Happy weekend to you!
I’m knee-deep in ministry projects today (I can’t wait to tell you all about them!), so I thought I’d share my response to one of the most frequently asked questions I receive….”Cindy, how do you do it all?”
I needed this reminder, especially as we head into the holidays. I wonder if you do too?
Enjoy ~ and I’d love to hear from you!
No matter where I go, I’m usually asked,
“Cindy, how do you do it? You’re married, have 4 kids, a speaking ministry, write Bible studies, serve hot lunch, etc. How do you do it all?”
My answer is simple ~ I don’t.
Whereas it is true I am married, have 4 awesome kids, love sharing what God has done in my life, and serving hot lunch at the middle school –
the truth is there are a lot of things I don’t do.
In fact, here are some of the things I’ve learned about trying to do it all….
1. “Trying to do it all” doesn’t work.
For many, many years I tried to do it all. In my life before Christ, I tried to be…
- Super Employee (i.e. workaholic).
- Super Thin (i.e. eating disorder).
- Super Mom (I was a single mom, it was a ton of work and I never slept!)
- Super Perfectly Clean and Organized Home Owner.
It was empty and defeated living.
My search for perfection led me down a path of horribly unhealthy, self-defeating behaviors, and eventually almost cost me my life (literally ~ you can learn more about my drug overdose here.)
I am committed to never going back to trying to being Super Woman! The cape is gone.
2. Know your Purpose
I now try to live very intentionally each and every day (while still having a lot of fun along the way!) 🙂
I spent time each season reflecting on my purpose, and try to make daily choices reflecting those decisions.
3. Prioritize your Time
On my quest for intentional, purposeful living, I have learned it is crucial to prioritize my days. Am I the only one that can turn on the computer to send a quick note, and realize 2 hours later that I forgot what I went to the computer to do? Ahhh!!
I spent time each morning reflecting on my priorities ~ and then plan my day accordingly.
Unfortunately, it also means I must say NO to a lot of things.
For this season, I am not able to get together for “coffee” very often. I will never be known for my gardening skills. When my kids’ friends come over, I usually feed them ice cream, tacos or pizza (I’m not kidding). I haven’t been to the mall in months.
I’m learning I must say NO to good things in order to say YES to God’s best.
Of course, this isn’t always easy. Just this past weekend, a wonderfully talented woman asked me to go to dinner Friday night. I would have loved to spend more time with her! But in my heart, I knew my purpose and priority of wife and mom must come first.
Instead, I spent the night playing with my family and enjoying ice cream sundaes with my gang. I trust God will allow me to spend time with this dear woman another time.
Saying NO to good things isn’t easy, but I truly believe God will bless our desire to keep our priorities in line.
4. Ask for Help
Asking for help has been the hardest, yet most healthy thing I’ve learned on my quest for sane, whole living. Here are some “helps” I currently have in place –
- I’ve been blessed with a prayer team that lifts my family and all my speaking engagements in prayer.
- My husband John often gives me full days where I can pray, study and write.
- We eat rotisserie chicken. a lot.
- I have a cleaning service (and their car lets the whole neighborhood know when they are over!) No secrets here!
- My husband John does all of our laundry. (bless you, honey!)
There is no way I could keep the full schedule I maintain without help from my family, prayer team, and friends!
Isn’t it freeing to not have to pretend that we are capable of doing it all?
I love just being ME (the non-gardener, deli chicken buying ME), and I sleep much better these days!
But please know I do not have it all figured out. Y’all know that about me, right?
I‘m on a journey, just like you.
And yes, I can get hurt feelings when others tease about my lack of landscaping, or get mad when I can’t get together like I used to, or e-mail back fast enough. Sigh.
But I believe the freedom comes when we can be completely honest and realistic about what we are capable of doing (and what our floors really look like most days). Let’s work together to free each other from trying to be perfect!
Life’s too challenging on its own, much less pretending that we have it altogether, don’t you think?
Beth Moore says, “We can’t do all things for the Glory of God.” I agree. You too?
So, what has God called you to do?
Speak? Write? Be a Mom? Work outside the home? Be a Grandma?
What healthy habits have you put into place to live a healthy, full life?
Are there things God is asking you to let go of while you pursue His purpose for you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share with us please!!
Sweet friend, may God guide you as you prioritize your days, may He help you say NO to good things and YES to the best, and fill you with an abundance of His peace and joy as you pursue His purpose for your life!
God’s richest blessings to you!
…partial repost from the archives
Cindy, I just kept nodding in agreement throughout your post. Boundaries and balance are so very important to do what God has called us to do! I recently let regular/enough sleep go by the wayside and it affected everything … energy, focus, emotional/spiritual strength, etc. Thanks so much for these great reminders.
Great post, Cindy! 🙂
What a blessing to hear you being exactly where God wants you by planning your day with him each morning. I can so relate to having to say no and disappointing people.
A former people pleaser