I don't plan on ever having my lawn grace the cover of a magazine. I love to dig in the dirt and move perennials around, but sometimes my dandelions are blooming better than any flower I own. I have made peace with this. I do not worry what the neighbor who sprays any weed within 5 feet of her yard thinks. I refuse to waste my energy on that.
I don't keep a pristine kitchen. I use every surface of that room so often, I figure if I scoured them all every time, I might as well move the bed and toilet in there too. I'd never get to leave. Nothing is growing fur or emitting strong odors, so I probably would get off with a warning from a health inspector. I am past worrying about what a friend stopping by might think. I refuse to waste my energy on that either.
What else don't I do? I don't make to-do lists anymore. I always felt bad I didn't finish crossing everything off. They just aren't for me. I know, I know, so many swear by them. I found a better list to make: a to-don't list.
Instead of the pressure of what I have to do, I will remember what I have given myself permission to release. And I will take a few deep breaths in relief that I am not called to do it all. It's perfectly ok to do some things well, attempt some things mediocrely, and admit to not even trying others.
I don't care that my smart phone would land below the bell curve compared to most peoples'. I have a much lower than average phone bill to make up for it. I don't put pressure on myself to wear name brand clothes. I am keeping some decent attire from retiring in a landfill prematurely. I don't buy a lot of music or books because my library has so much to offer. Plus, I can request they buy something if it's not available. What a beautifully free system! I don't compare my van to one that just rolled off an expensive lot. I can get where I need to go in what God has provided us for now.
Comparison, high expectations, busyness every night, and worry that I'm not doing enough are on my list. I am one woman with only so much time in this life. I will trust that God will use my attempts and my failures for His glory. I am of no help to the kingdom frazzled and full of envy of those who can do more and have more.
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. (Ephesians 6:4-5 Msg)
See what freedom you can find by making a list of what you are not going to do. And watch how time for what you consider to be most important appears. Let go of unreasonable expectations and worry. Receive peace and grace.
"Father, thank you for releasing me from the dangerous trap of keeping up with the Jonses. I am called to do tasks you place in front of me, and no more. Help me to practice contentment with the season I am in now. And thank you that no one in my family has gotten food poisoning from my less than spotless kitchen. Amen"