by Joy Thomas
But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me − 1 Corinthians 15:10 It’s a beautiful Sunday. My one year old son is awake now from his nap. I just heard him cooing happily at an expected time. So I sat down to write a blog post which was my goal when I put him down for the nap. Instead of writing, I ate a snack, did some dishes, played with my other kids, talked with my husband, made parts of lunches for Monday, etcetc. Shouldn’t I be getting him up? Well, yes, but I at least want to think I met part of my one goal for the nap time. The things I did instead are all decent and not time wasters to me, but why did I do them instead of my one main goal? Because “I am what I am.” That is so how I’m wired. I get distracted. I do part of something and then move on to do part of something else and parts of things get done until some things get finished and mostly none of them are done when I thought they would be.
Hence, here is my kitchen counter at the moment. I have good reasons for most of these things but … um not really.
Depending on what the tasks are, sometimes this character trait (aka personality flaw) is NOT ok and sometimes I’m perfectly fine with it. All this to say… Time management is not my strong suit. It has been a major weakness in my life. Women are supposed to be great mulit-takers, right? I applaud those of you nodding. And I’m so jealous. Not really. Ok yes. The multi-tasking female fairy dust totally missed me. My husband likes to tell people about a time in early marriage when he came into our apartment from school and I was frozen in mid-air with a dish in my hand, talking away on the phone. So I was caught by a phone call while unloading the dishwasher. So what? I had to stop the one thing to do the other. He kindly told me and now I know: apparently that’s not normal. More job responsibility and later, KIDS have helped with that problem a lot.
But it’s still there, deep down. Occasionally, I can do two or three things at once, but other times, I find myself sitting down while reading a text. It can be infuriating.
So what do I do and what do you do when you just simply LACK in an area?
We may pray about it and improve some, but it just is always going to be part of us. There is a tightrope between excusing any improvement away: “My mom was always this way and so I’m just always going to be like that too,” … and trying our best but sometimes feeling like we are never good enough: “I keep trying and failing and I’m no good at this.” Where are we to fall?
For me, on one hand, I had to stop as many extraneous activities as possible that did not align with my life priorities. I looked at what took large amounts of time. There were other things but … emailing and surfing the internet. Ouch. Hard hard hard to cut but I said good bye to Facebook and to every blog but my favorite and most encouraging one. (guess which?) … just for a week to see if my life was horribly deficient.
It was better I’m telling you. Just for me, it was and is better. The things that I wanted to be most important in my life shot up into that time I had been using on those less important things. On the other hand, I offer these ideas for moving on when we feel terribly weak in our own specific area:
I accept the days when I get only one thing done on my list. If it’s in line with my life priorities, I praise the Lord for that one thing and for making me who I am. I leave that day there and look forward to God’s new mercies in the morning. “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23 and 2.
What are yours? We like to focus on where we lack and where we aren’t naturally strong but where ARE we naturally strong? I can focus on one thing well. I am plain good at playing with my kids. I intentionally spend time with my husband. I follow through on promises. Ok enough. I’m blushing. A friend of mine has started a monthly group where 20 or so women gather to hear 3 women each share for 10 minutes about a strength of hers. Again, the tightrope. I
love am interested in these various things I’ve heard about: organizing my clothes, controlling my emotions, writing letters, cutting beautiful vegetables.
But they are not MY strengths. I also
resent feel bad about all these areas I have never even CONSIDERED and now I see I am lacking. I bathe the time in the verse “I am what I am by God’s grace…” and be glad and move on. I do not have to change me, but seek God and live in the healthy tension. Tension is a harder rope to walk than an absolute one way or the other but it forces me to look to Christ in every decision. Wow there’s a whole nother blog post right there.
Where has God made you STRONG?