I have gotten several emails lately asking ‘How do you do it all.” I have kids, I’m adopting, I am involved in church planting, I write for several blogs, I am developing several projects, and I am attempting to keep a clean house…How DO I do it all? The answer is quite simply actually. I don’t do it all. Not even a tiny bit. No way do all of those things happen within the same week. At least not for me.
Sometimes I feel like I should be able to. I mean with the internet shouldn’t we all run our own little businesses, teach our kids several languages during their preschool years, and go to school via-internet at night? Not sure about you, but it seems as if so much is expected these days.
So, to dispel any false ideas…I don’t do it all. I have tons of dreams in my heart, and sure I can do them all. Just not at the same time. I will probably write more on this later, especially geared for the mom readers, but to some extent all of us feel a bit baffled at trying to figure out what we should be doing in any given season of our lives. Here are a few thoughts on how I decide what I am giving myself to.
1. What do I have to do? I would like to think that I don’t have to organize toys, clean the bathrooms or fold the laundry…but I do. There are the daily things all of us have to do. Maybe it is work an 8-5 job to provide, or change diapers and pick up half chewed crayons all day. Whatever your life looks like, your ‘daily’ has to happen. Don’t be irresponsible.
2. What are my vision & values? I use this lens all the time. What things do I want my life to be about & how can I flesh that out in my daily life. I have tons of ideas and other things presented to me. But, will they distract from things I know I am called to do? And does it serve the values I want my life to be about? If I only have an hour to give this week, what is going to be the best long term investment for what I want to build into. Even the little things we take on shape the life we are creating for ourselves. I want to build my house, even if it is one little stone at a time. I have to be fine with saying ‘no’. No, I can’t disciple 20 girls each week in my living room, and no I can’t start a non-profit for stray cats. Just because it is a great idea doesn’t mean it is a great idea for me.
3. Fun is not an option. It HAS to happen. Life should have very fun moments. The kind that you laugh so hard you can’t catch your breath. It should have conversations that leave you dreaming and wondering…if you are too busy, or too heavy all the time for relationships and experiences that are fun, then you are too busy. And you are probably a bit boring. This isn’t good & it isn’t what you were made for. Lighten up & you can carry more.
4. Can I put my head on the pillow at night and rest? If I lay in bed and think about all that didn’t get done that day or if I find myself anxious about how I am going to get things done tomorrow…it’s a red flag. I am either doing too much, or being a bit of a performer. Either way, it means that my expectations are too high. I’m not going to get everything done. Some weeks the laundry will be behind, but Sophie has mastered her alphabet. Other weeks each sock is folded in a drawer, but I didn’t write much on my blog. Either is okay. If I am doing my best to be faithful to what God has set before me, He will make up for every place I have lack.
The Bible says many are the ways in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord who directs their steps. He has your back. Do your best, but don’t try to do it all. At least not at the same time.