Doing Your Best

Last Saturday I cleaned my house. At least, that was the goal. I had an event to be to that afternoon, but I thought I could get my entire house cleaned in the morning. I started with my bedroom and bathroom, had my kids clean their bathroom and help me as I started on the kitchen. I soon realized, however, there was no way I was going to get my entire house cleaned. I didn’t do a single thing in the basement which is ridiculously messy. I was so frustrated and angry at myself and hoping no one would come over that day to see how I hadn’t done enough. I’m not sure why I thought that. It’s rare for anyone but my kid’s friends to step foot in my basement, and they don’t care about the mess! But that nervous thought plagued me as I got ready to go out that afternoon.

I just read this really great article, To Women: “Doing Better Doesn’t Mean Doing More”, that has helped put my mind at ease and wanted to share, because I absolutely believe it. Sometimes we need to be told or reminded by other people. The article is by Sharon Eubank and Reyna Aburto, leaders in the women’s organizations in my church. They talked about doing our best and how that doesn’t necessarily mean doing more. Sister Aburto shared how she felt like she had so many things to do and could never accomplish them all by the end of the day. She said, “One day, I realized I will never be done. My lists will never be finished. It isn’t possible. I want to tell every woman what I have learned. You don’t have to do it all, and you are never done, and you can be okay with that, and you can accept that.” So simple, but so true. Even though I got my kitchen totally clean only a couple of days ago, there are dishes on the counter and in the sink, crumbs on the table and the floor. Even when we get something done, we’re never really done, and that’s okay. There is always more to do, and that’s okay. What we do accomplish is enough. puzzle-1727997_1920I thought of it in terms a giant puzzle that has endless pieces. If you only focus on getting the pieces in you miss the beautiful picture you’re already forming. Sometimes we can accomplish a lot, sometimes a little. It’s not about how much we get done, but simply about putting forth the effort and doing our best.

The article ended with the quote from Sister Eubank, “Try. Pray. Trust. You don’t have to do it all.” I’m trying, I’m praying, and I’m going to trust that God will help and supplement me as I do so. So today, I’m telling myself it is enough, and I’m telling you that you are enough, too.

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God Speaks to Us

I’ve had numerous experiences that have taught me that God is aware of us, He knows us, and He speaks to us in ways we will hear Him. Those ways can be different for everyone.

I never doubted my religion, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, even in the midst of my depression. Back in high school it was hard to always live it, to always do what I was supposed to, but I still believed it was true. I just felt so worthless, like I was such a bad, horrible person that I didn’t believe I deserved a relationship with God. But God was still there for me. He still spoke to me, reassured me, comforted me and gave me answers to questions I sought. One of the ways He did this was through music.

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My sophomore year of high school I discovered Classic Rock. It’s one of the things that turned me into a hippie! The music of these incredible artists spoke to me in a way no other music ever had. Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Rush, Janis Joplin, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Eric Clapton, Traffic, The Doors. The list could go on, but I’ll stop there. I listened to this music a lot because I felt a connection to it. When you’re a depressed teenager, feeling so alone in life, having a connection like that means everything. And God used this as a way to communicate with me. I’m sure there are some people out there who might think it’s blasphemous or just ridiculous, but there were times I got answers to prayers through lyrics in a rock ‘n’ roll song.

I remember this one night, getting home from work, but I didn’t get out of the car right away. I sat there and stared up at the gibbous moon above the mountains to the east, feeling lost and alone. I asked this totally general question. “God, what do I do?” And then Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man came on the radio. And I knew, I knew, that was God’s answer to me—that I needed to live life more simply. I was an emotional, dramatic teenage girl, and that made for a complicated life, but I was filled with such peace and contentment in that moment, knowing that I could take steps to simplify my life—that doing so would help me. It was God’s way of answering my prayer.

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There were also times I received comfort in the midst of absolute darkness and despair through the heavy chords of an electric guitar. And there were times I finally understood things about myself, others, the world—things I needed to know—through this music.

God knew what the music meant to me. He knew He could get through to me with it, so He used it. That sounds very believable to me. And it sounds like a God who truly cares about us as individuals. How has God spoken to you? Yes, I really want to know. Please, leave comments on my Comment page or Contact me here with your story if you would like me to share it in one of my next posts. Remember, we are all in this together, we can all help each other.