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I’ll Have the Elephant, Please…

Posted by on December 9, 2012

Last week I read about being anxious when we perceive that something is lacking in our lives. As I was writing about that, I asked myself what, if anything, I considered to be lacking during this season of my life. The very first thing that came to mind, pitched a tent and stayed there, was this: TIME. I constantly feel like I don’t have enough time to get everything done. I constantly feel like I’m failing because my house isn’t perfect, my car is cluttered, my kid hasn’t bathed in two days, and I haven’t stopped to pray since I can’t remember when.

These things I need to be doing that I can’t quite seem to mark off the list follow me around all the live-long day until I feel absolutely defeated, like I haven’t accomplished a single thing of value. Like I’ve just been treading water until it’s time to go to sleep, wake up and do it all over again.

Is anybody relating to this? Anybody?

In the middle of all of this thinking about my time, I’ve also been thinking about two other things. The first is that Nancy Leigh DeMoss says we have exactly as much time as we need. That God has given us, down to the minute, enough time to do everything that He has for us in a given day. The other thing on my mind is the Sabbath. I know it’s no accident that we have a God-ordained day of rest. I’m pretty sure He wasn’t actually tired from creating the world. But I do think He wanted to rest, for at least two reasons. One: to enjoy what He had just created, to sit back and take a look and say, again: This is good. Two: to let us know that we need to take an ever-loving break sometimes.

So, just to recap, here’s what I’m learning:
1. Don’t be anxious about not having enough time to get things done because
2. You actually have all the time you need to get things done, it’s really just a matter of priorities and
3. Speaking of priorities, you need to schedule yourself some regular rest.

It really does all come down to scheduling and priorities. But for a girl like me, that can be a huge challenge. I walk in the door of my house, and I see every single mess, every single thing that needs attention, and I feel all of it calling my name. Clean the kitchen, straighten the dining room, finish the sewing project, put away the laundry, fold the blanket, wash the sheets, scrub the bathtub, vacuum the floors, sweep the floors, mop the floors…until I’m basically paralyzed. It’s just perfectionism rearing its ugly head, trying to chomp down on that big ol’ elephant because if anyone thinks she can eat a six-ton mammal in a single bite, it’s a girl with a perfectionism problem.

You know what, though? I am sick and tired of being angry with myself for not being able to do something that is literally impossible. So tonight I asked myself: what do I need to do to get the house in basic order before I go to bed? That’s easy. Clean the kitchen, put away the laundry, straighten my bedroom. They’re simple things, and I didn’t do them perfectly, but they’re done. And because they’re done, I will be able to rest.

See what happened there?

I do. I took a bite out of the elephant. And tomorrow, I’ll take a couple more.

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