Monday, August 24, 2009

What Are Your Gifts?

Now and then I find myself comparing myself with someone else. A mom homeschools with more enthusiasm than I do, or another one gets more writings published than I do, or someone else is a better all-around homemaker than I am. Have you ever found yourself comparing yourself to someone else...or maybe feeling inadequate when you look at another person's life?

As I've browsed various parenting and homeschooling blogs, I've sometimes seen people leave comments about "How do you do it?" When my children were younger, people used to ask me that, just about raising my children (just because I had three children; never mind six or homeschooling). Sometimes the answer is that it's more about the why than the how. We can do an awful lot when we are motivated. But that doesn't mean we - or the friends we observe - can do it all; and it certainly doesn't mean that we - or the people we see - do it perfectly.

So tonight when I saw this post "How to Do It All...Secrets from a Perfect Wife and Mother", I just had to share it with you. This mother points out that it's not just about what she does, but also what she does not do. I soo agree with this. Each one of us only has 24 hours in a day...and we have to use some of that time for sleeping. So we can do a lot, but there have to be some things that we don't do.

Have you ever heard the admonition, "Don't do a half-way job"? For some areas of life, that's true and important. But in many areas, my philosophy is a little different: "Better to do a half-way job than no job at all". For example, maybe I intend to vacuum but it turns out that I don't have the time I thought I would. I can't vacuum the whole apartment that day, but I can vacuum the heavy traffic areas. Maybe I would like the house straightened up and I don't have the time to straighten the whole house but I can straighten one room or one counter-top. If you are a better housekeeper than I am (there goes that comparison-thing), you might be shocked or chagrined by my examples. But maybe there are other things that you do not do in order that you can have a "white-glove" house...or whatever is your own gift, in other words, in order that you can do all that you do feel called to do.

And that, after all, is the key, isn't it? To do what we feel God wants us to do. To do our best, yes, but also to rest peacefully in who we are and in the gifts God has given us to rest only in the gifts he has given us the time to do today, which might be different from the gifts we used in the past, which might be different, also, from the gifts we may use at some time in the future.

No comments: