The Perfect Guide to Help When Your Life is Overwhelming & Unbalanced | Feasting On Joy

The Perfect Guide to Help When Your Life is Overwhelming and Unbalanced

Does your life feel out of control and off balance lately? I can tell you that you are not alone. In our fast-paced lifestyle we can easily get off kilter and often times when that happens, everything comes crashing down. The plates we thought we were spinning in the air so well were really on the verge of tumbling to the floor at any given moment.

You see, the problem is that we, as moms, either want to do everything or feel like we should do everything. Reality is that we are only one person. We simply cannot do everything in the number of hours we have each day. For your holistic health, it’s really important that you understand that and rest in knowing what you couldn’t get done today could get done tomorrow – or, if it’s low priority, it could get done 6 months from now. That’s ok!

We do not need to spend our days in a tailspin. Not only is it physically unhealthy, but it’s mentally unhealthy. Being overburdened leaves our soul longing for a quiet interlude.

So What’s The Solution to Your Overwhelm and Lack of Balance?

With a single word, the solution sounds simple. We can easily let the word slide off our tongue hundreds of times, yet see no results or change in our lives. We still feel the burdens of the “to-do’s crowding us out.

What’s the word that we can so easily say but not do?


However, if you become purposeful and intentional about taking action and truly prioritizing your life as well as choosing to be proactive and make changes, I assure you that there will be balance in your life and you will see that the overwhelming feeling and tension from chaotic unbalance will disappear.

I’d like to give you a blueprint {printable} to physically write on that will help you analyze what the priorities are in your life – from the small ones to the big ones and the ones you think are priorities but really shouldn’t even be on the list.

It’s important that you know how to use the blueprint and understand the analogy that goes along with it before you download it though. Will you imagine with me for a moment?

Let’s Think of Your Life as a Glass Jar

I’d like to present to you an analogy using a glass jar and some very important ingredients that can fill that glass jar. This analogy will help you learn to prioritize the most important things to the least important things, realizing you can’t fit it all in and help to bring the chaos under control.


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As you picture in your mind your life being the glass jar, I want you to think of it as empty and upon waking in the morning you have the opportunity to fill your glass jar (your life/your day) with anything you’d like to.

The ingredients you are allowed to place in your glass jar are only big rocks, little rocks, sand and water.

It’s important for you to understand that the order that you place these ingredients in your jar matters a lot. For instance, if you put the sand in first, then nothing else but a little bit of water will fit. If you put water in first and then try to place big rocks, it will make your water overflow out of your glass jar and make a big mess. Likewise, if you fill your jar up with little rocks first then the big rocks won’t fit.

The Perfect Order to Fill Your Glass Jar

There is a very important order that must be followed to fill your glass jar so that it holds the most, everything stays contained and allows everything to fit snugly.

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Big rocks

The first, most important ingredient that you will place in your empty jar are the big rocks. Further exploring this analogy, the big rocks represent the biggest priorities in your life. In other words those things with the greatest importance. The “must-do’s.” These represent the items that are most valued in your life and the things that you’ll reflect on before you die.

As we talked about before, if other ingredients are put in your jar before these big rocks, the big rocks, highest priorities will get crowded out so it’s important that these always go in your jar first,

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Since we all lead different lives, have different goals and values, our big rocks will all look different but some examples of what your big rocks might be are:

  • Quality time with God
  • Health/Self-Care
  • Quality time with family, building relationships
  • Preparing and cooking nutritious, whole food for your family

Again, be sure to put the big rocks in your jar before anything else goes in. On your printable, you will have a space to write down specifically what you consider to be your big rocks and will prioritize very highly in your life. Practically speaking, when you put the big rocks first, you are going to be scheduling your quiet time so that it happens every day. You are going to be scheduling one-on-one time with your kids or your family. If you value cooking nourishing meals so your family stays healthy, then maybe one of your big rocks is spending an hour a week meal planning and making a grocery list. Don’t get overwhelmed here. These items don’t have to be several hour increments. They can be short but the point is that they happen because they are the most important things to you that you value the most and that will matter long term. If you don’t put them first, they will not happen.

Small rocks

The second ingredient that is going to fit in your glass jar that now has big rocks in it is the small rocks. These rocks will start to fill some of the crevices that the big rocks didn’t. Be assured, there will still be more space in your jar, even after these small rocks are placed.

