Friday, February 26, 2016

Wise Words on Doing It All

As I have been thinking recently about finding peace in not accomplishing all that I wish, I found several quotes.

First, God has created us to be creative but I need to learn to accept that because of my humanity my level of creativity is no where close to His. In Hidden Art, Edith Schaeffer describes our problem.

"We have to make a choice. We cannot do everything that comes into our minds, nor can we create everything that comes into our imaginations, whether it be in a very great or complicated area of science or art, or in a very mundane area, such as whether we should make a chocolate, vanilla, or spice cake for the evening meal.
"Man, because he is limited, has a very limited choice. He is limited by time, as well as talent. He is limited by the resources at his disposal as well as in the skill to use what he has...
"We each have a very limited number of hours in a day. Often I would like to add to those hours, but have never found a way to do it...We are limited by...talent and ability. So our creativity is not on God's level at all. His creativity is unlimited and infinite." - Edith Schaeffer

 Sandra Felton in Smart Organizing says that we should all have a "to-don't" list.

"Of course, the hardest person to say no to is ourselves. We have many interests, hobbies, and causes to which we want to say yes when we know we don't have the time and it is not one of our predetermined priorities. We must tell ourselves, Not here, not now--maybe later." - Sandra Felton

Of course we do have responsibilities that we need to do.

"It's a great release to know that the secret to 'doing it all' is not necessarily doing it all, but rather discovering which part of the 'all' He has given us to do and doing all of that." - Jill Briscoe
I still have far to go in learning how to let the things go that are not my present priorities. I have loved reading your comments in the last couple posts. So here is another question.

What helps you find balance in the frustration of limited time, energy, and skills? What encourages you in setting priorities and say "no"?


  1. Mrs. Gina,

    I will have to say that this post was for me today if it wasn't for anyone else...which I know that is not the case. I have had such a burden in my heart for months now because it seems no matter how hard I try to do it "all" it simply can't be done. I beat myself up when I see all the organizing going on in others homes, from scratch cooking, consistent homeschooling, community service, perfect decorated homes, DIY projects, and I ask how in the world do they do it all.

    Even in my basic priorities I tend to lack in because my eye is on higher goals that simply are not my season. Example...
    I want to make God my first priority but it may not be the time in my life to study the word 3 hours a day.
    I want to make my husband an important priority but this might not be the season to try to date every week.

    You get the point. I often set lofty goals and feel defeated when I do not accomplish them. This was such a timely post. Thank you.


    1. It means so much to me that so many of you are willing to admit that you deal with too. Maybe we all face this struggle in some way, yet appear to those around us that we have it all together. Thanks so much to all of you for sharing that we are not alone.

    2. I think this is the case. I think that we all "appear" like we can do it all, but we are all human and we all struggle with this. The more I talk to others in a real way the more I hear this again and again.

  2. I have read all of the comments from the last two posts but chose not to comment as I wasn't sure what to say. I think now I can. I am 55 yrs. old and I hope wiser than I once was! I struggled for years trying to be the perfect homemaker. Noone ever complained except me. If I read or saw something new, I felt obligated to try it. I. could not do it all. Nobody can. When I realized my limits, I felt a peace come over me that had been missing. I am human. With the Lord's help, I will accomplish what is important, and enjoy doing it. I no longer try to can every thing..although I do a lot of canning. I don't have to hang laundry..but I usually do. I raise chickens, but have given up on goats. I think you get the idea, saying no to myself is HARD!! I am a lot better than I was,so my point is,as one matures..both physically and spiritually, It does get easier. Keep pressing on!

  3. My husband passed away less than two weeks ago. I am 42 with four children. Thank you for this as I struggle to follow Him each day. This was a great reminder of choices we need to make each day and not feel guilty.

    1. Oh, Lisa, I am so sorry. I pray that God will continue to send you encouragement.

  4. "What encourages you in setting priorities and say "no"?

    Realizing that I simply can't do everything is a huge help...and relief!

  5. Honestly what has been helping me lately is remembering the things I want to do in light of eternity. For example we are fixing up the house we bought and there are many things that I would do if I had more time, energy, skills and money. There are some things that I can't do the way I would ideally want to do and some things that we just can't do. And it starts to bother me if I compare it to others that have "more" (of course I never compare it the other way in my head to those who have less). So I have to remember that I am very blessed to have a house to fix up and that we can do any fixing on it at all, and also, to realize that in 70 years or less (maybe much less) it will not matter. Its fine to fix things up to make them work better and look better but I need to have the right attitude about it too. I also need to remember what my priorities are for my own life and also in light of what I am supposed to be concerned about. A good example lately is that I would really like to fix our ceilings that are old texture that is dated and also yellowing. But it takes a lot of time, effort and money to fix it in any way. I would ideally like to eliminate it and make it flat but I don't think that will ever happen. I think down the road I will paint it. But not right now. Right now there are other priorities for my time and other priorities for my money. Also it does not really matter if my ceiling has dated texture on it. I will not as an old woman say that I wish I had have spent my time on that instead of camping with my family (which is one thing that some of our money is going towards this summer).

    1. How true! While we do have to live and there is nothing wrong with most of the things I spend my time doing, I have thought often that much of this won't matter in eternity. So why do I make such a big deal about it now?

  6. Also one other thing that I heard from another blogger was "sometimes but not always". As in I sometimes do this or that but not always. It helps alleviate some guilt that I don't ALWAYS have to do this or that.

  7. I have had three children and I remember the limited time and trying to "do it all", I remember praying for patience and acceptance,and that I could not achieve everything that I wanted too, I found it easier and still do evenly though the children are all grown up. Time is fleeting as they say and I do want to enjoy every hour that God has given me, but I know my limitations and I work to those, I have learnt not to feel the frustration that comes with not getting a certain thing done, I do loosely plan my days and weeks, but I do not get cross with life if I cannot achieve them, there is another week and I will plan that job in there. Recently friends from church set up a patchwork group once a month on a Friday all day, I would love to have gone and I turned over in my mind every which way I could go, but realised that I already do a craft morning once a week, I have the house, land, spending time with my daughter and grand daughter etc etc no I didn't have the time nor the commitment so I said no, I will do some patchwork at home in my own time around other things and I feel at peace with that. I have enjoyed you post today very thought provoking.

  8. I recently went through breast cancer at the same time as I took over the responsibility of caring for my mom who was diagnosed with dementia 3 years after her husband of 60 years went to be with our Lord. I learned to say "no" in favor of being with mom. I cherish my memories and time with dad and don't want to lose time with mom. I couldn't work when doing chemotherapy since my job is substitute teacher and it would have been dangerous to my health. Now that I am working again, I don't take on a job if:
    mom or any family needs me
    I'm not feeling 100%
    I had a bad experience with support at that school before.
    In other words, my priorities have changed and I am able to evaluate what I am asked to do against the people God would have me have in my life and say "no" when necessary.
    God held onto me through my ordeal with cancer and I have grown closer to God and reordered my priorities.


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