Jordan Ministries
Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
I Can't Do All Things
by Jenny on December 4th, 2015

"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Shopping, baking, diaper-changing, cooking, cleaning, decorating, schooling, more diaper-changing, Christmas-card-sending, teaching--oh, my! How's a mama to get it all done?

Since the arrival of baby #5 this past April I've struggled to find my new normal. I still try to do all the things I used to do but to no avail. Just when I think I have a new routine established someone gets sick, or falls and cracks their skull (literally), or gets a double-ear infection, which leads to antibiotics (because my oils aren't doing the trick), which leads to explosive diapers, which leads to lots of diaper changing and laundry (oh yeah, I forgot to include laundry in the list above).

Paul said in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength, right? So what gives? Why can't I seem to do all things?

Out of sheer frustration I turned to this oh-so-familiar passage in Philippians. Reading Philippians 4:13 in context helped relieve some of my I-can't-get-it-all-done mama guilt.

In Philippians 4:12, Paul gives a laundry list of circumstances he has experienced. Living on nothing OR with everything. Living with a full stomach OR on an empty one. Living with plenty OR with little.

When Paul said he could do all things, I don't think he meant he could do all things at the same time. I believe Paul meant that he could endure whatever circumstances God allowed to come his way because through Christ Jesus, God would give Paul strength.

Recently I recorded on paper what I see as my current duties in life. I arrived at six buckets of responsibilities: Child of God, Wife, Mother, Homemaker, Teacher, Outside Ministry. I prayed through each area of responsibility, asking God to show me where I had taken on more duties than He intended (Psalm 139:23-24).

No one can help me with my relationship with God. I own that one.

I cannot outsource my duties as a wife. I gladly own all of that bucket too.

What about mothering? What constitutes mothering? Though the world may have a different view, the Bible reveals that my one duty as a parent is to teach my kids about God (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). I believe the best way to teach my kids about the love of God is to lavish onto my kids the same kind of extraordinary love He gives me. But, everything else I tend to pile into the "mothering" bucket is really just gravy. Baking all the cookies, playing make-believe all the live-long day, buying the perfect present, enrolling them in every sport, planning extravagant parties--GRAVY. Nice to have but not necessary to be a "good" mama; not according to Scripture, anyway.

What about homemaking? Oh, this one is fun. I LOVE a clean house. I can even handle a little dust; just pick up all the foot-puncturing toys, please. Unfortunately for me, there are no rewards in heaven for housekeeping. So while I think it would be unadvisable for me to let my dirty dishes stay in the sink so long that they begin to grow mold (I'm speaking hypothetically, of course, I'll pull an all-nighter before I let that happen!), maybe I do not have to keep my house as spic-n-span as I think. And sure, I could hire a housekeeper. But what I really need is someone to come every day at 5PM to cook dinner for 7 and to help clean up from the day. Realistic? Not exactly.

Teaching? Another fun bucket to pour out before God. Though I would like to cover every school subject for hours on end, we're in a season which only allows us to cover the basics. That's what summer school is for (don't feel too sorry for my kids, they're having plenty of fun right now while mama is off changing diapers).

Outside Ministry? While some may view this bucket as an unnecessary distraction, it is this bucket which satisfies my soul. I am sometimes overzealous in my desire to serve God. But if I focus on Him, He will use me in ways unaware.

I can't do all things. But through my relationship with Christ, God will give me strength to do the things, the circumstances, the seasons that He ordains for me.

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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

If you know Christ as your Savior, do you know how to follow Him as Lord? If, like me, life's challenges have caused you to question whether you truly want to follow God's plan for you, or you simply don't know how to recognize God's ways due to a lack of biblical literacy, I would love to teach you what I've come to know about God through His Word.

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