Today I had the pleasure of attending MOPS (http://www.mops.org/), where the speaker compared parenting to spinning plates. Having seen a person spinning plates at the fair, the comparison worked well for me. I realized I have a few plates spinning, and if I'm to be successful with what God has given me to do, I need to be intentional.
The first step to being intentional is to figure out just which plates I want to keep spinning and which ones I should retire, even if just for a while. Of all the plates I try to spin, the one I'd most like to retire is housekeeping. Unfortunately, that is one that just can't be dropped. So, I've been trying to figure out what not to do and how to say no so I can accomplish those few things that are truly important to me. It is proving to be more difficult than I expected. Sometimes being intentional is one of the most difficult tasks in the world.
Of course, just when you think you are set to go with being intentional, something comes up which you could not anticipate and which requires you to throw all your plans for intentionality up in the air in a desperate attempt just to live life. Since I don't want any of the plates I'm frantically trying to spin to go crashing to the ground, and since I don't seem able to figure out which ones can be retired, I'm stuck looking like a clown in the circus as I run back and forth between responsibilities.
In the end, what I've decided is that I am totally incapable of keeping the plates spinning that represent my life. To that end, I've been meditating on a couple of passages from the Bible. The first is Matthew 11:28, 29 and 30. The Marchauna's Revised Version goes something like "Come to me (Jesus) all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly, and you will find rest for your weary soul. My yoke is easy and my burden is light." The other passage is in Philippians, and goes something like "My (Jesus is speaking) grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." I am definitely weak!! I can totally relate to a need for strength beyond myself.
The amazing thing is, as I've poured out my frustration and desperation, Jesus is giving me what I need! He is helping me keep all the plates spinning; none have crashed to the ground yet. I've almost crashed a few times, and a few of the plates have wobbled dangerously but everything is still spinning. I won't know until I die (or my children are grown, which ever comes first) if I succeed at what I'm attempting. Right now, though, I have hope that God will keep His promise and finish what He started.