Life can sometimes overwhelm us. We look around at all we are called upon to manage and take care of, and while most days we put on our Wonder Woman suit and manage it all with grace and diligence, other days we think we will surely collapse under its weight. There are days when I think, “If one more person asks just one more thing of me, I may completely flip my lid.” Those are the days when my Wonder Woman suit is at the cleaners.
I want to suggest that today we resolve to leave off the Wonder Woman suit. Forever. Girls, we are not super heroes. There is nothing that would cause Marvel or DC Comics to draw our stories and give us cool super woman outfits. That’s not to say you are not awesome, or that your husband wouldn’t like to see you in a super woman outfit, but you are not a super hero. Those are made up fake people. As real women, we have fallen to the lie that tells us that we constantly have to do more, be more, and have more. If we have one blank space on our schedules we feel guilty that we are not engaged doing something, for someone, at that time. We don’t allow ourselves to have any down time. It’s rush here, rush there. Do this, and take care of that.
I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, “Right, so if I don’t do these things, then they won’t get done.” (Hey, maybe I am a super hero. I can read your mind!) It’s likely that you are right about that. Not the mind reading part, the part where stuff won’t get done if you don’t do it. We, as women, shoulder a lot of responsibility. Should we decide that we just won’t do a thing, it probably won’t get done. Or if it gets done, it won’t get done like we would have done it. Most of us are driven, past what is humanly possible, to serve our families. We do things so that they don’t have to do them. I read a book once that said,
“If you are now doing something for your child that they could do for themselves, you are doing them a disservice.”
Ouch. I thought that by doing those things for my children, I was serving them. But no. My job as a mother is not to spoon-feed them for the rest of their lives. At some point they each learned to hold the spoon for themselves. At first they made a real mess of things, but eventually they got it right. I no longer feed my eighteen-year-old son his supper with a spoon. As they grow older, we need to let them hold other spoons as well. It’s not a pleasant thought for most moms, but to do our jobs successfully, our children need to grow to be able to do life without us.
We can so over commit ourselves in service to others than we completely leave no time to serve the Lord. It is true that the Lord often has us serve Him by serving others, but we also serve Him when we take the time to grow in our relationship with Him. If we are so committed elsewhere, running from this ball practice, to that dance lesson, to this meeting and to that appointment we can leave little time to build our relationship with the Lord, and then we fail to learn His agenda for our lives. If our agenda is already so full, how can we follow His?
I recently said no to an item on my agenda. I had been leading a small group of middle school girls from our church one night a week. It brought me joy, I hope it brought them encouragement and growth. Yet I gave it up. I had to be honest. I needed to clear up that time. My commitments were getting out of hand… but then I had guilt. (Don’t you just love guilt?) I felt I was letting those girls down. Sister, let me tell you this. About two weeks after I made the decision to clear up that time, Matthew and I were invited to be a part of a small group at one of our pastor’s homes.
Had I not cleared up that time on my schedule, I could not have been a part of this group. As a result of this group, God has opened my eyes to things in scripture I have never seen! I am learning so much more about Him that I never knew, and I thought I knew Him pretty well. I feel God doing things in my heart and life I have not felt before. It’s all a little unsettling, yet so exciting! And it all came about because I was willing to clear up a little bit of my schedule.
Does God want to do something in your life? (Ah, that would be a “yes”. Trick question, sorry.) Have you left room in it for Him to do that? Sometimes we have to say “no” to our schedules in order to say “yes” to Him. Maybe you need to resign from a committee. Let someone else be team mother this season. Teach your kids to do their own laundry. Allow your husband the adventure of ironing his own shirt. Granted, some things just won’t end up as great as if you have done them, but give yourself the freedom for that to be okay.
Leave off the Wonder Woman suit today. Learn to say no and leave the guilt about it on the table. Then wait. See how the Lord will occupy that free time to benefit you. For you see, if we follow His agenda we find that it infuses us with life rather than sucking the life out of us. Then the blessings will trickle down to those who depend on us to be super.