The Unemployed Juggler

As my writing and this blog have taken off I have increasingly found myself hunched over the keyboard trying to ensure I am delivering a high quality product to all you good people out there. I have discovered that the more I write the more I want to write. And hopefully the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’ is true and I am improving with each post.

At the same time I am trying to be a good husband, father, son and employee. Oh and the little matter of focusing on my faith and study of it. If I neglect the latter I know from bitter experience that the whole house of cards will come tumbling down on top of me. And did I tell you that I’m training for a marathon? Seriously if someone could point me in the direction of a 26 hour day then I would be eternally grateful.

Is is an exciting, but challenging, period of my life and I am blessed that after decades of drifting along I believe that God has set me on a path which I hope will allow me to make a difference in the lives of others and leave behind a lasting legacy. On paper all is well and everything is progressing seamlessly. Oh, but if only life were that simple. It reminds me of that image of the swan. Serene and graceful on the surface but paddling like a lunatic underneath the water.

As a child it was always a huge deal  when the circus came to town. We would oooooh and aaaaaah at all manner of exciting acts – clowns, trapeze artists and fire eaters to name but a few. But clowns scare me to this day. Do NOT get me started on clowns. However, the act I always remembered the most was the juggler and how I could never really settle and enjoy the act because I was worried he would drop a ball or baton and be humiliated in front of a packed Big Top. Even then I was an anxious Alex.

I have felt a bit like a juggler of late. Keeping all of my responsibilities up in the air is hard work and every time I feel like I am in control and can relax it feels like an extra ball is thrown into the mix for me to deal with. They are all important so require my attention. And if I drop one then the whole act is ruined. Juggling takes co-ordination and concentration.

It also requires practice and a sound technique. Every ball needs to be in the air in the right location at exactly the right time. If two balls are in the same place at the same time then ‘BANG’ its game over as far as the juggler is concerned. A juggler who cannot juggle is nothing. He is like a broken pencil. Pointless. Similarly a husband and father who does not spend sufficient time with his wife and kids is not fulfilling his role within the family. 

By the way I really dislike the phrases ‘family time’ or ‘quality time’. Time is time. And it is all precious Period. People who brag about spending ‘quality time’ with their family are kind of missing the point. What are they trying to say? That the other 23 hours of the day are not quality? You shouldn’t need to blow your trumpet about spending time with your father. It should go without saying. No need for a two page advert in the local newspaper.

Ok rant over sorry.  Earlier this week Fionnuala remarked to me that every time she phoned the office I was never at my desk. I immediately went on the defensive and said this wasn’t true. ‘Well nine times out of ten’ she countered. I didn’t really have a comeback for that. She was right. She usually is. So where was I? We are not allowed mobiles at our desks for security reasons which somewhat cramps my style as I write up most of my posts on my I Phone. Therefore I have found myself nipping outside into the corridor or taking a five minute break in the square outside in order to write. The same has applied to my lunch break. Two minutes eating my sandwiches, thirty three working on the blog.

This has meant I have been getting behind so have found myself playing catch up by conducting work related open source research at home in the evening. I have been blogging when I should have been working and working when I should have been focusing on Fionnuala and the kids. Spending time with them. Not quality time. Just time. Quite frankly there have been too many balls in the air and they have been colliding with one another. 

A juggler should never juggle beyond his skill limit. Otherwise he very quickly becomes unemployed. A six ball juggler who expertly juggles six balls wins the plaudits of the crowd. A six ball juggler who tries to juggle eight balls ends out on his ear when the circus moves on to the next town.

He ends up with egg on his face, looking like a clown. So from now on I will be juggling within my limitations. Because if there’s one thing I hate it’s clowns. 

1 Corinthians 10:31 – ‘But whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

What did you make of this post? I would be interested in your feedback?

Do clowns leave you deeply disturbed like me? Or are they the funniest thing since….er….clowns?

How are your juggling skills? Have you too many balls in the air or could you manage a few more?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

30 thoughts on “The Unemployed Juggler

  1. 1. GOD
    2. FAMILY
    3. Everything else

    Some say it’s ok to bend the rules or order to fit your schedule. That’s when you get in trouble. If you adhere to that list of priorities miracles occur to keep the “circus” moving smoothly. Outside that order and the lions get loose, the elephant knocks down the tent, and the juggler breaks his arm….lol…I am also looking for this 26 hour day…if you find it – send me gps coordinates immediately.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My apologies, I got enter as I was editing on my Android. I was perfecting my grammar “or with WHOM”… there we go…I wish to spend that time. It’s all balance and what you do makes my head spin. But for those of us MH survivors, headspins is not necessarily a great goal to shoot for. I’m learning that to be picky about what I do is going to be critical. God bless.


