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Q: How do you do it all? A: You don’t have to.

Just how can I get it all done?  This is the question that haunted me for many years.  There were so many things that needed doing, and I just couldn’t get them all done.  So I read time management books (for fun and relaxation) and I did learn a lot from them.  But… I still couldn’t get caught up, until I discovered a fundamental truth.

God wasn’t requiring me to do it all!  Sometimes the immense burden came from other people, but usually it came from me.  Of course, that changed matters completely.  Now all I had to do was understand what it was God wanted me to do. 

The Bible is full of practical wisdom, but one passage that speaks especially to moms is Titus 2:4,5.  We are to love our husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to our husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.  Other passages speak about managing our homes well, and various details of a godly woman’s days.

At times in my life, I made the right choices almost instinctively.  When my children were at the newborn and toddler stages, I obviously couldn’t get it all done and I didn’t try very hard either.  We moved every few years and my husband worked crazy hours.  We cheerfully did the best we could with the important things in life, but I recall regularly picking up the baby in the evenings and kicking a path through the toys to the couch.  In those years I didn’t really even see the toy mess, and that was a blessing.  Instead we read innumerable stories together.  We learned nonstop. We visited museums and other places.  We walked lots, and gardened, and did everything together.  The children and I were happy.  No one suffered, except the house.  And that was good.

As time went on, I allowed myself to be burdened by other people’s standards.  Gradually I tried to become more organized, to homeschool in a more structured way, and even to set up a schedule.  We may have gotten a few more things done following that schedule, but living with it filled our home with stress and sin.  Some families just don’t do well with schedules.  (But, boy, do we love our routines!)

Now, structure is important, especially if the children have a heavy school load.  Tidying is important, especially if there are children at home all day, every day.  And being organized about the necessary tasks is crucial.  But what’s most important is making godly, responsible decisions about our time use.

So we have had to decide what’s most important.  Learning.  Time together.  Music.  Outside time.  Healthy food.  A peaceful home.  Church.  People.  Developing talents.  Rest.  Sleep.

We’ve had to learn how to minimize the demands of other things.  For years I’ve been on a mission to simplify, de-junk, streamline, and organize.  The de-junking has been helpful, but we didn’t make much headway until we started giving away baby things. 

Somehow, this past year, we’ve all learned to do our basic home chores more efficiently, and we reap the benefits of that every week.  The children help with meals, and that makes a huge difference as well.  This summer I want to streamline the yard and garden work too. 

Even so, we do not aim to ‘do it all’ because that is not our calling.   Occasionally, I forget and tie myself up in knots of frustration at undone work.  I’m learning to recognize that frustration as a sin rather than a time management problem.  

So how do we do it all?  Thankfully, we do not have to.

 …

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6 Comments

  1. jenn4him says:

    My revelation last week was that God doesn't ask me to do more than He equips me to do. There is nothing He requires that is too hard for me. That is very freeing to me!

    Jenn

  2. solidrock says:

    I could not agree with you more…it could be me who wrote the post! I so remember the early years just stepping over and around the toys, not fretting if the school did not get done ect…

    We are also cutting back on clutter and what we do. And I have to find a way to make the yard ( its huge) easier to manage ( both hubby and I have disabilities ) When we bought this house it was the yard that we loved the most. That was before hubby became disabled…we joke about making it cement! (I love to garden so that will never happen!)

    The best that we can give our children is ourselves.

  3. Canadagirl says:

    I totally understand and agree with all you said. You worded it very well. Ohhh btw I am back on track with TWT's. I had a melt down last week over some things concerning our church. Not solved yet but I am going to meeting with the pastor and hubby on this on Thursday eve. There is more than one issue so it might take a few meetings.

    Sending you blessings and ((HUGS)) my SSiC

    In Him<><

    -Mary

  4. Anonymous says:

    I completely agree and sometimes fall into the same trap of putting too much on myself. Unfortunately, I have some family members that are quick to point out my shortcomings and mention all the people that have it 'together'. They aren't going to change and I know that I can't become the vision of perfect mama that they might desire. Remembering to pray over what truly needs to be done is what often helps me keep some focus.

    Laura O from the TOS Crew

    http://www.daybydayinourworld.blogspot.com

  5. houseofhope7 says:

    It is so true, we don't need to do it all. Our mornings have always been very laid back…ok so I wake up rather slow. But oh the great discussions we had in the morning. Now that I have older children, gone from the nest, I don't regret the time we spent socializing, brainstorming, talking about life issues etc.

    Eventually you reap the rewards of doing what you can…the kids grow up and even have some organization skills. Well maybe mine just inherited that from their Dad!

  6. LarabaK says:

    I meant to write about this earlier but didn't comment when I first read it, and then our internet was out for most of 3 days.

    Anyway, I NEED THIS POST. I have been SO stressed lately about undone "stuff". I am not a laid back person and those undone projects get on my nerves. As my dh and I often say, it is SO easy to focus on what isn't quite right and ignore all we have to be thankful for.

    Thanks again.

    Laraba

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