100% does not leave me with enough percentages…..

My life feels split up into about 50 pieces lately.  So many things going on, so many things I should be doing, so many things I feel responsible for.  There’s only so much I can give out on a daily basis and it ends up making me feel like I’m not able to put my all or my best into anything.  Everything is suffering.  Giving 100% to each day might mean that my kids only get 15%, my husband 10%, housework 20%, ministry 20%, feeding my family a good meal 15%, the hope of getting any quiet time with the Lord or getting in any exercise–10%, the extras–running errands, trying to focus on photography, balancing the checkbook, encouraging a friend–10%.  Which means that nothing is getting the effort or attention it needs or deserves.  Which means that I feel like a failure and a loser at the end of every day.  Which means I can hardly catch my breath or still my racing heart as I think of the next day where I’m giving way too little of myself to way too many things again.

I think that one of my least favorite, over-used words is “balance.”  I might live in a different world than all these people who claim they’ve found “balance” in their lives, but my life seems less like a balancing act and way more like a juggling act.  And I really hate juggling.

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Four years ago we packed up all of our belongings and moved out of the suburbs to a small little town.  We were ready to get out of the rat race, we wanted to slow life down, we wanted to downsize our living expenses so that I could stay at home and focus on being a mom and a wife.  Somehow the rat race caught up with me here in this small little town.  I typically have less than one day a week where I am not obligated to an activity or a person outside of our family.  Even when we lived in the suburbs and I spent three days a week commuting back and forth to the city to work, I had at least two full days a week that were saved just for me to spend time with our daughter, catch up on chores, housework, etc.  I have less of that “home” time now and I have an extra child in the mix.  I’m not quite sure how that happened or how this year in particular became so demanding.  I’m sure a big part of it started with me saying a lot of “yeses” and not enough “nos.”

Where Do I Go From Here?

Homeschooling begins next year for our oldest daughter and before it even begins, I want to somehow take a snapshot of this moment in time, I want to freeze the sheer panic I feel on a daily basis, I want to remember this stressful time well enough to stay firm in the “home” aspect of “homeschooling” next year.  Commitments for the here and now have already been made and I have to fulfill those commitments.  I can only focus on surviving to the best of my ability and maybe lowering my standards in a few areas so that I don’t completely beat myself up before summer begins.  The only change I can really make is for the future.  I want to promise to myself and to my family to reserve our weekdays for school, family time, and ministry that we can do as a family.  Lord, give me the strength to uphold that promise!  Give me the courage to say no!  And help me do more than just survive until then…..give me the energy and the strength to give as much as I can to what I have before me.


One thought on “100% does not leave me with enough percentages…..

  1. I apologize if I am offering opinions where opinions aren’t wanted….but I want to at least share with you my experience with all of this =)

    I am actually going to be talking at a prayer retreat in a few weeks about “prayer in a frantic world” the emphasis being on frantic =)

    Apparently the fact that I live in a house with 5 children leads my pastor to think I live in a frantic world =) haha

    Rightly so….HOWEVER, I have gotten to a place where I rarely actually FEEL frantic
    I am saying this not out of my amazing abilities to juggle or balance….b.c I am really not good at either

    I, have, however, gotten quite good at limiting myself
    (due to Bill working until 7 ,8 or even 9 at night, I pretty much have to exclude his presence when I am making decisions as to what to allow me or the kids to be involved in so……….)
    my kids have not taken swimming lessons (which is at night)
    this year they are not involved in wed night activities at church
    to conserve energy, I am involved in very little during the day too
    I am in a bible study
    and I try to get to MOPS
    but thats it
    If I didn’t leave the house to bring the kids to school, I would have several days a week where I wouldn’t leave

    and I actually, surprisingly, do ok with this, especially
    as social as I am…I can use the phone to release some of that need =)

    I have gotten ok with my house being messy at times. Not all the time, but it also doesn’t have to look perfect either. we live here after all..its not possible to be perfect

    I have found value in having pj days where I literally do nothing. Weather that means reading or watching movies or on the computer or just sitting while my kids run around me (literally) haha

    I make dinner almost all nights…but now and then we do cereal, and I am ok with this. infact, they love it! And it gives me a much needed break from having to think or cook for a night now an dthen

    I have found that if I overcomitt, I am a wreck
    so, I spend A LOT of time praying about everything I say yes too
    and what I find is that by doing this, I rarley feel as if I am “not doing enough”
    for the most part

    I think learning to say NO is one of the hardest thing for us to learn in this crazy, busy world. Especially if what we are saying no to is a good thing

    I apologize if I sound like a know it all!! I know very little actually, I have just spent a LOT of time praying about this very subject =) so all I know is what God has revealed!

    I will pray for you!!!!!!!!!!!!

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