Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let's get real - part 2


Continuing on with my theme of 'Let's get real', I'd like to have a little look at a book I've been reading called, 'Shopping for Time' by Carolyn Mahaney (American minister's wife) and her daughters.

The book is good at reminding us that if we don't want to get overwhelmed by life then we need to think hard and work out our priorities. Having a plan is helpful - it helps you say 'yes' and 'no' and be comfortable with your decisions because you've thought through how you want to use your time.

But what bothers me about this book (aside from the smultchy mother-daughter blah, blah) is the sub-title. It promises me so much! 'How to Do it all and NOT be overwhelmed'. As I said yesterday (see messy house photos) you can't really 'DO' it all. Something usually has to give. Ironically, for me, it is because I have a list of priorities in my head. (Family, people, relationships - top of the pops. House-type stuff? Well ... it gets done). I make choices about how to use my time each day. So I rarely end up doing it 'all'.

And what is 'ALL' anyway? Who measures 'all'? I suspect that one person's 'all' (super-tidy house, full-time job, 10 immaculate children, perfect marriage, quiet times each day, visits gym each day, runs church ministry involving 30 volunteers etc, etc) may, quite possibly, not be another's 'all'. Perhaps 'getting out of bed, getting dressed, not killing any small people' might be closer to their 'all'.

I don't actually think God wants me to do it 'all'. I think he's quite capable of filling in the gaps for me when I can't quite manage it. The last section of the book is helpful on this - it reminds us that we need to live in manner worthy of the gospel (Philippians 1:27).

I reckon that may mean that the best way we can live is by not trying to do it 'all'.

Jesus said "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light"
(Matt 11: 29-30)


4 comments:

Sarah said...

so, do you think that I should try and read this book? I am still not too sure. The title certainly doesn't draw me in. But I loved reading your reflections and also your earlier one with the pictures in it of your home. Made me laugh and smile.

Sick kids - hard work! I think you do a great and awesome job Jenny!

Jenny Kemp said...

It's quite short so it doesn't take long to read. It has five main points which are all helpful. You can take what you like out of it I guess.

Sarah S said...

When people have raved to me about it, I've never thought it is one I want to pick up. Don't feel bad about criticizing a book that other people love. Honesty is most helpful when it comes to reviewing books.

Jo said...

I have seen people try and do it all, there are major cracks under the surface, and often things don't get done well, just done.
It's very liberating like you said, knowing that God is quite capable of filling in the gaps, that's a nice way of putting it.