Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Work Home and Family - Doing what God Asks

These last few weeks have been seriously crazy busy. I have so many things that need to be done within the next 30 days, need to be done within this week, and should have been done a month ago! Not to mention all the things that we need to do on a daily basis like make meals, clean up messes, care for children, and routine cleaning in addition to personal care and sleep!

Whew!

No wonder I feel like I'm scaling a never-ending mountain!

Last Friday I had something else land on my plate - something that is important to me and that I can't ignore, but it left me feeling truly overwhelmed and completely intimidated.

After an impromptu lunch with my hubby at the cafeteria where he works, I went over to a pastor friend's office. I felt like my brain was playing pinball with all that I had to do, not to mention all the complexities of this new thing that had just landed in my lap.

Sometimes it just helps to be reminded of the basic thing:
Just do what God asks you to do and let go of the rest.

Um, duh.

But how do I do that? I happen to be the queen of taking on everything, whether I should or not!

It's so very easy to look at things and think we have to do it all or that we should do it all. That things appear urgent or important. And we forget what God really has called us to do right now. I remember reading a while back that you really can do everything, just not at the same time! I love that idea but I keep forgetting it. I want it all right now, darn it all anyway!

This friend very graciously helped me sort through a few things. Then I went home and wrote them down. If I start getting sidetracked it's been very helpful to look at my list and tell myself "not right now." It's also helpful to be able to tell other people that too!

My friend also suggested that I figure out what I can delegate and to ask for help with some things.

So what's on the list right now?
* My relationships with my husband and my children
* My schoolwork for my May 1 and May 21 deadlines (other schoolwork or work-related items can wait)
* Daily necessitates like meals, laundry, personal hygiene
* One very specific aspect of this thing from Friday

What got delegated?
* Several household chores (hubby and kids)
* Some of the planning things for the upcoming birthdays at our house (hubby, my mom and a friend)
* The spring yard work (hubby and kids)

What did I ask for help on?
* The birthdays (a friend and my mom)
* The last of the cleaning out things that I still need to do (a friend - though we've postponed this until June right now)
* Some minor household repairs (my dad and hubby)
* The new thing from Friday (several people)

Everything else? Nope. Not going to happen!

At least right now.

The Pastor friend I talked to on Friday asked me how I felt about several things regarding letting some things go and the outcomes of others and I realized that I was also doing two additional non-productive things:

1. Placing too much emphasis on how other people would respond and on the opinions of others. Specifically whether people were interpreting my actions the way I intended them. I can't control how they see me, just what I do and making sure it's in line with my intentions. So I need to focus on what I can do and make sure I'm true to my intentions and let God do the rest.

2. That I'm spending too much time worrying about the outcome of things and not working on them. Talk about a way to guarantee a poor outcome! This is the classic, fearing failure so not doing things to guarantee failure. Ugh.

So my goal for the rest of this week is to focus on my shortened list of things to focus on. And to quit paying attention to what other people may thing and just do what I can right now, not worrying about the future.

What has God asked you to do and what can you let go? Care to share?

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Lea