Every Sunday when I leave church I feel inspired to really go after my dreams. I am motivated to act on the ideas that have bounced around my head. So many ideas. Usually first on the list is a blog post or Bible study prompt. Second is to tackle that laundry and the mess in the house. Third is to workout, it’s Sunday, surely I’ll have time to stroll into my home gym at my convenience and get an intense workout in, uninterrupted. Then the rest starts piling on. The list in my mind reads: spend some time on your start-up. Go ahead and tackle something for work so you are ready come Monday. Write your meal plan for the week AND go shop for what won’t be delivered later this week. Play with the girls a little longer today, maybe even head to bed early to spend time with your husband before taking a long relaxing shower and getting that full 8 hours of sleep. Because that is what Sundays are for, right? To take it easy and rest?
See. See what I did there? In a matter of seconds, I turned an inspired, bright, and easy Sunday into a task-driven, overwhelming day of desires and duties. Duties that so easily rolled out of my thoughts and onto my to-do list. So many, in fact, that before I’ve changed out of my church clothes into my “get down to business” attire, I’ve given up. It was all too much. Too much to even think about. All those things that quickly piled up have now weighed me down at the mere thought of them. So now, I lay down, stressed out and burdened, feeling like I’ve just run out of all steam. The one thing, the first thing, on my mind – my blog post – is now out of the question. I’m exhausted. Can’t get it all done so let’s start tomorrow.
As I sat in my truck one evening after an overwhelming, non-stop day and realized that at 6 pm on a weekday I still wouldn’t be relaxing for several more hours I asked God for strength… I received another question instead: “Who said you had to do it all anyways? WHO?”
That’s my question this season, “who said we had to do it all?” Where did this pressure to be a smart, successful, attractive, and fit career-woman while being a loving wife, amazing mom, involved citizen, and good friend come from? Even if we took 1 or 2 things out, it is still quite a task!
The world tells us we must do it all. The world tells us we should have it all, be fabulous, fit and healthy and that if we just take that supplement, shake, use that tool, or follow their guide we can have and be everything we want without consequences or sacrifice. The world tells us rest is for the weak.
But guess what…
The Bible doesn’t talk about doing it all. It implores us to do our best, it talks about priorities.
It doesn’t really talk about saying yes to all the choices before you. It says to be discerning and it says there is a time to reap and a time for sowing, not both simultaneously.
It doesn’t say we have to be all things to all people. It does refer to individuals as part of a body, each fulfilling their part.
So, why do we feel this way? Who told us to go for it all?
The WORLD wants you to stay busy, to be distracted, and to lose focus.
A good question to ask ourselves is why we feel like we have to do so much? Are we overcompensating for insecurities? Are we seeking approval or accolades? Are we staying busy to avoid some of the REAL issues in our life: like a strained marriage, serious financial issues, a broken heart, or a wayward child? Am I using my full calendar and busyness as an excuse to avoid something God is asking me to deal with or do?
“But the Proverbs 31 woman did it all.” She did a lot of things. Here’s a few things about that: It was a different time. The strength referenced in the beginning was the strength in her faith. Beauty and looks were not part of the description. She was not concerned with being Instagram-ready, with being the best looking wife on the block or a fitness model. (note: she was likely in shape because of the amount of walking and labor she undertook) Her beauty was because of her relationship with God, it was shining from the inside out.
I’ll talk more about the fascinating Proverbs 31 woman another time and connect the link here.
I don’t know what needs to be scratched off the list. I couldn’t prioritize my WHOLE list tonight if I had to.
But the thing about her that we can certainly do today: Make God first. Strengthen our relationship with Him. As long as your focus is on the Lord all the other things will end up in place. This is a truth I’ve experienced.
If you thought you were alone in the business of life or the overwhelming to-do list, you aren’t. Whatever is on your list, put God at the top. Take care of your relationship with him, and he really will take care of the rest. It’s good to be reminded. I forgot. We all forget at times.
Overwhelmed? Keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t know what to prioritize? Ask Jesus.
Don’t take my word for it:
Luke 12:29-31 “And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.“ Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Luke 10:38-42 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
2 Timothy 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Isaiah 7:15 “He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good.
Psalm 119:66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Proverbs 14:15 The naïve believes everything, but the prudent man considers his steps.
2 Timothy 2:15-22 (MSG)
1 Corinthians 12
Disclaimer: This first post after taking a year off has errors, but life tosed many distractions my way. I had to be obedient and get this out there. I am nervous to get back to it, but I know God wants me putting time into this.