Sometimes I Confuse the BEST with the REST
You know my story. Because it’s your story, too, only your details are different. Here’s my version:
I was a new teacher and a new mom. I was the yearbook adviser (fun!) and the school newspaper adviser (fun!) and the National Honor Society adviser (more fun!).
I was working on my master’s degree (a good thing!), serving on the state executive board for English teachers (a good thing!), and editing a state-wide publication for student writing (more good things!).
I taught a young married Sunday school class (loved it!), enrolled Kelli in gymnastics (loved it!), and had another baby (still love her!).
And then came soccer and basketball and volleyball and piano lessons.
It was so much FUN… so many GOOD things…and I LOVED it all.
But then something happened. I woke up one day too exhausted to love any of it anymore (except my babies, of course). I was sprinting a marathon, and I didn’t know how to stop.
Until I did.
It happened while I was preparing a lesson for my young married class. I don’t remember the specific topic—or anything about the lesson at all actually. But I do remember when my eyes locked on one simple truth—right there in black and white.
(I think a holy light beamed down and illuminated the page…and I may have heard a choir of angels.)
The simple truth was this: I was trying too hard to prove something to someone.
But what was I trying to prove? I didn’t know. And to whom? I didn’t know that either.
Was I trying to prove that I was smart? That I was needed? That I was a good teacher? A good mom? (Notice I didn’t say good wife…because when a mom runs at this pace, guess who gets left behind?)
Who was I proving this to? My boss? My colleagues? Other moms? My friends?
And that was my answer. I was drowning myself because I was trying to prove to myself that I was good enough.
(Gee…remember that “baggage” post from a few weeks back?) CLICK HERE
I started taking inventory. I evaluated everything that consumed my time and energy, and then I decided what deserved my time and energy. Everything else…it had to go. (I kept my children, by the way.)
Some activities I ended immediately. Others were commitments I needed to fulfill before I could quit. And when I was tempted by new opportunities to do more fun and good things, I learned to say no.
And an amazing thing happened. People still liked me…even when I said no!
(More holy light and angel choirs!)
And the fun things, the good things, the things I loved and chose to do…gave me joy again.
Now when a friend or another mom or one of my girls tells me she’s racing too fast, I ask two questions.
What are you trying to prove?
Who are you trying to prove it to?
Sometimes people look at me funny when I ask. Or they nod their head slowly at the revelation. And sometimes, like I did, they think they have no choice. But we do have a choice, and here’s how to make it.
Say no to the good so you can say YES to the BEST.
There are a lot of good things out there. But if we fill our lives with all the good things, we won’t have room for the BEST things. I don’t know about you, but I want the best!
Say no to the good so you can say YES to the BEST!
That’s my mantra–and my brake pedal when I feel my pace picking up.
And there’s another thing. When we run at a breakneck pace, guess who we’re dragging with us? Our kids. What are we teaching them?
Has the needle on your speedometer passed a comfortable speed limit? Is it time to hit the brakes?
Are you trying to prove something to somebody?
Your answer to that question may not be the same as mine, but when you find your answer—
Life will be so much FUN…with so many BEST things…and you’ll LOVE it.
(Thank you Bryan Mills of Meadow Heights Church for teaching me the difference between good and best!)
Have you given up something GOOD so you could have the BEST?
Is there something GOOD in your life right now that needs to go?
What is a BEST in your life that is nonnegotiable?
Share your story in the comments below!
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