Since coming home from the hospital, I have to say I have been struggling with fatigue. I think part of it is just the comfort of home… my whole body is much more at peace here and I just want to rest. However, I have created a huge… HUGE list of things to do for myself and I feel somewhat overwhelmed.
More than once in my life I have had to look at all the things on my plate and decide which things are most important and which things can sit on the back burner for awhile. I also have to look at which things are productive and which are time wasters and of course, which things are necessities and which are not.
For example, surfing the Internet or tackling the laundry. Now some people may classify toddlers under time wasters and while they do eat up a lot of time and valuable resources I would have to classify them as necessities!
I am a people pleaser by nature and love to say, “yes” to everyone but over the years I have slowly learned that it is 100% okay to say, “No.” What I find difficult is saying no to a worthy cause or something that sounds like a lot of fun. What I have found helpful is coming up with a family vision statement or goal. Then when opportunities arise I can line them up with our goals as a family and quickly see whether it is worth investing our time and energy into.
Even harder still is what do you do when all of the things on you plate are valid and necessary? Right now, I am dealing with, for lack of a better term, a seriously ill child. I say that because with Joel we have good moments and bad ones. Sometimes it feels like the cancer is just a dream when he snuggles up close to read a book, other times when he is dealing with treatment or side effects of treatment this disease is all too real. Even on good days Joel needs a lot of help and attention. Then there are my four other children who all seem to be trying to paddle up on ten weeks of missed conversation and cuddles. Of course, there are meals to be made dishes to be washed mountains of laundry. I haven’t even mentioned homeschooling yet and with Mama gone for 10 weeks you can guess how much schooling happened. They had their summer break early this year! Then I have decided we need to purge some of this clutter and have a garage sale. There is a ton of stuff to sort through to get ready for a sale. All of these things seem necessary but there are only 24 hours in a day.
I’m a list maker, I make columns and list off the plethora of things to get done in a day. I may not accomplish everything on my list but I try to prioritise so the things that really have to be done are accomplished.
It really comes down to deciding the good, better and best. This can be hard for me I love a clean house… I love a place for everything and everything in it’s place. Yet my life does not always afford me that pleasure. When Joel isn’t feeling well being with him and rubbing his back is far more important then folding the laundry. When Hannah brings me a book that I can recite by memory because we’ve read it so many times it doesn’t always FEEL like a good use of my time, but, when I look in her pleading face I KNOW it is the best use of my time.
I am not suggest we should forsake all our household duties and read stories all day, as we all need to eat and we need clean clothes to wear but it is important to remember the wise words of King Solomon;
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
A time to wash dishes and a time to read a story book. Good, better and best… for each of us it looks a little different… but so often we get caught up in the good and loose sight of the best. If I were to challenge you with something today that would be to discover what is the best in your life and what good things are standing in the way of it.