Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How To Do It All

Pic above: Philadelphia Zoo on Spring Break last week

Hey Friends!

I'm still knee-deep in unpacking (two suitcases - Turkey & Spring Break!), plus all the Spring notes, family stuff etc, so I thought I'd re-post my response to one of the most frequently asked questions I receive...."Cindy, How do you do it all?". Enjoy ~ and I'd love to hear from you!

P.S. Let it be so noted - for those friends who know where I live - the beautiful flowers in my yard this year (and they do look amazing!) were planted by my mom as a gift for me! I still don't garden. Just sayin'. :)

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is...

"Cindy, how do you do it? You're married, have 4 kids, a speaking ministry, write a blog, lead a Bible study, 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 speaking and sharing what God has done in my life, and enjoy all of the great friends I've made on my blog *She Sparkles* ~ the truth is that 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 read more here). I am committed to never going back to being Super Woman!!

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 choosing to not watch TV. I will never be known for my gardening skills. When 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 I met 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 kickball with my family and enjoying ice cream on our deck. 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.

* I have a college girl that comes over once a week (for the whole day - yippee!) so I can pray, study and write.

* My mom and mother-in-love frequently feed us on Bible study nights.

* I have a cleaning service (and they drive a car that 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 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, pizza buying ME), and I sure sleep much better these days!

Please know I do not have it all figured out! I'm on a journey, just like you. But the more we can be honest and realistic about what we are capable of doing (and what our floors really look like most days), the more we can 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??

I love how Beth Moore puts it ~ "We can't do all things for the Glory of God". Amen!!

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!!

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~

P.S. Don't forget about the two giveaways I have going right now ~ TobyMac tickets & "meet & greet" & Memory Verse fun pack. It's not too late to enter! :)


Anonymous said...

Out of all your posts I have read this is my favourite - I love it. I long for the day when every second is what God wills and I don't waste any on being something I'm not...... Thanks!!!!

kendal said...

so awesome to find freedom from the perfection monster! awesome post.

Andrea said...

I'm still learning I can't do it all. Thought I had conquered that one, but not:(

Blessings and prayers,

Denise said...

Great post.

Rosann said...

Wow, Cindy! Get out of my head! Haha! I've been in a weird place lately of trying to figure out what God wants me to do because I'm realizing I can't do it all - at least not well and not sane. So I've been doing a lot of soul searching. You offer wonderful advice here that I'm taking to heart.


Tyrean Martinson said...

Great post! Trusting God's plan for my life, prioritizing and learning to say NO are the only ways I've been able to cope with a busy life.

JJ said...

I love this post. Before you visited us, I made Lee weed-whack down all our weeds so our yard would look semi-nice. Now I see I wouldn't have had to care!! I hate yard work and am paying someone this year to mulch and plant a few flowers. It is a luxury and not everyone can afford such things, BUT I will not take it for granted. I will use my not-doing-yard-work time wisely!!

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