My answer is, “I don’t.” But from the smiles, nods and looks I get I don’t think people believe me.
Honestly people, I can’t do it all. Or as they say in the South, “Bless your heart” for thinking I do.
Some things I haven’t done lately.
Put away my laundry.
Dealt with the pile of mail in the kitchen.
Painted my fingernails. (Haven’t done this in a year.)
Returned some calls. (Yeah, need to do that.)
Cleaned my bedroom/office.
Helped my son figure out college stuff for this fall.
Finished some e-books that are mostly done.
Shopped. At all. Okay, I get groceries, but that’s about it.
Had weekly date nights with my husband as I know I should.
Watched TV–even the shows I really, really like.
Called to talk to long-distance family.
I also had to say no to some awesome church events I wanted to attend
but just couldn’t squeeze in.
These are all things I have on my “immediate to-do list.” Well, not the shopping. Although I know the girls in my house would really like a day out with me.
Work-wise. I don’t do it all either.
Right now I have a book I really need to finish and another book I need to do edits on. (And two more that need my attention asap but are patiently waiting their turn.
There are blogs I need to write and marketing tasks I REALLY need to get busy on. In fact I’m having a booksigning in a few weeks and I better spread the word or I’ll be sitting in the store alone that day. Sigh.
I’ve had to say no to two writing projects editors approached me about recently. Things I really wanted to do but just don’t have the time for.
Yes, my “done” list is impressive at times, but the battle rages within when I know there is so much more “want to” than I have time or energy for.
For the most part I’m learning to be okay with not being able to do everything. I have a list in my mind of things that are most important and I focus on these:
Time with God each day.
Some type of exercise.
Morning prayer and conversation with my husband.
Story time, snuggle time, bath time, play time with my toddler.
Having at least one “focus-on-their-eyes” conversation with each person in our home. There are 11 people, so this alone takes a while.
I work on my most important emails and most important deadlines.
I try to work on “future work”–like ideas and proposals to keep the ball rolling.
We have dinner together as a family and hang out time, too, every day.
So, do you believe me now that I don’t do it all? And I hope you’ll be encouraged, too. There’s always a balance with what we can do, need to do, and make it a focus to do. The only way I can stay somewhat balanced is to focus on Jesus, keep my eyes on Him, and have Him point out what’s most important. Sometimes that’s getting my house in order so I can offer hospitality and sometimes it’s jotting off an idea and sending it to my agent, even though twenty other emails seem more important at the time.
Jesus knows what is important and I need to trust that. As I turn my mind to Him during the day my mind has peace as we walk side-by-side–even if we’re walking past a pile of mail or laundry that day.
Tricia Goyer is a CBA best-selling author and the winner of two American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Awards (Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights). She co-wrote 3:16 Teen Edition with Max Lucado and contributed to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Also a noted marriage and parenting writer, she lives with her husband and children in Arkansas. You can find her online at www.triciagoyer.com or at her weekly radio show, Living Inspired.