Simplify

(Originally posted to The Bullard Pack blog on 7/24/09)
I repeatedly hear from other women that they are busy, stressed-out, overwhelmed, tired, running on empty, feeling guilty, the list goes on and on… Why do we, as women feel the need to do EVERYTHING? Why do we feel like failures when we aren’t the host-est w/ the most-est like Martha Stewart? Why do we agonize over the fact that we don’t cook scrumptious meals like Paula Dean? Why do we feel guilty when our homes look like those portrayed in an episode of “Clean House?”
I agree that our society puts undo pressure on us to be “super women.” We are tricked into thinking that we CAN have it and do it all. However, we need to realize that it’s just not true! We must have realistic expectations of what we can do, and do well! There isn’t enough time in the day to be a help-mate, nurture and train our children, work a full time job, cook, clean, do laundry, pay the bills, mow the grass, plan a birthday party, go to the grocery store, chat w/ friends on Facebook, watch tv, scrapbook, catch up on some reading, work-out AND have a few minutes to ourselves! If we continue to try to do all of those things, we’ll usually only do a few of them well. The remaining items will be ignored, or not done w/ excellence.
Recently, I have been reading to my children about our early American ancestors. I have been inspired by the simple lives they led. They built simple homes. They had simple tools to plow their fields to feed their family. They ate simple meals. They made simple toys for their children to play with. They had simple forms of family entertainment (reading and music, mostly). Now, I don’t necessarily want to go back in time and live w/ Laura Ingalls, but I do want to follow their example of simplicity.
Question is: HOW do I simplify? My husband is a big list maker, so I followed his direction. I wrote down ALL the things that I am responsible for (WOW!). Next, I went through and circled all the priorities in my life. These are my categories, if you will, that I feel God has called me to do in this season of life (stay at home wife & mother, home-school teacher, mentor). Then I marked off those items that didn’t fall under those categories. Then I omitted those items that just weren’t important, or maybe could wait for another time. Then I went through items that I could ask for help with from my husband and children. After I dwindled my list down, I discovered that although I still am responsible for much, I am not responsible for it ALL. God hasn’t called me to do it ALL- He’s the creator of the universe; I think He can handle that!

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