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Are You Trying To Do It All?

Are you running from here to there, not accomplishing much?
Feel like you aren’t doing what you should good enough?

Often Christians determine our spirituality by how busy we are.
If you aren’t doing these things, then you aren’t right.

As moms, we are often stretched beyond what we think we can do.
Up with babies all night, little ones demanding attention and needing disciplined, older ones desiring to learn something we have no interest in, and taking children to sports, music and school activities.
How do you keep up?

Consider Jesus.
Did Jesus do it all?
He had the entire world to save, but He was NEVER IN A HURRY.
And when He left, the whole world wasn’t saved.
He felt pressed to travel through Samaria to speak to the Samaritan woman. 
He set His face toward Jerusalem and His death.
But He didn’t hurry.

He didn’t heal everyone.
He did not help everyone.
He didn’t save everyone.
The rich man, who asked what he must do to be saved, went away sad because he had many riches but chose not to do what Jesus said.
Jesus didn’t help the man who asked him to tell his brother to share his inheritance.
He certainly didn’t do what everyone thought He should be doing, especially the priests and scribes.

He didn’t even try to do everything.
What did He do?
He obeyed His Father—in every way.
If you compare how much time Jesus spent in ministry with how much time in prayer, He spent more time with His Father.

His purpose here on earth was “to do the Father’s will.”
He did it with purpose and prayer.
In order for Him to know His Father’s will, He prayed and listened.
Our purpose is no different.

Jesus told his disciples, “My yoke is easy; my burden is light.”
If your burden is heavy, maybe it is not for you to carry that burden.
We’ve talked about giving our burdens and concerns to God.
Maybe what you are trying to do, is not for you to do.

Make a list and evaluate each item.
Is it necessary?
Not whether it is good or bad, but is it necessary?
Is it necessary at this time or could it be done later?
Is this what God has told you to do?
Pray about it.
Ask God.
He will tell you what needs to be done.
And those you must let go.

Maybe you’re too tired to do anything.
Jesus took naps.
Jesus napped during times others thought he should be awake and bailing water.
His disciples woke him during a storm and asked, “Don’t you care that we perish?”

Often when you’re doing God’s will, others, (even Christians,) won’t understand.
When our children were small, my husband told some of church ladies who had signed me to help in the kitchen that my service was to take care of him and our family. 
I was more than busy at home.
Notice it was my husband who told them. I didn’t.
I’d feel like I would need to give a reason.
Then they would “help me” fix that reason.
He just said it and they didn’t ask again.

Maybe your husband has suggested that you not help so much at church but you don’t feel you should.
Submit to your husband.
And pray. 
If God wants you to work in the church, He’ll change your husband’s heart. 
Maybe He’ll change yours to be satisfied at home.
Either way, seek His will.
And know all Christians won’t understand.

You can’t do it all.
As you insist on trying to do it all, nothing gets done well.
Doing things half-way is not doing them.
God wants your best.

Listen to God.
Be so in tune with God, that His will becomes what you want.
When you do, you won’t be in a hurry—you will be on God’s time.
And God isn’t restricted by time.

Doing good is not always best.
Many churches have good programs keeping their members at church every night of the week.
There’s choir practice, Sunday and Wednesday night services, meetings for this and that, special classes for those seeking baptism or membership, groups for moms and breakfasts for men—I’m tired just listing them!
New believers, instead of being discipled, are grabbed for service. 
After all, that’s what Christians should do, right?

Paul knew the Law. He was a Pharisee taught by the best.
Know what he did after meeting God on the Damascus Road?
Did he dive into service with the Jerusalem believers?
No. 
Galatians 1:17 says, he spent three years in the desert.
Think of what church people would say today if a new believer didn’t serve during his first three years!
Paul concentrated on knowing God. 
The Spirit taught him how Jesus fulfilled the Law.
Then, he was ready for service.
But not just anywhere.
God blocked Paul from going places and called him to other places. (Acts 16:6, I Thess. 2:18, Rom. 1:13). 

In other words, Paul obeyed the Spirit and said, “no” to some things.
Which assumes he was listening, like Jesus, to where the Spirit wanted him.

Were those other places good?
Of course, there were plenty of lost in those places.
But God said, “no.”

