I keep having people ask me how I have time to do everything. The SECRET is.... I don't! If someone took a trip to my house right now and walked into every room and every cupboard, they would be a witness to my words and I would also be very embarrassed. It's not that I don't want to have a perfectly organized, clean, everything in it's proper place house, it's just that there are only 24 hours in the day to fit everything in. I guess the other secret is that I must be really good at looking like I have it all together, and I am excellent at straitening an area if someone is expected to show up.
So, let's look at how many hours we have to accomplish the things we need to do and the things we want to do.
What needs to fit into those 16 hours???? So much, in my case that things get carried over to the next day and the next and it has this snowball effect where eventually I have this huge snowball of things to do.
I started writing this post months ago and it has kind of been on the back burner until yesterday when I watched a video posted by the Mormon Channel. If you have not already watched it I suggest you do, to view the video here is the link: "You Never Know". It is about a mother, who like much most of us keeps a list of everything she needs to accomplish in the day. She goes throughout this day having to change her plans to help and serve those around her, ultimately missing out on a rare "cousin time" opportunity. At the end of the day, she is spent. She appears to be upset and disappointed that she did not accomplish all that she set forth to do in the day. The kids are fighting and she tells everyone to just go to bed. Her son reminds her that they need to say prayer, so she asks him to say it. It is at that moment while he is saying his prayer thanking Heavenly Father that they were able to accomplish everything they needed to, she realizes that the things that really mattered were the things that were accomplished. It showed how her simple acts and sacrifice meant so much to the people around her.
How many of us are like this women? I know I could definitely relate to her. How many of us look at the women around us and think, "Why couldn't I have it all together as she does?" or "Man she is so talented and so well liked, what do I have to give?" Or how many of us feel as though we do not measure up because our house isn't spotless, we don't feel pretty enough, we don't feel as though we have an amazing talent, or simply we can not get everything we want to get done, done? Or how many of us feel so overwhelmed by all that we feel we need to accomplish in a day, and feel as though we have failed when we fall short of those accomplishments?
The interesting thing is, we are our harshest judge! I guarantee that other moms are not looking at you and thinking, "Why can't she keep her house spotless?" or any other of the judgments about ourselves that go through our heads. Instead they are probably looking at you seeing your strengths and wishing they could have that strength and be more like you.
Why is it so easy to see strengths in others, but so difficult to find them in ourselves? It seems like for so many of us we like to focus on the areas where we are falling short. I think it is because we have such a strong desire to do all things well.
So, what can we do? We can set our priorities. What are the things that are most important? My plan is, I will think of the top three things that are of the most importance to me. On my list is my family, the gospel and my church calling and service. These three things are going to be the non-negotiable things. They are going to be the things I make sure receive the attention they need in the day. My family will receive the quality time they need and I want to give to them. I will make sure I read my scriptures, say prayers, make time for the things that pertain to my calling. Serving others is also a part of my daily life (I don't think we realize how much we serve even our family members). Everything else is fillers. These fillers than need to be given priorities. Getting some physical fitness will be a priority, because I know when my body is healthy than my spirit can be more healthy. If we do not get the fillers accomplished, no need to sweat, we can recognize that we accomplished the top three most important things. We should be happy about that. As President Hinkley said, "You Never Know How Much Good You Do". My wise stake president said at a past women's conference, "You are doing much, much better than you think you are". It is my hope that as women we will cut ourselves some slack and realize all the good that we do in a day.
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