I can plan way too much for myself to do in a day. I think that I can clean the whole house top to bottom while producing a wonderfully creative meal and ending the day with doing some scrapbooking, letter writing, or blogging. Add to that list serving my husband and children in playful, encouraging ways....saving the environment in some small way...shopping with a plan and frugally...all in a single day?? I can then get down on myself when I can't get my exhaustive list (or exhausting list!) done in a single day or two and then feel "behind" the rest of the week.
I remember though being in a Bible Study many years ago and the teacher said something I have never forgotten. She said that really we can only do two or three things well in a day...that the Lord is probably only speaking one verse to us each day and giving us a couple of things to accomplish as well. I remember feeling the heavy yoke of demands lifted and feeling an excitement to just learn to keep my day simple, to do a few things well (which means I'm not exhausting myself) and leaving space in my day for the Lord's spontaneous leading to see a friend, serve someone, play more with my kids, be creative with my homemaking, encourage my husband in a tangible way, read a magazine, etc.
When we over-plan or over-demand of ourselves we get grumpy, irritable, and view everyone as an enemy of our to-do list. We exhaust ourselves trying to be perfect, trying to be super-mom, trying the impossible...then get depressed and angry about it! No one even appreciates our efforts (and may even resent them!) because we missed doing it all in love...we've done it out of fear, perfectionism, comparison, acceptance, or a host of other reasons. We're a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal! Yuck!
We have all used the phrase "what do you have on your plate today?" I have started envisioning my day as a beautiful plate that can only hold about 3 portions. What will I put on my pretty plate today? Just enough to be healthy! I want to do a few things really well and listen to the Lord during the open spaces of my day for the goodness He wants to fill my plate with...an abundance that I can now give to others He places in my path. As I eat my daily portion from His hand of the good works He has prepared for me to do, He will then give me ideas, encouragement, and inspiration to generously give away to others as I walk the rest of my day.
Keep your day simple...just a few things on your pretty plate. Enjoy margin in your time. Listen to the soft gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit with what to do next. Let go of being driven. Embrace grace. Look for opportunities for creative service starting with your husband and children. Walk lightly and in all things, Love!