How does all this apply to you?
Do you ever say, “no” to a service opportunity, especially at church?
Does saying “no” make you less spiritual?
Just because there is a need, does not mean you should meet that need.

I’ve written before about this.
We women often see a need—our husbands aren’t leading, especially spiritually, so we do.
Know what that does?
It keep your husband from doing his role and you are disobedient.
You ask, am I to just let the hole remain?
Yes, and prayer that God works on his heart to fulfill what he should be doing at home.
Same with needs at church.

Churches are filled with busy people.
Satan thrills with keeping us busy.
Let me say that again, Satan thrills when we are busy doing stuff for God.
Why?
If we are too busy, we are not spending time with God.
Our service is not for God.

If we aren’t spending time praying and in His Word, God’s not even in our service.

Charles Wesley* was asked, “what he would do if he knew Christ would return today?” 
Would he evangelize, especially lost family members, telling those Christ is indeed coming?
His answer was telling of his life. 
No. He would go home after the Sunday service, eat dinner, sit in his lounge chair and take a nap. 
He wouldn’t change his agenda even if Christ were to come back that day.
Why?
Because he lived his life in communion with God.
He did what God told him to do every day.
This day would no different.

Are you trying to do it all?
My husband prays every morning for God to bring him those he should tell about God.
Sometimes the Spirit is very clear, even telling him to re-enter a room and say something specific. 
Other times by nature of the discussion, he brings up Christ.
Often they too are believers. They are exhorted and encouraged. He is too.
But other times, he clearly knows not to say anything. 
The Spirit, it seems, blocks his words.
Perhaps, it would fall on deaf ears. The heart isn’t ready. Or hardened.
My husband may never know why not, but he obeys the Spirit.

We are commanded to share the Gospel.
But as we live our life in communion with God, He directs us to those who are ready.
Sometimes we only prepare the soil, or plant or water the seed, before it bares fruit.

How do you do this as a mom with little ones?
Here’s how we did it.
God may direct you differently.
We invited neighbors for our annual Christmas cookie exchange and carol sing. 
Sometimes we had close to 50 come; other times only 10. 
Either way, we were able to reach out and connect with them.
By doing this, we became friends with several.
We tried an ice cream social. Neighbors brought toppings for our home-made ice cream. 
People were too busy during the summer. We stopped it.
We adjusted our outreach to how the people responded.
Those brief contacts made it possible to later help and talk with them about God. Some were receptive. Others not.
We planted seed, or watered.

I write a Christmas letter. It tells our family’s story and shares the Gospel. I couldn’t leave the house much, but I still could tell others.

Remember the article about letting God solve His problems?
He wants to save the world.
We just follow His direction.
Planting seed. A little water. A bit of encouragement.
Even times when you say nothing about God, but you give acts of kindness to an unbeliever because God told you to do it—those prepare their heart to hear.
They remember. 
Your family reflects God’s light.
You show something different—something they want.
Especially when they are hurting.
You pray for that opportunity.

We pray for the lost.
Then share with those God brings to us.
It’s a natural, unforced relationship.

Pushing people to make a decision is not our job.
By thinking we are responsible to “save people”, we become discouraged. 
We are not the Spirit who brings conviction.
It is God Who saves.
It is God Who prepares the heart.
It is God’s Word that penetrates hearts and brings salvation.

You can’t do it all.
Nor does God want you to.
Busy isn’t better.
Slow down. 
Saturate your mind with His Word.
Listen to the Spirit.
And share what God has done with those He brings to you.
You will find you can do exactly what you should be doing,
Even if it’s not everything.

*It may have been D.L. Moody, I’m not sure which.


​Share how being un-busy allowed you to have a greater ministry.

That is a message every mother needs to hear, even those of us who don't have children at home any more. I want to do everything, but Bob doesn't want me to and I'm learning to listen to him because he is usually right. Someone needs help, I want to do it. We can't believe how busy we are, but we are trying to limit ourselves. Still too busy, especially with all Katrina's doctor appointments and soon the baby, but I'm going to have to do it all in moderation to keep my sanity and Bob happy. (Husbands are great at helping us see what we're doing to ourselves! Like the day we were busy unpacking boxes and a friend showed up with rhubarb, so I invite him for pie and dinner that night. I was more than a bit embarrassed when I had to cancel that dinner, I couldn't do it all.)

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I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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