The Secret to “Doing it All” — & how We Can Not Judge Each Other

R

ain on a tin roof this morning.

The rocking chairs out in the ash grove sit quiet, solid — steady in the wind.

Steady in the wind. They’re calling for another inch of rain today, for it to just keep coming.

Our Hope-girl makes brownies, shakes the popcorn over the stove.

And there’s this deep peace that keeps coming about not coming and going at all.

It’s happens when we rest — that we relinquish our ambitions to be like God.

There’s always asks to do this thing over here or do this work, this thing, over there. 

And the thing is: Asks aren’t obligations. Asks are options.

The Farmer says it quiet to me over bacon and eggs flipped sunny side over: Every yes automatically says no somewhere else.

I say my quiet nos and say more yes to kids and laughing hard over bad jokes and memorize their faces.

Because it doesn’t matter what any gatekeeper says: Mothering a mess of kids is as important as preaching to a stadium for a month of Sundays.

The size of your ministry isn’t proof of the success of your ministry.

The very Son of God had a ministry to 12. And even oneof them abandoned HimForget the numbers in your work. Focus on the net value of  your work. 

The internet age may try to sell you something different, but don’t ever forget that viral is closely associated with sickness — and focusing on numbers can make you nauseated.

Someone sends me this interview that Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi, named by Fortune the #1 most powerful woman in business in the world in 2009 and 2010, and mother of two. Who gave what some are deeming the interview of the year:

I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all… Every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions…”

I think about Indra’s Insight while I make decisions in the garden.

While I bend over each strawberry plant, press the delicate white petals between thumb and index finger —and then just pluck it off. So there’ll be no strawberries this year.

It’s what you have to do: “Pick off all first blooms to ensure subsequent harvests are more plentiful.”

If you ever intend for the strawberries to produce heavily throughout the season, you have to choose to sacrifice the first harvest, so that all the growth and energy could be more efficiently invested into producing later crops.

Cut out that which seems good to invest in the best.

It is the law of life: Early sacrifice for later bounty.

I stand over the schedule and there’s Indra’s Insight and there’s this saying no, there’s this trimming back, letting go.

It can be hard to prune good things that are blooming. It can be hard to remember why you are pruning.

Because there’s a counter-intuitiveness to it, this plucking off certain life activities that will yield good fruit. Some might even think it foolish to pare back, when the bloom and gifting apparent; a good harvest inevitable.

Yet it’s the pruning of seemingly good leaves that can grow a better life. To allow later seasons to yield the longed-for abundant crop.

It takes courage to crop a life back —but it’s exactly the way to have the best crop of all.

What seems like hard work that’s taking an eternity today — is exactly what may make the most difference in eternity.

Indra’s Insight rings loud. ‘You can have it all’ — isn’t the whole truth.

No matter where you are — it’s never all easy.

A crop is made by all the seasons and the only way to have it all — is not all at the same time… but letting one season bring its yield into the next.

This is how to have no fear — each season makes a full year.

What can seem like a plucking of dreams — may be the wisest of investments. In the later harvest. The sweetest one.

You can see it when you pluck the strawberries, hoe the beans, cut the lettuce, when you stand there in the thickening dusk:

You can see that the garden is one and the garden is a myriad of plants flourishing in their own space, their own way, their own time. Heaven forbid that you’d try to make all the cherry tomatoes into zucchini plants.

Heaven forbid any woman would go around and try to make all women into an image of herself

Heaven forbid any woman would set up her life as a standard instead of making grace the standard of her life.

One woman’s thrift store donation is happily another woman’s thrift store sensation. And one woman’s ‘no’ can happily be another woman’s ‘yes’. One isn’t necessarily wrong and the other one right.

It’s the differences between us that makes us a Body and not a uniform. 

Christ makes us a Body — not a faith factory. He calls us to be Christ followers — not cookie cutters. Break the measuring sticks of comparison — or we break our own souls.

Because the bottom line simply is: If you aren’t encouraging women to live out their particular calling, you may just be idolizing a particular idealized form of yourself.

Malakai prunes new strawberry plants back with me.

And there’s this fierce trust that the Spirit will bring the bounty of a feast in His time to feed and grow the Body in His way.

And yeah — we each get to make our own unique decisions knowing we’ve heard God’s unique calling for us. 

People will always have opinions about you.

But you live for God because He’s the only one who has intimate knowledge of you. 

Hope and I wash the kitchen down while the brownies cool.

The sun breaks through. The roof falls silent now. Rocking chairs still in the grove, armrests dripping soundlessly. Steady in wind. Know what you’re about. The evening light falls long and quiet across the counters.

There are crops finally coming to maturity —  yeses and nos coming in their own right time.

I wash out my cloth at the sink and think about the timing of things at their right time: Often the evidence of maturity is responsability….  response-ability — the ability to make the right response at the right time.

“You want to have one of the brownies out in one of the rockers with me?” Hope looks up from the tap, her cloth in hand.

And there are holy yeses that are just to the one.

To a girl at the sink with a bunch of flowers.

 

Maybe in this season, we all just need the gift of Joy… a bit of Hope? To stand together — FOR each other — knowing that an act of kindness, giving it forward, can be more powerful than any sword in starting movements that move us all toward Love. The way forward — is always to give forward.

(And if you grab a copy of Be The Gift?  We’d love to immediately email you a link to a FREE gift of THE WHOLE 12 MONTH *Intentional* Acts of Givenness #BeTheGIFT Calendar to download and print from home or at your local print shop! ( Just let us know that you picked up  Be The Gift  over here.)

We all only get one life to love well — and being a gift with you gives reviving joy!