I am a very busy person. Not so much because I need to be, but because I choose to be. Yes, I have three small children who really know how to keep me hopping. But I'm pretty good at firing all my own guns to keep myself dancing. The only problem is, more often than I'd like to admit, I wind up shooting myself in the foot.
I was thinking today about potty training. My almost-three-year-old can't start preschool this fall unless he's potty trained. He can pee on the potty on command - but that's about as far as we've gotten. He is, we all are, much too busy to remember to sit on the potty once an hour. We're constantly on the go from one activity to the next, and since we simply don't have time to change his clothes or mop up messes, he's still in diapers. But how will he ever learn if we don't take the time to teach him? When big brother was potty training, we stayed home for several months while he ran around in undies and got used to how it feels when he has to go. No such luxury here. We have preschool drop off, Bible studies, Women's groups, playgroups, Kids' Day Out, swim lessons and parties. I was hoping to make this a relaxed summer so we could hang around the house in our undies and really master things - but we're already signed up for a handful of enrichment activities and church-related events that will keep us on the go. I would be absolutely heartbroken if my sweet boy who is SO excited to go to preschool had to miss out on the opportunity because we just didn't slow down to teach him this basic life skill. But I also can't seem to bring myself to cut out all these activities that seem so edifying in and of themselves.
This is a classic case of the "good" getting in the way of "the best." All my life I've heard preachers and teachers reminding us that in life, many times, God will ask us to put aside the good so that He can bring us the best. Not only does this apply to all the activity we seem to be finding to cram our schedules full - but I believe it also applies very strongly to my intentions.
I have a tender heart. When someone hurts, I hurt with them. When someone has a cause that important to them, I want to make it my cause, too. I want to adopt all the babies confined to cribs in China. I want to buy blankets and food (and furniture and clothes and...) for every family who lost a home in last weekend's tornado. I want to feed every starving third-world child, build homes for all the homeless, fund research for terminal diseases and find a doula for all the struggling new moms. Every single time I hear a need I want to rush right out and fill it - all by myself! I have so many GOOD intentions.
But God does not call me to fill all these needs by myself. In fact, he doesn't call me to fill any of them myself. What He wants me to remember is that HE is Lord of all His creation and He is in control. He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads and He will provide. That's not to say that He doesn't have a mission for me, or that I'm not called to be charitable. I feel incredibly blessed that I am able to donate a small sum to many of the causes that come across my path. I am able to be a shoulder to cry on now and then. I can bring a meal or do a load of laundry for a new mother, or join in a home-build or service project now and then. But what He doesn't want is for me to get so caught up in all the good I want to do, that I don't do my best for anyone. Not every cause is really my cause. I am to focus my efforts where I feel that I am being called, and to use the talents and opportunities I've been given to the best of my ability. And I am to wait on Him to lead me.
That being said, I have a couple of announcements.
First, please be on the lookout for a new Operation Feed The Lambs post. This is still my primary cause, and I have a challenge to issue to you all. I'm hoping to get it up and running in the next couple of weeks.
Second, starting tomorrow, I am launching a new weekly post called Feature Friday. Every cause can't be my cause, but that doesn't mean they aren't all important.
Therefore, every Friday I will be promoting the things that are nearest and dearest to your hearts. Whether you are a struggling blog or shop who just needs some promotion, or an established blogger or shop with a big event you want to share - or whether you have a charitable cause that you are passionate about and for which you want to spread the word - I want to use this blog to help you. If you have something that you'd like to see on Feature Friday, please feel free to email me with your idea at email@example.com and I'll find you a spot on the calendar. If it's important to you, it's important to me, and while I can't go rescue all the orphans, I can help promote someone's adoption fund. I can't cure Fibromyalgia, but I can promote your fund-raiser for research. I can't buy out all the items in your shop, but I can rave to everyone about how beautiful they are.
I am going to be doing some serious praying and thinking and reflecting on my life (and schedule) and making some tough decisions about what good I need to cut out in order to seek the very best for my family. Please send good wishes and prayers my way - I've got babies to potty train and pre-schoolers to teach to read and three wild kiddos to discipline and I can't keep up this breakneck pace and accomplish that (not to mention finding plenty of time for snuggles and stories and picnics and pajama days). I'll keep you posted on how it's going!
In the meantime, stay in touch and let me know what I can do to help you find your best!