I’ve felt an uneasiness in my soul lately that I’ve had a hard time shaking. I’ve found myself craving more, yet feeling discouraged and overwhelmed all at the same time.
I’ve found myself wanting to spend more quality time with my kids. I’ve found myself wanting to go on more dates with my husband. I’ve found myself wanting to keep a cleaner house. I’ve found myself wanting to be a more involved friend. I’ve found myself wanting to craft more, and clean up my office. I’ve found myself wanting to be a more efficient employee. I’ve found myself wanting to be more invested in my own small business. I’ve found myself wanting to get more involved in student ministry. I’ve found myself wanting to join more ministries, maybe even join the church choir. I’ve found myself wanting to write better blogs. I’ve found myself wanting to finish the stack of books on my night stand, some have been there for a year or more. I’ve found myself wanting to take time to read my bible each day. I’ve found myself wanting to prepare better meals for my family. I’ve found myself wanting to teach my children how to cook too. I’ve found myself wanting to make a more meaningful impact on my family, and on this world, and all of those thoughts swirling constantly has left me discouraged. I want to do so much more, and although many of those things are good things, I feel like I can hardly handle what I’m doing now.
I stood in the middle of my messy kitchen one afternoon last week with a fussing baby on one hip, and a feverish child sitting at the dinner table refusing to eat. In that moment I thought to myself “I don’t feel like I’m doing anything, very well. Sure I’m doing many things, but none of them well.” As I stood there listening to the baby scream and cry, I thought that I might cry too.
I’m trying my best, but I’m nowhere where I want to be. I can’t even keep a clean house. I can’t even get the baby to stop crying long enough to convince the child who is sick, to eat. I can’t even get a clean shirt on by mid-afternoon. I can’t balance the budget. I can’t keep the bills paid on time. I can’t remember the weeks I’m supposed to teach in student ministry, let alone prepare a decent lesson in advance. I can’t write a new blog every week. I can’t keep my personal small business afloat. I can’t keep my desk cleared off at my full time job. I can’t prepare a decent meal because I can’t even keep the kitchen clean. I can’t teach the kids how to cook for the same reason. I can’t write more often because by the time I have a quiet moment in my day, I’m collapsing into bed with just a few hours left before it’s morning again. I can’t join another ministry because I can’t even get to church on time. I can’t be more invested into my small business because I don’t have enough time for my family as it is.
The reasons why I can’t just kept coming, and the discouragement left the same resounding noise in my heart “you’re not doing anything very well.”
Finally I stopped and prayed. Was the discouragement just the devils way of keeping me from trying harder, or is the devil giving me the desire for more, so I will keep being discouraged?
I finished praying (it was truly just a quick little prayer) when scripture came to mind. Something inside of me said “If you are faithful over few things, I will make you ruler over many.” and in that moment I felt like I had some clarity.
“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”
Matthew 25:23 NKJV
I have it backwards.
I’ve been trying to be ruler over many things before being faithful over few. I’ve been heaping more and more onto my plate to the point there isn’t anything left of me to give. I’ve been unrealistic with my expectations of myself and then I end up discouraged and defeated.
I want to be faithful.
I want to be faithful with all my heart, but maybe I need to be faithful over few things, before I can be ruler over many.
Maybe I need to scale back some.
Maybe I don’t need to attend every single gathering I’m invited to.
Maybe my kids are ok to wear wrinkled clothes.
Maybe frozen dinners are ok, because that means my family has been fed.
Maybe a good night’s sleep is better than a good book.
Maybe my small business will thrive when I have more energy to invest.
Maybe my kids can learn how to cook, one grilled cheese sandwich at a time.
Maybe my husband and I will have dates every night when the kids move out and it’s just us at home.
Maybe my ministry isn’t a formal one but rather coming along side other people, the best way I know how, and meeting their needs in the ways I am able.
Maybe I need to let dreams be dreams for a while, rather than discouragements.
I need to be faithful in a few things, and with Gods help, I will be.
After-all, today my kitchen is cleaner…that’s a start.
Do you struggle like I do with taking on more than you can handle well? Do you struggle with being discouraged or overwhelmed by the tasks you are entrusted with every day? Are you a dreamer like me but your dreams just seem so far out of reach in your current situation? Ask God to help you be faithful in a few things. Ask Him to show you when to take on more, and when to scale back. Ask Him for strength when you feel overwhelmed or discouraged. He’ll listen, even if His answer is different than you hoped to hear.
In His Love,