m going to do with the money supposed to be the most important? Then I try to tie in living for God with my career but I don’t know how I will do that as a registered dietitian. It’s all too confusing and I haven’t been able to find quiet time for God as much as I’ve wanted to and it’s difficult! Have either of you felt like time is just passing by and you put so much hard work into something but then you feel that everything you’re doing is not right?

      • Hi Elena,

        First of all, I’m impressed that you are just 17 years old and wrestling with these issues. You are far ahead of many young women!

        I believe that God needs people in every career and every walk of life because each of us will be able to be a witness and reach people than many others will not. I think when we put God first in our hearts and our desire is for His glory we can serve Him wherever He calls us, even if it doesn’t seem to be as “spiritual” of a career as others may have!

        I know I’m right where God called me to be and even though I could see myself as “just a blogger” or “just a decorator” I know God brings opportunities to me to use for His glory and that I am able to impact people and direct them to Christ in a way a pastor or a blogger focused on Christianity never will. That’s one of the awesome things about God, He creates us to be unique people with passions that He can use.

        I wouldn’t even be here today sharing online if God hadn’t convinced me seven or eight years ago that He created me with a passion for the home and He wanted to use it. He was right, He uses that passion all the time! Not only through what I do every day, but how it provides an income for us to have planted a church and so we can offer many hours of service and support to our church.

        Being a dietician will actually give you many opportunities to be a witness for the Lord, the creator of our bodies and health, as well as connect you to people who need healing and health! That sounds an amazing and spiritual career path to me!

        I think we get into trouble when we care more about our passion and our own influence or gain than the passion of Christ. Or if we are sold out to gaining influence or success in our career more than we are excited to invest ourselves in reaching others for Him. There is a difference between being a witness and follower of Christ in our area of passion or career and what we do for a living or fun BEING our main passion. If that makes sense :-).

        Sometimes it can be tricky to judge our own motives and hearts, that is true, but putting God first in our day and having a passion to see others comes to Christ is something we can invest ourselves in no matter what other career or role we have in the world.

        Take care and many blessings on your hard work and desire to live for God!

        • Elena,

          At 17 you are worlds ahead of most young people! Choose a career that you feel best suits your talents–AH the talents that God gave you!!! He will bring people into your life that you can connect with. Plus the income you derive from your career can be used to help further the Kingdom.

          Blessings 🙂

  7. I’ve been doing less and I’m in the midst of spring cleaning and throwing out things and putting away the winter jackets and taking out the summer shirts. Cleaning …… yet in oiling my desk and clearing out my study all I could think about is God’s purpose for teaching me things I do not understand.
    I’m doing less and spending more time resting and listening and studying God’s WORD so that the ministries I’m in get my full attention and devotion.
    I’m a home body. I love my home. JESUS is here.
    Will get a wireless mouse and keyboard so my hard disk can rest on the window sill.
    We are happy happy happy.
    I need lots of sleep so I sleep a lot.
    🙂

  8. The only thing I do in balance is to read a little of God’s word and pray. It isn’t every day but maybe every other. Life comes at me slow as I don’t work. I’m getting better at being productive but definitely not there. Balance for me would be to work a little more at homemaking.

  9. “For me, a balanced life doesn’t begin with trying to figure out a strategy for how to “slow down” or to “just say no” or even how to “do less.” It is freeing when we grasp this! My experience in life with Jesus is more, crashing waves, with some ebb and flow, and times of refreshment. And my ability to maintain joy and stay connected to the vine, comes out of time in the secret place. Thanks for sharing your words here Melissa. I enjoyed visiting your blog home too!

  10. My biggest goal is living life on purpose-with intention. I take it in small bites, daily seeking God for his plan for that day, making sure I’ve got time with him and time for rest-even if that rest is only 20 minutes. Or ten! And then I look at balance in seasons, because some days are crazy and busy, but I know I’ve got to return to equilibrium at some point.

  11. Such a timely word for me today. This year God gave me a verse instead “one word” for the year. It’s Galatians 5:25 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Because if I’m seeking to follow His every step, He will give me whatever I need for wherever He has me set my next step.

    For years, I have rather successfully avoided becoming too busy. (I’ve always used the excuse that I’m allergic to busy-ness.) But within the last year, I believe God is calling me into a more active approach, more involved in stuff and more busy. It’s hard, though, to figure out what is just “good” and what God has created me to do. What He has purposed me for. And I find myself wondering if I’m reading Him wrong. Because I know He doesn’t want me too busy. And then, this morning here, He gave me this word from you… “When we are in step with God’s priorities and purpose and remember to put Him first, I think we can find a sense of balance even with a full and productive life.” Assurance for me to keep seeking Him and His every next step. And He won’t let me get to busy if I’m truly seeking Him.

    Thank you. Also, I’m sorry for the super long comment here. Thanks for letting me process. 🙂

    • I love that verse about keeping in step with the Spirit! 🙂 I’m glad you shared what you did, we can be “too busy being busy” with the wrong things or “be too busy” for the things God has for us to do. Interestingly the moment I opened my hands fully and offered everything I had, all the time, energy and possessions to Him, He started increasing what He called me to do (and He hasn’t stopped adding to it!). I think being a Christ follower is an active experience of learning, growing, serving and being — yet putting Him first in our life and the pace of going about His will is a rewarding and blessed kind of “busy” :-).

