Some days it feels like there are too many demands.
–Mom, can you drive me to school?
–Mom, can you help me make lunch?
–Mom, can you pick me up?
–Mom, can you take me to (fill in the blank)_________?
–Mom, help me with my costume!
–Mom, did you buy ______?
–Mom, did you wash my ______?
And it’s not just the kids.
–Mrs. Erickson, could you come to the school and help with red ribbon week?
–Mrs. Erickson, would you be able to organize this_______?
–Paige, would you please help me with such and such.
And then there’s the church stuff.
–Sister Erickson, how’s the primary program coming?
–Sister Erickson, please help your daughter write a talk.
–Sister Erickson, I won’t be there on Sunday, could you take over singing time for me?
–We have this little assignment, Sister Erickson. It’s not a calling, it’s just an assignment. We’re sure you’d be fabulous at it.
–Sister X had her baby. As her visiting teacher, would you mind taking in dinner for the very large family?
And then there’s the self imposed stuff. The stuff that I think I need to be doing.
–Let’s host a Japanese exchange student, it will be so good for the kids and it will be such fun!
–The PTA is run by volunteers. If I don’t do it, who will?
–My friend had surgery. I want to help ease her burden.
–The house needs to be cleaned, all sheets changed, all carpets vacuumed, all bathrooms cleaned before our exchange student comes. We don’t want him to think all Americans are slobs, do we?
–It’s a holiday! Therefore we must do all the fun holiday stuff that comes with it. Even if we don’t have the time or energy to do it.
It’s times like this that I need to step back, think about what’s important, what’s necessary, what’s essential, and what would be nice, but it’s not going to hurt anyone if it doesn’t get done. I’m reminded of Julie Beck’s fabulous talk at Women’s Conference this year, where she said,
“Sisters, you are each like the lioness at the gate. This means that there has to be some prioritizing. I was taught years ago that when our priorities are out of order, we lose power. If we need power and influence to carry out our mission, then our priorities have to be straight.
“Years ago I began using a system that works for me, and maybe it will work for you. There was a time when I needed to prioritize, and in one of those sacred meetings between me and the Lord, He gave me three categories that I have worked from, and they have been a guide in my life. The categories are the essential things, the necessary things, and the nice-to-do things. I started writing those things down. I asked, â€œWhat has to go in the category of essential?â€ What things must be taken care of, and if I donâ€™t take care of them, the blessings of eternal life wonâ€™t be mine nor will they be my familyâ€™s.”
What a wonderful talk she gave! You can read the whole thing here I’m going to try to remember her advice over the next few days, when the demands of the moment seem to cloud my vision and bring me down. I’m going to take care of my family, get the house in the best shape I can, and welcome our little foreign exchange student, and try to make the most of the week ahead of me. That’s all I can do, and I shouldn’t expect more.