Okay, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only mother out there that feels like there is more on my plate than I could possibly ever chew. I was talking to a good friend of mine, yesterday because I was feeling totally overwhelmed with everything I needed to do that day and we both agreed that you can never ‘CATCH UP’ on motherhood. Their are always more things on the to do list than there are hours in a day. Finding the time for what matters most can be a little tricky in the super charged, fast paced age that we live in.
How do we find the time for what matters most?
In this day and age, we are constantly bombarded with the ‘good’ things, the ‘better’ things, and the ’best’ things.
Does the following sound familiar?
Alarm goes off, time to get up. Oh, wait! First I need to check my email. Kids are up, better make breakfast. I forgot to sign off homework last night. Is everyone dressed? What can I throw in their lunch boxes today? Have you put your shoes on? Get back here and finish your breakfast! Kiss everyone goodbye. Time to clean up. Sister is texting, asking for a favor. Oh, shoot, I have a dentist appointment today! Library books are due back…yesterday. If only I could find that missing book! Who’s at the door? No. I’m not interested in a kirby vacuum demonstration (EVER!!) Toddler is climbing on the counter for the 100th time already today. Oh shoot. It’s noon and I haven’t showered or gotten dressed yet. Speaking of getting dressed, do I even have any clean clothes? I absolutely must do laundry today….
So the day goes, right? Before you know it, the day is over, kids are tucked in bed (if they are lucky) and you look back on your day and wonder why only one thing on your to do list got checked off. Oh well, time to clean up, go to bed, and repeat the same thing over again tomorrow, right? The problem is, when I live life like this (I like to call it auto pilot) I never feel happy or fulfilled, or inspired for that matter. I just feel like I’m moving air.
Again, how do we find time for what matters most?
Ever tucked in a child at night and felt remorse for not spending more quality time with them? I feel like my heart is always in the right place AFTER my kids are in bed. I look at their sweet, sleeping faces and swear I’m going to be a better mom tomorrow. “Tomorrow,” I say, “I’m going to put my phone and computer away and spend more quality time with my family. Tomorrow, I’m going to talk in a softer voice and be more patient. Tomorrow, I’m going to do what matters most and put aside what matters least.”
In the movie, The Music Man, Professor Harold Hill said, “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays.”
So that’s the tricky part…finding the time for what matters most TODAY! I believe, that most of our hearts are in the right place. When my 6 yr old son asks me to play with him, my heart says “YES! I would love to!” and my head says, “Seriously? I have a million other things I need to do first. “ My head wants a clean and orderly house but my heart wants to connect more with my children. My heart wants to rock my baby to sleep, and love my husband , and sing sweet praises to my children for all the wonderful things they do instead of being critical of what they don’t.
What would happen if we followed our hearts more and our heads less? Watch this fun clip and see:
I love the story of Mary and Martha in the bible. Christ comes to stay with Martha and Mary. Mary immediately sits at his feet and listens to his words while Martha is stressed about serving and tidying up. She is frustrated that Mary is not helping her and says to him, “Dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?”
His response feels like it was meant for me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Oh, how I have always longed to be more like Mary, to know and care more about the important things than the mundane. To be more open to the promptings in my heart than the distractions of life. Yet, I feel for Martha. She was just trying to make sure things were right in her home. Maybe she was frantically making preparations for company she was not prepared for. How many times have I gotten upset at my husband and children for not helping me and felt like the martyr because I was doing everything “myself.” Some people are great at following their hearts first. Some people are great at organizing or keeping tidy homes or running successful businesses. I feel like I am good at some, great at none, but striving to getting better.
There is a balance between all of the distractions in life and the things that matter most, and that is for each of us to find. I know I am always learning, always making mistakes. I watched a mother recently as she was rushing out of the store with 2 children in tow (something I myself have done a hundred times!) Both children fell on their faces as she was trying to rush them out to the car as their little legs couldn’t keep up with hers. They quickly jumped up and kept going.
My little spiritual legs don’t always keep up with my Father’s and I feel as though I am constantly falling.
Last night I went to bed with tears because I felt so bad for my failings as a mother that day. I guess it’s important to remember that our Heavenly Father isn’t trying to rush us. He is patient and forgiving and willing to wait for us to learn from our mistakes. He knows that is how we will grow and become more like him. I’m so grateful for my mother and all the patience she must have had to muster to raise her children each day. She is such a good example of finding the the time for what matters most.
I’m so grateful for my own children. They are my reminder every day that of what matters most. Heaven is never really that far away!
This post was inspired by one of my all time favorite talks by Dallin H. Oaks: Good, Better, Best.