  12. This is a needed reminder for me! I’m on Spring Break this week and have been working very hard on getting through my to do list – but you called me out on it: “We are made for so much more than aimlessly wandering through our days just juggling to-do lists.” And I know there needs to be a balance – I think we all know that. I read a book last summer called “Wake Up, Generation” and it’s about writing a life mission statement and letting that guide decisions we make. I’m still working on it; it’s so easy to get caught up in…stuff…that I sometimes forget. But it’s like you said. We just have to keep our focus on God; sometimes that requires a refocus if we get off track but as long as we shift the focus right back to God 🙂

  13. I find that when I am intentional about seeking God first and giving Him all those details that bog me down, He simplifies them for me. Now the real trick for me is remembering to do that consistently. Sometimes I’m a slow learner. Thank you for this nudge in the right direction.

  14. I love the distinction you made between simply trying to find balance by taking certain actions (saying no to things, doing less) and doing these things in order to seek Jesus. It’s so true that it will only be effective if our motivation is to spend more time with Him and focusing on Him. Thanks for that reminder.

  15. Melissa, this is so beautifully written. There is so much truth in what you wrote and I appreciate the message you have given us today. I too have learned that when God is in my focus the day takes care of itself. Happy Friday and God bless you and your many talents that you so freely share with us.
    Kathysue

  16. Thanks Melissa!! I love the reminder of ‘first things first’ It’s also ‘disordered loves’ or actively rooting out the idols of our hearts. Lent is so good for this…I’ve been increasingly led to give up mental distractions like t.v. Or fiction reads. Making space to hear/listen and the obedience of giving up the distraction leads to clearer vision and further obedience. I can see these choices instrumentally a part of our moving overseas and refining my calling to write as well as freeing me mentally to be present w/ my hubby & kids:) You can NEVER outgive God!! He gives back abundantly more when we lay our disordered loves at His feet!!

  17. I come in balance most often when I start out my early hours in prayer. It always surprises me when the chaos of my day seems to fall into order and a deep contentment accompanies me throughout. Probably because I know that the moments, good and bad, easy or difficult, have already been laid out and lined up with Him.

  18. Hi Melissa,
    What a wonderful post today! It made me rethink how I go about my days. I leave the house very early for work (with an hour commute, to boot!); so I usually start my day with a quick, ” I love you, I need you, help me do Your Will today” prayer. In the evening, I do my “thank you” prayers. If I forget my morning prayer, I can tell- my day just seems off balance – or I feel off-balance… I need to be more consistent in my quiet times with God then I will be able to hear Him better. Thank you for this wonderful reminder that we need to live life on purpose ( God’s purpose for us).
    Kristin

  19. I’m not sure I have balance worked out yet, but my word for this year is “intentional”, so I’m working on it:) Thanks for the encouragement to keep trying, even when I don’t get it right.

  20. I really needed to read this today! I start my day with the good intentions of doing my bible study reading and writing as soon as I get back from dropping my son at work. To do this I have to start up the computer and inevitably it opens on Facebook or email and I get lost in them. I need to get my priorities straight and get more disaciplined. It is so important to put God first and I do suffer from fatigue and I’m sure running in every direction or in circlews is part of it. Thanks for the timely reminder.

    • You are welcome, I think it is easy to get exhausted just being on Facebook and trying to keep up with what everyone is doing! I try to avoid it as much as possible but it sure can suck us in if we let it! Take care, Paula!

  21. {Melinda} This is something I am really trying to work on…. such a great post. Being organized doesn’t come naturally to me, so I’m trying to be more deliberate with my time and activity. I’ve really been convicted that this is not just something that would be “nice” if I did a better job at, it’s what Christ expects of me.

  22. Thank you Melissa, for this great post on stewarding our time {life}. I find that if I make time with the Lord my number one priority, other things tend to fall into place after that. The rest of the day goes well if I write a list of things to do, or at least make a mental note of them, then prioritize them in order of importance. 🙂

  23. Melissa,

    I find balance by getting up a little early and listening to the Bible on my computer. I also read devotions & blogs like In(Courage) plus listen to Christian music in my car and at work. My church has a women’s Bible study that I attend once a week. All that helps balance out my life.

    At my stage in life if I don’t work hard on those things and add quoting scripture and listening to 2 TV preachers then my spirit could easily be crushed and life would be out of kilter.

    Blessings 🙂

  24. At our church I serve on a task force that works with the idea that having balance in ones life can be difficult, if not impossible to achieve. The focus changes often and we are continually trying to “balance” all the moving parts of our lives. We prefer to consider “The Centered Life”. If your life is Centered in Christ than as life changes we are able to handle whatever comes our way because we are not dealing with things alone!

  25. My ears are perked and I am listening. In the past several weeks God has brought this verse to me again and again. First through the writings of Beth Moore, and then Warren Wiersbe, and finally, on the lips of my pastor, Chuck Booher. I have written it down as my meditation verse, the Holy Spirit used it as the foundation for a Lent Devotion I was asked to write, and now again, through your words on balance. I think it was Beth Moore who so succinctly noted that once she realized that she could do nothing of value apart from Him, all she wanted was to remain, abide, stay connected!