These last few weeks have been just…wonky. My sister-in-law is in town with her husband and 4 kids (and she’s got one on the way!). They are missionaries to Mexico so when they are in town once a year it’s a big ordeal! We have birthday parties, go swimming almost every day and go to museums and basically try to see each other every day for 3 weeks. But acting like you’re on vacation when really you’re at home can make for a messy house, an overflowing inbox and waaay too much on your to-do list.
I’ve been feeling like I haven’t done anything of very much importance lately. In fact, if you just look through my posts the last 3 weeks, you’ll see that we’ve hardly done a craft, we aren’t memorizing any Scripture and we’re not doing anything fun or creative or even educational!
This made me think of a conversation I had with one of my friends. Her sister-in-law reads Impress Your Kids (*waving*) and was overwhelmed that I did “all” this stuff with my kids because she thought I worked part-time out of the home. And she was trying to do what I did, but just couldn’t because she worked, too. My friend quickly informed her that I do not work and have way more hours than she does to stand in front of my craft closet and think!
Y’all. If for some reason you think that I do it all, or even more than you, let’s fix that assumption now.
I do not do a craft with my kids every day. Or even every week. Honestly, sometimes I do a craft with them just so I can show it to you.
I do not have a one-hour quiet time that brings me to my knees and to tears every single day. This morning I woke up 30 minutes late and read my devotional book while Asa and Lydia were running around in the living room. Sometimes I spend half my quiet time on Twitter before I realize I’m supposed to be reading my Bible.
I do not exercise. Period. Unless you count running up the stairs to tuck in Asa fourteen times in one night.
I do not have a clean house. I mean, I’ve seen messier. But I have certainly seen cleaner. Right now one of my chairs is filled with toys the kids still have not put away, a laundry basket that actually has two loads that need to be folded in it, my floor hasn’t been mopped in two weeks and Lydia’s kindergarten papers are still stacked in our playroom.
I don’t homeschool my kids. Well, I do. But only because I’m part of a hybrid-homeschool that picks out all my curriculum and tells me what to do each day and grades all the papers.
I don’t do a devotion with my kids every day. I hardly do one ever. We have devotional books all over the place. We have Bibles sitting on every shelf. But sitting down EVERY DAY and reading something profound with them? Not happening.
I do not answer all my emails, check in on my friends regularly or keep my car clean. There are so many little things that need to be done and weigh heavy on my to-do list. But friends, it’s just impossible to do it all.
I can’t do it all.
You can’t do it all.
No one can do it all!
The problem is I read lots of blogs of women who seem to do it all. I know women who seem to do it all. They make me feel guilty for watching So You Think You Can Dance while they clean up for two hours after their kids go to bed. They make me feel discontent when their walls are covered with hand painted canvases and my walls are empty. They make me feel jealous of kids who obey, husbands who speak their love language and blogs that turn into hardback books. I’ve had to stop reading some blogs because their seemingly they-do-it-all life is a weight on me.
As usual, God spoke to me about this ickiness in my heart. I recently started re-reading Take Flight by Robin Jones Gunn. I read it a few years ago and this exact chapter jumped out at me then. This week, it felt as it was written just for me. In fact, I posted the scripture from the devotion on Facebook after reading it…
Isn’t that such a relief? Just keep company with Jesus so you can learn to live freely and lightly. So you can live without discontent, guilt or jealousy.
The whole devotion was about not letting guilt take over your life. Women, especially, mutli-task so they can DO. IT. ALL. And even after we’ve done all we can, we still feel guilty for not doing enough.
In the book, Robin tells the Bible story of the woman who pours perfume on Jesus’ feet. When the woman gives this gift, she experiences criticism from the Pharisees immediately. But Jesus turns to them and says, “Leave her alone! She has done a beautiful thing to me…She did what she could.”
She did what she could.
Robin Jones Gunn identifies with this woman and writes, “I had been listening more attentively to the accuser’s taunts…than I had been to the Lover of my soul. The enemy did in my heart the same thing he has done since beginning of time: He broke in, stole, and destroyed. Christ, who is my advocate with the Father, defended me… Jesus told my accusers to leave me alone.” (page 45)
I have been learning to do the same–to let go of the discontent, the guilt, the jealousy, the “you’re not good enough, you don’t do enough” and listen to the Lover of my soul. To rest in “she did what she could.”
Friends, be encouraged, “remember that the enemy accuses and condemns us…But the Spirit of God comes quietly, speaks gently and points us to Jesus…tell that old dark-winged vulture of guilt to fly!” (-RJG)
What’s something you don’t do? Will you rest in “she did what she could” today?
photo source: d sharon pruitt