Doing Your Best

Last Saturday I cleaned my house. At least, that was the goal. I had an event to be to that afternoon, but I thought I could get my entire house cleaned in the morning. I started with my bedroom and bathroom, had my kids clean their bathroom and help me as I started on the kitchen. I soon realized, however, there was no way I was going to get my entire house cleaned. I didn’t do a single thing in the basement which is ridiculously messy. I was so frustrated and angry at myself and hoping no one would come over that day to see how I hadn’t done enough. I’m not sure why I thought that. It’s rare for anyone but my kid’s friends to step foot in my basement, and they don’t care about the mess! But that nervous thought plagued me as I got ready to go out that afternoon.

I just read this really great article, To Women: “Doing Better Doesn’t Mean Doing More”, that has helped put my mind at ease and wanted to share, because I absolutely believe it. Sometimes we need to be told or reminded by other people. The article is by Sharon Eubank and Reyna Aburto, leaders in the women’s organizations in my church. They talked about doing our best and how that doesn’t necessarily mean doing more. Sister Aburto shared how she felt like she had so many things to do and could never accomplish them all by the end of the day. She said, “One day, I realized I will never be done. My lists will never be finished. It isn’t possible. I want to tell every woman what I have learned. You don’t have to do it all, and you are never done, and you can be okay with that, and you can accept that.” So simple, but so true. Even though I got my kitchen totally clean only a couple of days ago, there are dishes on the counter and in the sink, crumbs on the table and the floor. Even when we get something done, we’re never really done, and that’s okay. There is always more to do, and that’s okay. What we do accomplish is enough. puzzle-1727997_1920I thought of it in terms a giant puzzle that has endless pieces. If you only focus on getting the pieces in you miss the beautiful picture you’re already forming. Sometimes we can accomplish a lot, sometimes a little. It’s not about how much we get done, but simply about putting forth the effort and doing our best.

The article ended with the quote from Sister Eubank, “Try. Pray. Trust. You don’t have to do it all.” I’m trying, I’m praying, and I’m going to trust that God will help and supplement me as I do so. So today, I’m telling myself it is enough, and I’m telling you that you are enough, too.

About Being a Parent

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Just based on my own experience being a parent is hard. Being a single parent is harder. You have no one else to help, to lean on, to offer shared experience or support. You’re doing it all alone, and that can be very intimidating, knowing that my kids are counting on me and me alone. Alone is exactly how I was feeling last night as I tried to help my daughter who was struggling because of someone in her school class who had been very mean to her when she was only trying to do the right thing. I immediately turned to scriptures and the words of my church leaders, then spoke of my own experiences and thoughts to try to help her, but I felt so inadequate and wondered if I was really helping her or not. After I finally got her into bed I sat on my own bed and cried, feeling that aloneness, thinking how hard it was being a single parent.

But then I remembered that I wasn’t alone, that I actually had the most knowledgable, wise, kind, perfect parent on my side—my Father in Heaven. He’s the one I can lean on for support and look to for guidance, and I know He can give it to me. I also realized, though, that in order for me to have that I needed to be living my life in a way where I can hear His spirit and His voice speaking to me. It ignited a fire in me to strive to live a more spiritual life. There are little things I know I can do better at, things that will bring the Spirit into my home and into my life. In so doing I truly believe that I can have that help and experience to guide me and that support I need to lean on.