Balancing Structure and Spontaneity



So far, this summer, we’ve had mostly rainy weather. I’m not complaining, though, because winter lasts a long time in the North Country. My husband jokes that we have two seasons–winter and the 4th of July.  I prefer rain to sleet and snow. We had sunshine on July 4th and for most of the following week. 

This week, the amount of rain that we’ve  had, so far, is much less than the predicted amount. Likewise, the amount of work that I got done has been much less than my predicted (and expected) amount. Balancing work and play, structure and spontaneity, rule-keeping and creativity challenges me. 

 I tend to focus more on work, structure, and rule-keeping than on play, spontaneity, and creativity.Which set of words appeals more to you? 

Are these two sets of words and ways of living incompatible with one another? Or can they co-exist? Would it be possible to playfully work or strategically play? Could rule-keeping and creativity be combined? I don’t know all of the answers to these questions. I’m seeking more understanding and trying to find a balance in my life. 

As usual,  a poem, or two, brings me increased clarity.


Balancing Structure and Spontaneity

You can do the same thing in a different way;
But, if they assist you, do not stray

From the routines you’ve designed;
Just make sure they help, instead of bind.

Structure can be a helpful thing—
If it’s a “servant” not a king;

Timer’s set me free to write
Poems and songs (That’s my delight.),

While in the kitchen, dinner cooks.
I could get lost in one of my books;

So, I need to keep my timer going—
Reset the dial, or I’ll be blowing-

Off too many minutes;
For everything, I need limits.

Sometimes I limit what I need to expand;
“Serious-me” gets out of hand.

When to “playful me” I give no time,
She feels mad and will not rhyme.

How can I balance work and play?
I have someone who shows the way—

My Teacher, Comforter, and Friend;
On his wisdom, I depend.

With God’s direction, I can balance
Work and play—win the challenge.

07/2017 Jane Ault


Structure and beauty when skillfully combined

Structure and beauty when skillfully combined
Bring peace and comfort to a troubled mind.

Structure without reflects beauty within;
To follow this rule is always a win.

The artist inside must learn to convey
To her engineer partner where treasures lay—

Life is factual but not without fiction.
Insight comes through silent reflection.

In quilts, in paintings, in photos or songs,
We find life’s stories—the “rights” and the” wrongs”.

In this way, memories are never demolished.
Sorrow is transformed to jewels finely polished.

Structure and beauty thus skillfully combined
Bring peace and comfort to a troubled mind.

2017 Jane Ault

 

8 thoughts on “Balancing Structure and Spontaneity

  1. What a “timely” message! I definitely prefer the creative activities and tend to neglect the work. I like the idea of a timer. It might keep me focused knowing that I get to do fun stuff after the work time. It’s also fun to see if I can “beat the clock” and get a job done before the timer dings.
    Thank you so much for your transparency. You are a humble daughter of God and I’m sure He is very pleased with you.
    Please keep writing your inspirational messages. They feed my soul.

    • Thanks for your comment, Debbie! I’m with you. Creative activities are certainly more appealing to me than others; the challenge for me is to learn how to do find enjoyment while doing the (to me) less appealing work that needs to be done. One thing that helps me during those times is to sing, sing to the Lord.

    • I feel encouraged to know that you enjoy my poetry, Terri. I know that God does not give it to me to hide in notebooks, and computer files.:)

  2. Oh, what Beautiful words and put together so well! Love the concepts behind the words. That is a wonderfully lofty goal, to always enjoy what we do and get things done in the process. Thank you for posting!

    • What a joy to receive your comment, Lois! Thank you! I’m learning that the only way I can always enjoy what I do and get things do in the process is to frequently turn the “eyes” and “ears” of my heart to Jesus. He is the source of my wisdom and joy.

  3. Refreshment once again for a beautiful morning! As I looked at the tasks of the day, enjoyed some time in first Corinthians, back to work for a bit, and then looking forward to a morning hike with a friend….yes, only God gives the needed balance and the the joy in the journey!

    Thanks again, Jane- you are so appreciated and loved 🙂

    • What a delight to find these words from you, Donna! I hear joy in them. I love the balance of spontaneity and structure that you have, as you listen to the Spirit and follow his instructions.

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