"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Emerson

Monday, August 31, 2015

On doing it all

I don’t know how you do it all. I get that a lot. I used to think it a compliment, people thinking I must be all together and organized. If they only knew, they’d think I’m a fraud.  If you’re a “doer”, you probably hear the same thing. Are you ready for my secrets?

-          I don’t sleep much. Usually 5-6 hours tops.

-          My sink is just about always full of dishes. And by full, I mean lining the surrounding countertops as well.

-          I have a young lady come and do my laundry and help me clean every other week. She used to come every week. My life has been even more chaotic since she had to switch to twice a month due to another job she has.

-          Often times, I overbook our weekends full of stuff to do for the various things I am involved in. This means very little downtime or rest or renewal.  

-          I push my kids to the limits of naps and bedtimes. We skip naps some days. Bedtimes are erratic which means behavior can be equally erratic.

-          My husband sometimes gets frustrated by the fullness of our calendar.

-          Clutter fills most rooms most days. I pile with intentions to deal with piles. But, I run out of time to deal with piles.

-          My workouts are sporadic at best.

-          I taught my kid to do laundry, not because I’m so good at teaching responsibility, but because I just stinking hate it and procrastinate doing it.

-          I don’t remember the last time I cleaned my bathrooms.

-          We eat out entirely way too much.

-          Most of the time, even though I’m constantly seeing people, I don’t feel like I see anyone.

-          I forget a lot of things unless I put them in to my phone. Until that time my phone erased my whole calendar. Then I just forgot a lot.

-          My floors often have a strange, sticky film that I can’t eradicate.

-          Every night, I eat some form of ice cream to take the edge off because I just don’t like the taste of wine. If there are Drumstick ice cream cones in my house, I will often eat two a night because I find it best to get rid of all temptations as quickly as possible. One time, I ate three.

-          To do’s are constantly being re-written on the next day’s to do list.

-          I don’t get much time to go off to do the soul filling stuff I want to. All my babysitter fund goes to various meetings I have for all the stuff I am involved in.

-          My eating habits are something awful. The pace of my day almost always results in a skimpy breakfast, a lunch entirely comprised of chips and salsa and then eating everything within an arm’s length between the hours of 5-9pm. I dehydrate myself all the time because drinking water just takes too much time.

-          I am always tired. Always.

See that? This is the truth—take the person you think has it the most together, the most organized, the most productive and take a long look in. If there is one thing I have learned as a doer it is that something ALWAYS gives. Every YES to one thing results in a NO to something else. There are always cracks beneath the surface of everyone’s life. It’s so easy to look from the outside of other people and think they have something I don’t have. It is so tempting to believe they have it so together.

But, none of us do. We are all hot messes bubbling underneath. Some of us are better at keeping the messy parts from boiling over than others, but we all are in a constant tug of war with our time, our commitments, and our schedules. God has been taking me on a journey in to a deeper understanding of His grace and how nothing is required of me. Oh how freeing it is to know that I don’t have to do it all because He already did everything for me! That grace is what gives me order in my daily chaos. It is what frees me from the yokes I so want to enslave and tangle myself with. Those inner thoughts that want to scream you need to do more. Get it together. Why can’t you do it all? Why can't you be more? Why aren't you enough? 

I love the Message version of Matthew 11:28-30:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Colossians 1:17 says it this way:
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

HE is how I do anything worth doing. He multiplies time when it feels like I have none left. He gives me the strength to get the one thing He has for me done in a day. He quiets my mind when I keep running through everything I didn’t get to in a given day. If there is anything within me, any facet of life that looks like I have it together, it is Him alone holding it together. On our own, we are all undone.
The next time you are tempted to compare your doings to another, just remember they don’t do it all. In every one of our lives there is a give and take in everything. Christ alone is our strength. He gives us the ability to do exactly what He has for us to do. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Here’s to all the hot messes!

Until next time,


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