I hopped online this morning to get caught up on some of my favorite blogs, and to post my always-fascinating menu, and came across some great stuff. It all started with this post at Laura's which was a follow-up to this post about not being "enough." Not getting "it all" done. Wow, that's a biggie for me. I am currently in a season of not getting it all done... of feeling like I'm not enough. I've even wondered if I'm somehow suffering a mild form of Post Adoption Depression. (But, that's another post! :) It was interesting that I happened upon those posts this morning after kissing my husband goodbye for work, then walking with my coffee past all piles which are waiting to be tackled... Gifts waiting to be wrapped reminded me of the beautiful gifts and wrapping techniques I've seen on blogs. The Christmas card pile reminds me we have yet to even take our picture, muchless mail them. The tub of decorations on the stairs reminded me that I haven't finished decorating the house. (So much for the Christmas Tour of Homes!) Yes, as I padded my way through the house on my way to the computer, I was mentally imagining how "together" everyone else must be compared to me and really doing a bang-up job of #17 on my list of Ways to Make Yourself Miserable.
Which made those posts I read all the more timely.
Laura's first post addresses being "intimidated" by reading certain blogs. I call this "blog intimidation." As I read through some of the comments and the excellent links she posted, I was reminded of something I wrote back in July of 2007 for Christian Women Online. As we begin the Monday of the last week before Christmas (gasp!) I thought it was worth a re-post. I know I needed it! So, here it is...
Sometimes Good Enough is Good Enough
Reading blogs can be so inspiring, can't it? It can also be thought-provoking, relaxing, entertaining, and even... intimidating. Yes, intimidating! It's easy to read blogs from so many different women, each expressing one or more of her gifts, and come away from it feeling like you're not doing enough. Your closets are not as clean as hers. Your weekly menu (if you even know what it is yet!) is not as creative as hers. Your scrapbook pages (okay, you don't scrapbook, but even if you did) don't look like hers. Just look at how many pounds she's lost! Oh, my goodness, she's read that many books this year? I've never read that many in my life! Oh, and she sings. Of course she does. And on and on it goes. Different blogs, different women, but it's so easy to make it into one Composite Super Woman to whom we just don't measure up! We do it in real life ("irl") too, don't we? (Sometimes I think we put the "irl" in "girlfriends!") I've fallen victim countless times to one of my biggest enemies- comparison. I think all women are prone to it at one time or another.
I'd like to share with you something I read this week from the book I Can't Do It all! Breaking Free From the Lies That Control Us by authors Tracie Peterson, Allison Bottke, and Diane O'Brian. (This excerpt is written by O'Brian):
"You see, I made the decision some years ago that I would spend my housekeeping time more profitably if I concentrated on things I did well- cleaning, organizing, sewing, washing, mowing, shoveling, ironing, mending, and repairing. Cooking wasn't my strong suit, so I kept that at a minimum. My family has been great about it. It's not like we live on fast food. We eat well even though I don't make big efforts in that direction. Realizing that it's not one of my gifts, I released myself from the expectation of being a great cook. We just don't have time to do everything with excellence. The sooner we learn that, the sooner we can break free from the lie."
"We all must make our individual decisions based on God's leading for each of us. Not only should we not attempt to do it all, but we should not feel a sense of guilt when we can't do what others expect of us. Sometimes we put those expectations on ourselves. The truth is, many of our friends would trade a skill they have for one of ours." (emphasis added)
We don't have to be good at it all. Sometimes good enough is good enough in certain areas. We can choose to focus on what we do best and release ourselves from unrealistic expectations. Let's lighten up on ourselves and be who God created and gifted us to be!
God, thank you for the ways in which you have gifted me. Forgive me for envying the gifts of others. If there are any areas in which you want to grow or increase my gifts, I invite you to do so, for Your glory. But, help me not to neglect the gifts I have and waste the moments available for me to use them by spending unnecessary time feeling guilty or inadequate. I can do all things through Christ... all the good works You prepared in advance for me to do, with the set of gifts You have so graciously given me. Thank You, Father. Amen.
We have some mistletoe hanging in the arch in our entryway (sometimes I like to call it the "foyer." It makes it seem so faincy.) I've decided to let it remind me of KISS. Yes, I know we've all heard it: "Keep It Simple Stupid." Only, I'm not stupid, and neither are you! Keeping it simple is one of the smartest things we can do! So, I've decided it stands for "Keep It Simple Sister." What is "simple?" To me, it means releasing myself from the expectation of doing some of those things that I'm not good at or simply don't have the inclination to do right now. To focus on what my gifts are, what energizes me, and do those things with excellence like the quote above says.
That's my new reminder for this week. For this Christmas season. For 2009. This could be Freak Out week. Or it could be KISS week. I can decide that right now, on this Monday morning.
So, here's my "Mistletoe Menu" for this week:
Monday: leftover fajitas from yesterday
Tuesday: baked chicken (baked with Ginger Sesame dressing- yummo!)
Wednesday: dinner at a friend's house- can't wait!
Thursday: adoption ministry Christmas party- fun!
Friday: baked potato soup
To share your menu, or to be inspired like I was today, visit Laura at Orgjunkie.com.
Make it a "Mistletoe Monday" and remember to Keep It Simple Sister!