  3. This reminds me of the idea of “work-life balance” (and the argument over its existence). I understand the struggle, though. I feel writing is the gift God has given me, and I want to spend my time doing that, but I need the day job in order to afford to live to keep writing. It is a constant balance. I just listened to an episode today of the “Write Now” podcast. I recommend you check it out–it may help you with figuring out your time. πŸ™‚ It definitely inspired me to examine my time use (and maybe even create a schedule).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do feel sometimes my writings take precedent over others, and I feel part of it is because I’m a stay at home wife, I’m home when I write. We can definitely feel like we are doing something for God but hopefully we don’t become blind and driven by a desire that is, in fact, not of God when the focus is more on something WE need to do, WE need to write, etc.

    Very thought provoking. πŸ™‚


  5. I know what you mean about the challenge of trying to juggle everything. I’ve felt really out of balance this week as I settle into a new job, as well as taking up new hobbies, while continue with existing hobbies and spending time with people I love. I’m hoping that things continue to improve as the weeks go on!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A very good post. Thought provoking i must say….. I am a juggler it has to be said. But due to the nature of what i am going through at the moment this is only way i am happy for some perverse reason. Its “the voice” you see. Relaxation is not a word in his vocabulary.
    I enjoy your blogs. Keep up the good work.


  7. I loved this post because I can totally relate! As I’ve been getting older the past few years, I’ve felt more on my plate instead of my parents’ plate. There have been a few of those moments where you go “so this is what they meant when they said to enjoy your childhood while you can.” I know so many people who are juggling too much, and they end up NOT HAPPY, and take it out on their family/ friends. I try not to be one of those people, but you know how it goes πŸ˜‰. I can juggle a lot, but I don’t want to stretch my limits. By the way, yes, clowns are deeply disturbing and creepy. Not a clown fan.


  8. Ah, yes, the balancing act we do…I have learned to say no in recent years to commitments I truly don’t have the time for, so that I keep focused on what really matters. Wish I had done so years ago. Also, I find if I at least begin my day properly (exercise, prayer, Scripture reading), even if the rest of the day falls apart, it doesn’t seem as bad. Last, I don’t beat myself up if we have to eat sandwiches for dinner every so often. My family would rather have me be with them than slaving away in the kitchen.


  9. My CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is directly related to me constantly feeling responsible for everything and trying to do too much. Sadly I’m just coming off of a season that I poured everything into work and neglected family, friends, church and God. I guess the bus that I’ve been trying to keep the wheels on has been a circus bus! I’m living proof imbalance leads to impossible to manage… God, family, other is a great reminder for me. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing this post. It has come exactly at the right time where I need to be reminded to sort my priorities out. I am a 29yr old stay at home mum of 3 and house wife, I suffer with a chronic leg ulcer, where pain is constant 24hrs a day and I’ve recently started my own blog. I know god tells us to look after our family but lately ( along with dealing with my leg) that’s all I seem to be doing and everything else has been pushed into the background. I have a great passion for my writing but it seems like I am trying to sneak it in like its a naughty little secret when the children are in bed. ( its currently 3am and I’m still awake writing up a blog post) Your post has made me rethink how I am coping with all my responsibilities to my family, to my studies and to the things I enjoy doing. xxx


    1. I’m glad it has helped. We also have 3 kids and my wife is a stay at home mum so I understand the massive workload you have and pressures you face. Please keep writing for it is our theraphy, our release. I will pray for your leg and healing. πŸ™πŸ»πŸ˜Š


  11. I haven’t worked from more than 20 years, as I was born disabled!! I am on SSDI..

    I wan Born with my Sternum Fused too my Back bone, my Birth Defect is called β€œPectus Excavatumβ€œ. My Entire Rib cage was rebuilt and I have Stainless Steel wires that hold my rib cage together. I have a Bad Ruptured disk in my Neck at C5-C6, and a very bad Ruptured disk in my Lower back that is pressing on two sides of my spinal cord, with not enough room for the nerves too go through it, its located at L4-L5. Please Read More about My Disabilities!! More here ~> ( )!!

    This is Why I say JESUS-YESHUA CHRIST SAVED my LIFE more than once!! HE is my FATHER / LORD / KING MESSIAH / SAVIOUR Amen-Amein!!

    MAY OUR ONE TRUE GOD the FATHER who art in HEAVEN ABOVE BLESS all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and my Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and All Your Families and Friends!! ❀

    Our ONE True GOD’S LOVE πŸ’œπŸ’• is ETERNAL THROUGH HIS SON Jesus-Yeshua Christ for Today and Everyday Forevermore!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED πŸ’•πŸ’œ EVERYONE FIRST Forevermore!!

    Love ❀ Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 1 person

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