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Again, everyone’s small rocks will look different but it’s vitally important that we make a space for these in our lives. Small rocks represent things you’d like to fit into your life and that help to give your life deeper meaning and purpose. Examples of these are:

  • Job
  • Hobbies
  • Continuing education
  • Worthy causes
  • Volunteering

Now I know some will question my reasoning on placing “job” in this category rather than the big rock section. My reasoning is that in order to live a holistic life that’s balanced and well-rounded it’s really not the best idea to put the job first. Our job should not be our identity and number one in our life. Furthermore, on our death bed, our job is not going to be something we lament over not spending enough time doing. Though I do understand that a job is, in most cases, a necessity, it may prove detrimental to let it crowd out the other very valuable priorities in our lives.


The third item that you will be placing in your jar that is now filled with big and little rocks is sand. Just as grains of sand are small, so are the things in our life that represent the sand. Don’t get me wrong, they are important, just not as important as the big and little rocks. These are the things that fill in all the cracks and crevices and enrich your life. They are absolutely not a necessity but can enhance your life in a variety of ways. If you have placed your big rocks and little rocks accordingly, chances are you will have room for the sand in your jar!

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We will all define what the sand represents in our lives a little differently but here are some examples of things that could represent the sand in your life:

  • Going to coffee with a friend
  • Meeting someone for lunch
  • Extracurricular activities for adults and children
  • The novel you’ve been dying to read

These are all very fun things and when we prioritize our lives correctly, we can have time for these. However, they shouldn’t be placed first in our lives because, remember, when you put the sand in first, the big and little rocks won’t fit.


The very last ingredient that will fit in your jar is water. At this point, you have big rocks, little rocks and sand in your jar and there will only be a little bit of water that will fit before your jar is completely filled to the brim. The things in our life that the water represents are the non-essentials. These are things that we enjoy spending time doing but ultimately can be complete time suckers and often times drain us.

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You may prioritize the items that I think should be represented by water differently but here are some examples of what could represent the water in your life jar:

  • Time on social media
  • Surfing the internet
  • Playing on your phone
  • Playing video games

If you’ve spent any amount of time doing these things, you know that an hour or two of time passes quite quickly. Additionally, depending on what you spend your time doing on the screen, you can finish feeling more overwhelmed, drained and frustrated. Not only can these things be time wasters but they can further promote the very problem you’re trying to get rid of.

Now obviously, in the day and age we live in, technology is an in your face part of life. Just set boundaries with it and be sure not to let it become a big rock. For instance, Sundays are always my screen-free day. It’s a boundary that I purposely set each week. It’s been so refreshing! It would be very sad, in your old age, for you to reflect on your life and lament at how many blessings you missed out on because you had your face buried in the screen for so many hours a day.

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How Will You Fill Your Jar Each Day?

Remember, if you don’t put the most important things to you, the big rocks, in your jar first, they will never fit. They’ll get crowded out by the small rocks, sand and water.

When your life feels out of control and unbalanced, it’s a warning sign to take a time-out, write down your priorities (and what shouldn’t be priorities) and then purpose to refill your jar in the best way. Recognize that there is only so much that will fit in your glass jar each day.

If it’s time for you to re-fill and reorganize to bring back balance then be sure to get my printable guide so you can write down what your big rocks are, then your small rocks, then the sand and water. This guide will help you re-plan and re-structure your days to get your life back into balance and under control. Once you’ve printed it and taken the time to fill it out, be sure to keep your guide visible every day so that you can remember you are creating new habits in the way you spend your time and what comes first, second, third and fourth. Also, I want you to actually DO what you wrote. It you don’t you will have spent time on something that bears not fruit. Be intentional and purposeful to make these changes. I promise you when you purpose to prioritize, you will have victory over the overwhelm and unbalance you are experiencing.

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Be sure to input coupon code: BALANCE to get your guide for free.


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  1. I love the glass jar analogy! I heard it for the first time many years ago but forgot about it until I read your post. THANK you for the reminder. It is perfect for the moments when you feel like you just need to go, go, go!

    • Jennifer

      You’re welcome Laura!

  2. Love this analogy. My pastor used the same analogy on his sermon years ago. Brings back good memory.

    • Jennifer

      Herlina, That’s wonderful!


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Jennifer | Feasting On Joy

Hi There!

My name is Jennifer and I am thrilled you stopped by. Grab a cup of tea and stay awhile with me. You are valuable. You are worth it. You can heal. You are powerful. You can have the life you always dreamed of. My pain has become my purpose. It's my biggest joy to help you move from merely surviving your life and just "getting through it", to thriving and loving every part of your life!
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