It’s funny in which areas I find it easy to be flexible and areas in which I can find it VERY challenging to be flexible. There have been times when I have felt great satisfaction at my ability to flex and yet other times when I feel that if I have to flex or bend anymore I will absolutely break into a million pieces. In analyzing those more “challenging” times, I have to admit that the “more challenging” areas are areas in which I really to control the outcome. How foolish of me to think that I can ultimately control any outcome! Sure, I need to plan, schedule, pray and work, but ultimately, the outcome of anything and everything I do is in God’s control.
This morning I was talking with a dear friend of mine and as we talked I was reminded once again of how much we push ourselves even beyond acceptable limits so that we can stay ahead of the game. Then, one morning, or more likely, late one night, we begin to realize we have been out of sync and out of balance for too long. Why? Because we are pushing ourselves more than anyone else would EVER push us and because we cannot accept our limitations of time and energy. SO, what do we do when the “to do” list is so long that there is no way humanly possible to get it all done. The key word in that phrase is humanly possible. If God has given us specific priorities as women, are we confident that He can do all that we need him to do above ALL that we ask or think? Are we confident that God will work in and through us and our limitations to bring HIM the ultimate glory for the solutions and outcomes of our “to do” lists?
As my friend and I talked about all that was weighing on our hearts and minds this morning, I began to realize that same passage in Proverbs 3:5-6. “Leaning NOT on our own understanding”, isn’t just about making decisions, it is about relying on GOD for the wisdom on what to do when, and what to flex on and leave until later, or what to delegate to others. God does not reward us for “leaning on our own understanding” or on our own abilities. He wants us to stay focused on our priorities, on our God-given desires for the right end result with our marriages, our families, and our ministries. That being said, if something needs to “wait” until a more appropriate time so that we can stay focused on our God-given responsibilities and priorities, then GOD will take care of the outcome of our decision to stay true to HIS principles.
Wow! That’s so much easier said than done. ESPECIALLY, when the to do list is just another name for people waiting on us for answers, direction, progress and much more. With people’s expectations and demands lurking behind our “to do“ list, being flexible can be very challenging. Even harder, is the fear that often lurks behind our motivation to stay ahead of the game. What if parts of our lives or our ministries fall apart or are delayed as a result of our not being able to keep up? The responsibility we feel for these areas is very real. Although it is good and necessary to feel that responsibility, who are we kidding to think that things will fall apart if we have to flex with some deadlines or expectations? Let’s be real! God doesn’t need any of us. IF something is important enough to God that it has to be done right now, and it isn’t something that HE has enabled us with time and energy to do WHILE taking care of our families, then HE can and HE WILL find another way to fulfill HIS purpose.
IF we can keep that in mind, some of the pressure and frantic fear we feel will subside. Remember the story of Jesus in the boat with the disciples! The disciples were caught in a storm and the boat was filling with water FAST! The disciples were frantic with fear and even frustrated with Jesus for SLEEPING in the boat. What were Jesus words: “Peace, BE STILL”. Obviously, Jesus was talking to the storm but I have a feeling that his words were also directed to the disciples. Jesus had control of that storm, the wind, the waves AND the boat the entire time.
The last few days I’ve had a very uneasy and almost nervous feeling. John kept asking me if I was worried about something and of course, I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me. It has been a very busy two months and I KNEW I was feeling the effect of that busyness. However, it was more than that. I was trying to control my time, my energy, my relationships ALL BY MYSELF once again. When will I ever learn. I can’t be everything to everyone! I can’t do everything at once. I have to flex…I have to have patience with myself…but more importantly, once I prioritize, I MUST leave the outcome with God himself and trust that if I’m doing what I can do within HIS priorities, that HE WILL INDEED take care of the rest. My “to do” list has not gotten any smaller today, but I am going to take some things off my plate in order to get a “grip” on some other areas.
Jordan and John have both been sick over the past couple of weeks. John is still sick and Jordan is still not up to par. Jared and I have been traveling on our lovely field trip to Boston. Put all of that together, and despite the fact that I have all my plans for our home school planned out for the rest of the year, everyone is at loose ends regarding being able to focus. Solution: TIME FOR SPRING BREAK!
The minute I decided to let the boys have some “break” time which would allow me some time to rest and restructure after this period of travel, I felt some relief. Yes…school will ultimately get done…but it can’t be done while I’m feeling at “loose ends”. The boys are happy, I’m happy and when MAMA is happy…dad is happy as well…even if he does have a fever.
I’ve had a ton of meetings that I’m supposed to be having the past week or so. In looking at them, they were ALL important and even seemed urgent. However, I also knew that I did not have the brainpower because of my traveling to focus on the subjects at hand and make those meetings worthwhile. Thus, I notified everyone that I was delaying the meetings. Guess what! NO ONE got mad at me. In some cases, they had been feeling the same way I had and were relieved that we had a little more time to get our thoughts and notes together.
I’m directing the community theater’s spring musical and we are NOT on schedule as far as I’m concerned! I’ve been feeling stress and frustration on every level! WHY? I haven’t had time or at least taken the time to really focus and get organized on this production. I’ve been allowing myself to be tossed “to and fro”. Solution: set aside some time to lay out a plan…and then work the plan! RESULT: I’m still concerned…..but more peaceful…if that makes sense!
These are just some examples from my own walk. I wish I had more answers…….but right now, I know that I’m supposed to take this week to rest, restructure and renew in several areas of my life….so that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to flex with each season as it comes so that I can be what I need to be to my husband and my family. I’m not always successful! In fact, I’ve been pretty disappointed in myself this past week or so……but I’m trusting that God will continue to do his work in me. I can’t control everything…I have to flex……BUT I serve that God that has a plan for me and that controls all the details of life.
Faith and Courage,