Sitting in the half-dark room, I confided to my Father In Heaven that I felt like a failure. I couldn't measure up to the expectations that life had for me.
- I had two young children, and I grandson. I found myself racing through the day trying to meet their needs.
- Our particular family's needs required that I cut coupons, and research ways to save money.
- I struggled with physical challenges and found myself facing depression, body aches, and of course headaches.
- I longed to serve and lift others who needed support.
- I needed time away from my burdens to participate in activities that lifted my spirits; however, I was finding it difficult to manage the time requirements of preparing for these activities.
- My mother and grandmother always made homemade bread. They bottled fruit, quilted, and sewed their children's clothing. I felt uncomfortable that I couldn't squeeze these activities into my days.
- I carried church service responsibilities and wanted to do as well as I could with these positions as I love to serve the Lord.
My list went on and on, and as I talked, tears streamed down my face. My chest felt heavy, and I supposed I would never measure up.
Once I had finished, my Heavenly Father quietly said, "Tisha, don't try to run faster than you are able."
It was classic Dad-wisdom gleaned from years of studying Scripture. When he has some advice for me, it was usually well said and directly on target, if I listen. I knew he was right. I was trying to run faster than I was able.
I have since heard it said that you can do many things in this life, but you can't do them all at once. Every life stage has its own requirements, and it's up to us to decide what's most important for us to do at any given moment. While we are deciding what we can or can't do, we need to be careful that we balance the following needs:
When I look back on that time, I can see that the pressure I experienced was self-imposed, largely because I believed I was being judged by other people. I thought that if I didn't scurry about, filling every waking moment with superb activities, I was failing my Heavenly Father. I knew that He had given me great gifts and believed that He wished me to use them, but I failed to understand that He didn't expect me to use them all at one time.
It has only been a couple years since my Heavenly Father told me to only run as fast as I am able. I periodically forget His advice, and when I do, I find myself frantic and downhearted. But the words come back to me, and I say again, "Thanks, Dear Father. You're right. I'll only run as fast as I am able."
I have discovered through the years that even though it might appear at any given moment that I am not accomplishing very much, in hindsight I have accomplished a lot. I've been able to go school, work with my horses, stretch my creativity through preserving my family history, work in exciting positions for large companies, run my own business, and yes, even make homemade bread once in a while.
But I did not do it all at once. I've been married for almost 16 years, and all of these activities – and more – have been dribbled throughout the years of my life in a measured way. It is only upon reflection that I can see how much I have been able to complete despite the periods of time when all I could manage was a slow crawl.
If you happen to be someone who feels torn by life and the things you feel you must do, I would advise you to take a breath and try to understand that as long as you are doing the best you can in any given moment, it is enough.
Until tomorrow, I will do the best I can today.