There's so much to do! Okay, let me start with this laundry. No wait, the dishes are piling up. Why didn't I do these last night? Ughhhh, seriously this bathroom. Ummm, does somebody stink? You know what, just regroup, make a list, and knock everything out one by one. Speaking of lists, what do I need from the grocery store? No, back to my to-do list for today. Focus, focus. Done. Might as well map out my week. Man, this would look prettier if I color-coded it. Yup! And a nice laminate.
Whewwww.... I feel so much better.
I wish this were an exaggeration, but it's not. In fact, this was my morning. Today. Scattered. Doing a little bit of this ... a tid bit of that. You may know how it goes, or perhaps not. But for me, I tend to confuse busyness for productivity, and I find myself slipping back into the idea of, "Just write everything down, make it look pretty, and do as much as I can. Ready, go!!!"
Then I take a deep breath... I realize that I need to prioritize. I mean really prioritize. And effective prioritizing must first involve... pruning.
(But it ALL needs to be done!)
I can't do it all.
(Oh, yes I can!!!)
I can't do it all... well.
(Watch me and see!!!)
I can't do it all well... without something or someone suffering.
(Eeeekk...You got me there.)
That's the key! At the end of the day, even if I complete everything that I set out to do, and I complete those tasks "well" - the question is, who or what has to suffer because of it? Chances are, with SO MUCH TO DO, that something has to give! Someone has to suffer. And naturally, the nearest victims are my kids, my husband, or even myself.
So what do I do???!! Live in a "messy house with happy kids"? I think NOT! How do I know what to do today and what can so-called "wait"? Where do I start?!
Ahhhhhh, start on my knees. I have to seek the Giver of my day. For the Lord Himself has not only set out for me to accomplish specific tasks for Him, but He has equipped me with the necessary power and grace to carry it out. Sometimes it's dishes. Sometimes it's playing outside in dirt. Sometimes it's cleaning out an entire basement. Regardless of the task, I must seek the LORD in the moment, and for the moment - each moment. Every time - absolutely every time - that I begin this way, I end the day feeling accomplished, productive, perhaps tired, but not exhausted in my own frustration. My mind is at ease. I sleep well at night. And note, my home is not in perfect order. Rather, it is in working order.
Let's face it. Each day looks different for each person. There is no set formula, except maybe this. Prioritizing involves pruning. Cut away... the demands that I place on myself. Cut away... the demands of others on me. Then I am free to bear the fruit of God's design for my morning, my day, my week, and even my life.
I must be honest. Pruning is often painful. It goes beyond scratching "wash dishes" off of today's list and putting it down for tomorrow. Sometimes pruning gets into the nitty-gritty of my life. You see, people like me have a hard time with this. I like to sing. I like to write. I love to volunteer. I enjoy teaching. I mentor. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am... me! Hellooooo....NONE of this can go!!!
Hmmmm.... If my mind is already scattered as far as my life's direction is concerned, then it's no wonder the day to day tasks can get the best of me! There's a bigger issue at hand. As a believer, God is calling me to surrender everything to Him - so that the peaceful rest that I experience at the conclusion of a productive day is a reflection of the peace of God that resides within.
Talking to myself.
Prioritizing.... involves pruning... which involves surrender. As a mom, I'm learning that a frazzled day perhaps reflects a frazzled life. Too busy... with "good things". Time to prioritize... Time to prune... Time to surrender... today.