One especially crazy weekend I made fruit salad in the car. I had overextended our family with too many commitments. At this point in the weekend we were on our way to a family function. My contribution was fruit salad. With barely enough time to go to the store for the ingredients, I was going to be hard pressed to assemble the side dish before arriving at the party. We were running late…as usual. I knew everyone would be eating by the time we arrived. It was bad enough that we would be late; I didn’t also want to be unprepared.
Fortunately, we had a 45 minute drive and I just happened to have a paring knife in the car.
(I’ll let that sink in for a moment.)
So, I proceeded to chop strawberries, kiwi and grapes while my husband drove. (You may be saying, “You didn’t make the fruit salad AND drive?”) I am a multi-tasking, overachiever. But I left the driving to my husband.
As he drove and I cut I had time to think. I knew there must be some life lesson that needed to be realized. (I did tell you I’m an over-achiever, right? I can’t just leave it alone without looking for the moral to the story.) And, I’ve been a follower of Jesus long enough to know that He will use the silly, little stuff of life to make us more like Him. I also knew that others who passed us on the highway must have either pitied me (fellow-mothers), thought I was losing it (women yet to be mothers), or didn’t even notice (men). My husband was part of the last group. He barely made a comment about my traveling kitchen. (This was one time when ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ was an unfortunate thing. It really would have come in handy.) Maybe my wise husband was choosing to be discerning and not row into unpredictable waters. I’m not always kind and patient when questioned while under pressure.
So, anyway…a lesson. Somewhere. I guess on the surface it’s obvious, right? Don’t try to do too much. Use some wisdom in scheduling. We really don’t have to do everything. Why do we make that our goal? Our ridiculous, totally impractical goal. Some days I just can’t get it through my brain that I am not a super-mom. And, uh, you’re probably not either. (Hugs.) With all the love I can muster…you don’t have it all together. Can we be honest with each other? Live real? It’s so hard. I know. We want to appear put-together,our lives in order.
We are not, have never been and will not ever be super-moms. It’s a lie and only creates anxiety. You may be able to keep all your plates spinning for a time, but not forever. I’ve tried. So let’s choose wisely. Set priorities. When given a choice let’s decide if it’s in line with our priorities. Learn to say no. We’re on the same page, right? We agree that we don’t have it all together? I do know someone who does. God.
It’s very simple. Well, simply said, but harder to do. Choose real, vulnerable weakness, so God’s strength will be obvious. And this is when the lesson gets below the surface. And, as with any other area of our lives, this isn’t something we’ll do once and it will stick. It will take work. Day by day. Moment by moment. But what freedom and joy there can be if we just grab onto this idea! To shed the idea that we need to have it all together. A little closer to that abundant life. Not only will we make our lives more bearable, but those around us will breath a little easier. Let’s chose what has eternal value, not over-commit and allow ourselves some vulnerability.
Oh, and, remember…it’s not safe to use a knife in a moving vehicle.