Thursday, March 27, 2014

Make Room

Women have a tendency to put too much on their plate.  And by "women" I mean "every female but me."    Me?  I'm L-A-Z-Y -- unless we're talking about a literal plate, in which case, yeah, fill it up!  And make sure you top it with whipped cream!

But I'm surrounded by women who like to do things.  Voluntarily.  Hard things like marathons and PTA meetings and cloth diapers.  (Cloth diapers... sorry.  I just can't relate.  I live in 2014 for a reason, people).  They grind up flax seed to put in their food and I'm like "I looked at kale once."  (I did.  I thought it was for decoration).

Hey kids, you want sugared cereal for dinner??

But, because I see so many women who are totally stressed out and struggling and overwhelmed, I've been analyzing this taking-on-too-much thing for quite a few years now.  And it comes down to this:  how much does a woman do because she feels like it needs to be done, and how much does she take on because she cannot see herself as a good person if she doesn't?

In other words, how much is truly necessary and how much is just an extension of us being hard on ourselves?

I'm not talking about the day-to-day tasks that everyone has to do; I'm talking about the extra stuff, like coaching T-ball and coordinating the bake sale and making homemade gifts for all the kids' teachers and knitting hats for homeless kittens and volunteering at the rec center and training for a triathalon and... visiting teaching, say what?  I don't have time for that!

We've all heard the story of the Savior's birth and we have all been admonished to make room for Him in the inns of our lives.  But sometimes I think we look at "making room" as the act of shoving as many blankets and pillows into as little floor space as possible so we can offer Him three square inches of floorboard.

Maybe "making room" needs to be less about moving things around and more about getting rid of the things that do not have eternal importance.

So, if you don't have time to do your visiting teaching, make time.  Get rid of something.

If you can't make time for daily family scripture study, get rid of something.

If it's been months since you had a Family Home Evening, get rid of something.

Yes, there will be times and seasons in your life when you simply cannot take on anything else for a period of time (ask me about the time soon after my twins were born when I cried because I just wanted to fold the laundry and I. could. not. get. it. done.)  But, when a Prophet of God asks you to do something, when the Savior of the World stands at your door, knocking, stop saying, "My plate is already full.  I don't have time for anything else."  Get rid of something less important so that you have the time.

As Julie Beck said, "[Women] who know do less... [They] choose carefully and do not try to choose it all."  So choose what is necessary.  Choose the things of God, because the things of God are the things that matter.

Make room.

1 comment:

Kathy M said...

Excellent, as usual! I don't understand why it seems so hard for women to "get" this. We don't have to "do it all." We just have to do what the Lord says is important, and then add in other things as we have the time and the inclination. If you are too busy to do your visiting teaching, you are TOO BUSY! Time to re-evaluate your priorities.