Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Making Your Day Simple

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!

14 comments:

meg said...

This is exactly what I needed to read this evening. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

Lois E. Lane said...

That's a wonderful picture to remember.

Marianna said...

I love the visual imagery of the plate. I will take this to heart!

Marianna

Anna said...

Hi! I found your blog a while back through Sara. I enjoy reading what you have to say. Thanks for the reminder to slow down.

Stacy said...

Over from Andrea's...
What a great post. I love that mental picture of there only being room for 3 portions on a plate. Wow. That would sure beat the 15 portions I usually find myself trying to cram in.
Thank you,
~Stacy

Mama Monk said...

Good words and reminders to SLOW DOWN--
Thanks--

Sheila said...

Encouraging thoughts. Thank you.

I came here from Andrea's blog.

Robin said...

Hmmm... I often feel like I'm spinning plates and am glad that none of them drop to the floor and break.

You've given me something to chew on.

Brenda said...

Oh, I really like the thought of picturing my day as a plate! When I was a teacher, I knew how much to put on the lesson plans--how much we could expect to do in a day.

Now that I am home and homeschooling, I have no ideas. I have been very wrong every day so far. Focusing on 3 things done well...this may just help.

Thanks!

Mrs. Pivec said...

Oh, Aimee, I LOVE the image of your pretty plate!! I will definitely be using that. It's so easy to remember... especially in the whirl and twirl of our days.

Oh, and regarding music, we love the Puntamayo CD's too!

Marianna said...

Aimee,

Thanks for the post today! You asked why Jewel closed her blog: she was becoming increasingly concerned about privacy. She has a long explanation post up, but I see that it is gone.

laura said...

Being a homeschool mom of four children myself (ages 14 - 20), I remember when the Lord told me that it was ok to just have 1 or 2 things to focus on and the freedom that it brought to leave other things behind. I began to understand just how much stuff we make important, that really isn't. If I focus on God, my family and those one or two tasks - then I don't end my day feeling so winded. Thanks for your wonderful reminder to give ourselves permission to slow down.

Ann V.@HolyExperience said...

Thank you for this. I tend to fill my plate to heaping. I think I need to PARE DOWN. Eat slowly. Savor. Do a few things WELL.

May your plate have a few gourmet savories today...

All's grace,
Ann

Hill upon Hill said...

This I must remember.