I have recently begun a yoga class. This has been on my to-do list for a long time. A friend introduced me to a yoga studio that is just the right fit for me. The instructors are knowledgeable and helpful. They encourage me when I struggle in a pose and always remind me to keep breathing. My tendency is to hold my breath when I get to a difficult pose.

This is true for me when I hit a rough spot in work or in my personal life. I stop breathing deeply and hold my breath for short periods of time. The struggle “takes my breath away.” Yoga is helping me pay more attention to my breathing as I balance in poses and as I live each day.

Balance is a good practice as I enter this new year. No more sweeping resolutions that I will break within the first month. My resolution this year is to practice balance in my life: physical, financial, social, emotional and spiritual balance.

In my work with Rejuvenate I spend a lot of time listening to clergy and laity talk about money issues in their personal lives and within the congregation. I hear stories of successes for families and congregations in living within a budget. One congregation was able to save money to pay for a building repair. A clergy family celebrated paying off an educational debt, which made it possible for them to increase giving to the church and begin saving for their children’s college education.

Balancing our resources and our needs can be difficult at times. Through Rejuvenate there are resources available for education, grants and scholarships that have proven to be transformative in the lives of clergy and congregations. Resources also are available through the Foundation and the Loan and Savings Ministry.

Finding health in any part of my life comes from making small changes. In my yoga class, I am practicing poses now that will help me do more difficult poses. Often the instructor will say to the class: “On your next exhalation move a little deeper into the pose.” This is good advice as we practice financial health. The next time you get an unexpected check, a raise or a bonus, save a little more or pay off a little more debt. Let your “breath be taken away” by the successes you have in these practices.

I think the key to living in balance is being grateful for life. Gratitude leads me to be thankful for all parts of my life. I give thanks for what has been in my life and what will be. The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that “there is a time for everything, and season for every activity under the heavens.”

May we all breathe deeply of God’s grace as we move toward more balance in our lives.

For more information about Rejuvenate Ministries, contact Mary Ann Moman at 317-788-7879, 877-391-8811 or mmoman@umfindiana.org. More information about the ministries of the Foundation and Loan Savings can be found at www.umfindiana.org.

Mary Ann Moman is executive director of the Indiana Conference Rejuvenate Ministry which is related to the United Methodist Foundation of Indiana based in Fishers.

I think the key to living in balance is being grateful for life.