Sunday, January 16, 2011

How Do You Do It All?

Hey Friends! Happy Mailbag Monday to you! :)

One of the most frequent 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 praying through and writing out 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 week, a wonderfully talented, prayer warrior from Northern Michigan shared she'll be in town next week, and asked if we could get together. I would love to spend more time with her! But in my heart, I knew my purpose and priority of wife and mom must come first. And for this season, I'm only gone one night a week (Monday night Bible study) and the rest of the nights I'm home tucking kids in and hanging out with my man.

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.

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

* 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!)

* My kids eat tacos, pizza and chicken nuggets way more than I would ever want to admit :)

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". How true!!

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~


Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Exactly where I am tonight...Was just about to type up my priorities for the week....Looking for some things I can cut out...

Mining for Diamonds said...

I clicked over and read your testimony and...WOW! You've been through a lot! I am in awe of God's faithfulness to you in the midst of all you have endured. You remind me of a song that we did in the music missions group I was in. It's called "God Leads His Dear Children Along", and there's a line that talks about how He leads "some through the water/some through flood/some through the fire/but ALL through the blood...some through great sorrow but God gives a song/in the night season and all the day long". That to me is a powerful, powerful line. I look at your life, and He has indeed led you through some trials but He always brought you to safety through the blood! Wow...what a blessing. He truly leads His dear children along, and you are obviously one of His dear children! Blessings!

Art From My Table said...

You have never served me ice cream... we MUST get together at your home for this occasion as I LOVE ice cream... LOL!!

Great post Cindy and thanks for sharing your "secrets" of not doing it all. :D

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post. Just what I needed to day.

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Superb post Cindy! A great lesson is learned when we do learn to save our yeses for God's best! There's a lot of good things vying for our time, but choosing His best always fits our schedule best of all.

Have a joy filled week!

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