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A To-Don't List

chris and i at the park

 Do you ever have those days where you feel like you are behind before you ever get started? Maybe a better question would be do you ever have a day where you don't feel like you're behind before you get out of bed? Lol. No one is going to argue that our lives are hectic and most of the time we are running on overload. For me lately, I've also been dealing with sleep deprivation, which is very common among caregivers. All together, it can make for one big emotional mess, am I right?

Generally, I keep a running to-do list. I try to prioritize items that are have-to-do-todays and push other things off to other days. But lately it feels like there's a huge backlog. I just can't get ahead. I do find my to-do list helpful, though. We can be quick to condemn ourselves. It's easy to look at the day and think of all the things we didn't get done, and ignore the things we did get done. Because it never seems to be quite enough. (Maybe it's just me.)

This morning, as I was jotting down my lengthy to-dos, I realized I was scolding myself. My mind was running along all the ways I felt like a failure. We have enough on our plates without talking badly to ourselves, don't you think? Yet, I'm so quick to condemn myself for not "getting enough done." How do we quantify "enough" anyway?

When David felt overwhelmed in Ziklag, he encouraged himself in the Lord. He found himself in quite a mess. Neither side wanted him, and all his stuff and his wives had all been plundered. The New Living Translation says, David found strength in the Lord his God. There is absolutely no reason why we cannot do the same! No matter how overwhelmed we are, or how much we have going on in our heads or around us - God can and will still give us strength. We can encourage ourselves like David did. (I Sam 30)

I think I will start a to-don't list. It'll look something like this:

  • Don't get discouraged.
  • Don't tell yourself that you are not enough.
  • Don't talk negative about yourself or too yourself.
  • Don't tell yourself how short you fell, remind yourself of what you did get done.
We have enough going on without being our own worst enemy. God is still on our side, and He's not going anywhere! Even if we don't feel like we have it all together, we can encourage ourselves by acknowledging that He is with us. 

Today, I will tell myself that I am enough because of His presence with me. He will undergird me, sustain me, and keep me while I care for my loved one. I'll remind myself that in those moments that I cannot see or feel He is still carrying me. I don't have to measure up or "be enough" while He's carrying me - because He's got it all under control. With that I will rest and trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?


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