3 lessons I learned when my water broke at 20 weeks...
I can do it all.
And if you read my post entitled “I Can’t Do It All,” you can now be assured that I’ve completely lost my mind.
Allow me to explain.
I’ve had these posts planned (in my head, at least) for months. And I wanted to do them back to back. In fact, I originally intended to write them both during the same week. As it is, they’ll be posted several months apart. (If you wonder why, refer to this post.)
Previously, I explained that not only am I unable to do everything, I shouldn’t try to do everything. Instead, with the aid of God’s Word, prayer, and counsel from people He’s placed in my life (namely, my husband), I must focus on what is most important for me during each particular season of life. Then strive to do those most important things to the very best of my ability and leave other items untouched for the present time.
Why, then, do I come back with the most confusing post title of “I Can Do It All,” you ask? Why indeed.
It is because of this:
While I can’t do it all –
(“all” being defined as pursuing every single activity in the entire world.
Or every single thing my neighbor, friend, relative, fellow church member, or anonymous internet person is doing)
I can do it all.
(“all” being defined as everything God wants me to do.)
I can’t do it all. But I can do all that God wants me to do. So, in essence, I can do it all.
How do you discern what God wants you to do? It is vital to step back and take a look at the things (and people) God has providentially placed in your life during this current season. Consider your responsibilities, desires, and resources. Pray. Talk with your spouse and/or other wise counselors He has placed in your life. Are you focusing on the most important things for this current season of life? Is there something you’re neglecting that you should be doing? Is there something you’re doing that is really not important for this season? Should you increase or decrease your time in any activity?
Once you have prayerfully considered and answered these questions for your season, then take that list of responsibilities and desires and run with them! Do those tasks with joy, knowing you are fulfilling what God has for you to do during your season. When you see another person doing something you wish you could do, pray about it. Give that desire to God. Maybe He’s going to grow that desire and have you pursue that interest during a future season of your life. Or maybe He wants you to be a cheerleader for your friend as she fulfills the task God has given her. Either way, leave the future to God and stay focused on what He has for you now. Learn to take joy in the tasks God has graciously allowed you to complete.
There is no room for defeat when you are doing what God wants you to do!
I Can’t Do It All
I’ve started a daily habit that is totally changing my perspective.
It takes less than 5 minutes and I do it twice a day – as soon as I wake and before I fall asleep.
Wanna know what it is?
I thank God.
In the morning, I thank Him for the night – sometimes quite eventful with 4 small children. I thank Him for allowing me to sleep. For waking me up. For giving me a new day to serve Him.
And in the evening, I thank Him for everything that happened during the day – the good, bad, and ugly.
Sometimes these morning and evening thankfulness sessions look like me saying thank you without really feeling thankful. But I’ve learned those are some of the most important times to thank God – even when I don’t understand.
So here’s a challenge…
This week, try it with me. Start and end each day this week by thanking God for everything that happened in the preceding 12 hours.
You can’t do it without gaining a changed perspective. I promise.
a time characterized by a particular circumstance or feature
Our seasons of life are constantly changing based on the personal, relational, spiritual and work-related details of our lives. Some days, I absolutely love my current season of life. Other times, it can feel like the longest season ever. I’ll venture to say –
The longest season is always the one in which you don’t want to be.
It’s true, isn’t it? Whenever we love our current season, it never seems to last quite long enough. But when we despise it – well, it seems like it’s never going to come to an end.
to look down on with contempt or aversion
to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful
So, what do you do when you realize you despise your season? Here’s what I’ve been doing lately:
Remember the Timing
You know why it’s called a season, right? Because it is limited by time. Seasons – no matter how long they are – don’t last forever. In fact, in view of eternity, our entire life is just a season. Whatever season of life you find yourself in, remember that it’s not forever. This season will end; a new one will begin. And chances are, you may even forget about some of the difficulty associated with your current season of life.
When I’m in a difficult season of life that seems larger than life, it’s helpful for me to think about eternity. The only things that are eternal are God, His Word, and the souls of people. Everything else pales in significance. Even the season of life we’re struggling through right now.
Remember the Blessings
Because God is love, remember that there is no season devoid of His loving care. There are always unique blessings associated with particular seasons of life. I admit, sometimes it takes a bit of eye rubbing and soul scrubbing to see those blessings. Personally, I’ve found that the times when it is hardest for me to see any blessings in my current situation are when my eyes are so gripped by this life and what I want instead of focusing on God and His glory. But when I can lift my eyes off my self and on to Christ, He kindly opens my eyes to see the blessings that have been there all along.
I love these truths from Psalm 84:
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!
Remember the Giver
God – the giver of those blessings we just talked about – is also the Giver of your current season. Oh friend, this is the most important part to grasp:
When I’m fighting against the limitations of my current season,
I’m actually fighting the One Who gave them to me.
God is the giver of everything I have, even the very events that took place this morning. Remember God is the Giver of your season and you will find the key to resting in His perfect sovereignty instead of fighting and hating every minute of it. When I remember God is the Giver – of every joy, blessing, and trial – it enables me to live gratefully through my seasons instead of despising them.
So today: if you find yourself despising your current season, give your cares to the One Who placed you in this season. Rest in His timing, love, and the very gifts He’s given you today.
What is the biggest problem in your life?
Once you identify that problem, you will discover what you need to resolve in order to have hope.
If I view other people and their evil influence as the biggest problem,
then my only hope lies in them getting their act together and changing for the better.
If I view my government as the biggest problem,
then hope only comes with better candidates and a better election.
If I view my church as the biggest problem,
then hope will only come when this or that person leaves,
a program is added or deleted,
and the staff is exactly what I think they should be. (Lord, have mercy.)
If I view my husband as the biggest problem,
then hope only comes when he treats me the exact way I want to be treated,
loves me the way I want to be loved,
knows what I’m thinking before I say it,
and does everything I never want to do. (Impossible? Of course not. ahem.)
If I view my children as the biggest problem,
then hope will only come when they require no correction or instruction because they are practically perfect (from my diligent teaching, of course), and when they serve, love, and are grateful for all I have done as their mother.
Since we live in a fallen world, my issues with people and programs will never be resolved.
In short: if I continue to rest my ultimate hope in a future resolution of these problems, then the result? I’ll never have hope.
However. If I recognize that my biggest problem is sin – the evil desires and intentions that lie in my very own soul – well, that’s terrible news.
But there’s a resolution for that.
His name is Jesus. He is the Advocate and propitiation for my sin. Through His death, He has created a way of forgiveness and cleansing.
But true hope starts with this acknowledgment:
My sin is the biggest problem in my life.
My biggest problem doesn’t lie in the people or organizations that surround me, but in the depths of my very own soul.
Only when the true problem is recognized can the right solution be applied. When I view anything besides my sin as my biggest problem, then hope will only come when that issue becomes resolved according to my liking.
Only when I see my sin as my biggest problem can I have confidence in the hope that is in Christ. While focusing on my sin as the problem may initially seem discouraging, in reality it’s the only source of lasting hope. True, lasting hope can only be found by resting in Jesus Christ.
If you are feeling hopeless today, prayerfully consider these questions:
What do I believe to be the biggest problems in my life?
To what or whom am I looking to for hope?
Am I attempting to devise solutions in my own faulty wisdom?
Am I actively looking to Jesus for the resolution of problems?