Though a hilarious, somewhat exaggerated title, many of us live with this mindset day in and day out! I know I did for years! Ages ago I attended a workshop on organization for people with a full plate! The above title was the title of the session except for the word NOT! I added that! Whether we are stay-at-home moms, home schooling mothers teaching our children, women who work outside of our homes, single women, empty-nesters, or retirees, it’s been my experience in ministering to women for four-plus decades that “hurriedness” is a way of life in our society. Our plates are FULL to say the least! And if we find a day or two on our calendar where we may anticipate a “breather”, someone will surely come along and ask us for help. Why, oh why, do we ALWAYS feel like we have to say yes!!?? I think I have some answers that will actually help to remedy this! Let me tell you my story.
Years ago, I was flying by the seat of my pants getting ready for our church’s annual Women’s Retreat. In those days we were given a “secret sister” that we would pray for during the retreat, maybe leave a scripture or two throughout the weekend, and a few tiny pieces of candy or some small token to let them know they are special and we’re praying for them. At the end of the weekend, after our last meal together, we’d give our secret sister her gift and reveal our identity. For some reason, this really seemed to get out of hand and ended up to be a HUGE expense with most of the women going overboard in the things they left for their secret sister throughout the weekend. Without a doubt, I was one of those women who did too much!
Why, oh why, do we ALWAYS feel like we have to say yes!!??
Being someone who loved to give gifts from my heart, I decided to make a DOLL for my secret sister that year. I was the kind of woman, at that time in my life, who could barely “get it all done unless I ate lunch in the car.” I found myself putting the finishing touches on my doll when I should have been going out the door. I remember gluing her Spanish moss hair on and rushing to wrap her up in something beautiful. Then looking over my shoulder as I was dashing out the door, I saw a kitchen that looked like a tornado had blown through: Spanish moss stuck to a hot glue gun left was on my kitchen counter, piles of dishes in the sink, and precious little faces of bewildered children as I hurriedly hugged them goodbye. Honestly, I can’t even remember where my husband was, but I can’t imagine him being too happy with the mess I left behind and the pace at which I was moving. I remember tearing out the driveway in my car, gripping the steering wheel like I was hanging on for dear life! I glanced down at my knuckles clutching the wheel and they were STARK WHITE!!
That was the moment my life was changed forever! I loosened my grip on the steering wheel and I said out loud, “NO”!!! I AM DONE LIVING LIKE THIS! And from that day till now I have never rushed like that again. I remember making a deliberate, conscious change from that time forward. Now does that mean my plate is empty? No, definitely not. I still have a LOT to do. But I have chosen, by the grace of God, to slow my pace way down, to choose what I do, and who and what I say yes to. I give my days and even my moments to God, who has been so gracious to lead me every step of the way. Because of the season of life I’m in now I rarely look at the clock, but I do live out of my planner and am very attentive to my calendar each morning. I start my day with Jesus, prayer, His Word, my journal and whatever book I may be working through. (OH!! And my coffee!!) I also have a Gratefulness Journal I write in each day as well; being mindful of my moments as I go, and all the blessings around me, I don’t find myself dealing with irritation or impatience very often. Having a grateful heart is like medicine to our souls and a gift to those all around us.
Birthed out of God’s heart for His daughters, Cherishing Ordinary Days is meant to be a place to come and rest and have your heart refreshed and encouraged; to gather with other women and take time to recognize the beauty of our everyday moments, practicing gratefulness as we go through each day. Here, as the days go on, we’ll cover many things pertaining to our lives as women. I have lots of exciting posts in the making. Thanks for meeting with me today. I hope you’ll visit often, and leave me a note to say hi now and then. Let me know any topics you’d like to see addressed here at Cherishing. I promise to answer any emails sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, I’m praying for each of you and look forward to our time together in the months ahead. Remember, you definitely DON’T have to eat lunch in the car to get everything done! Loosen your grip on your wheel and let Jesus do the driving! You won’t be sorry!
On this journey together,