A reader asked, “How do you do everything?” My reply is,

Sometimes by doing nothing.”

That’s what I’ve done lately as a blogger, writer and social media participant. Nothing.

Because I can’t do everything. Neither can you.

Instead, I’ve been spending time with people most important to me.

I’ve been busy this summer as a writer and speaker.  In the mix, my family’s been scattered traveling to Wisconsin, Illinois, Rochester, NY, Phoenix, the Dominican Republic  and spending weeks at church camp. Next week, my vacation ends, throwing me into the busyness of the school year as a school counseling professional.

Some days, I’m exhausted. Are you?

There’s a story I love called The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic Press, New York). In it, a boy asks three questions:

  • When is the best time to do things?
  • Who is the most important one?
  • What is the right thing to do?

A wise sage eventually answers his questions. The answer is:

  • There is only one important time, and that time is now.  
  • The most important one is always the one you are with.
  • The most important thing to do is to do good for the one who is standing at your side.

Years ago, I struggled with a responsibility that conflicted with time I wanted to spend with my little ones. I heard a phrase on a radio program by pastor and mentor Chuck Swindoll. He said,

“Only two things are eternal: God’s word and people.”


Like the principles in the book The Three Questions, this principle resonated deep in my soul. I only have so much time on this earth. How do I want to invest it? For me, it’s with things of eternal value, including God’s word and people.

Right now, our family is quickly changing. My oldest will be a college graduate in the spring and my next oldest is leaving for college for the first time in August. This week is one of the last times we’ll all be home together. The winds of change blow so quickly, if I don’t live in the moment, they will pass through my fingers and I’ll be left grasping for what is no longer there.

In six years, my youngest will walk out the door and the parenting years will be gone.

“The most important time is now.

I had writing, running, and relationship goals for the summer. None of them were accomplished.

But I opened my home for a bible study, and shared intimate moments with women studying God’s Word where He was powerfully present.

I spent a day riding bike and talking with my daughter when I really needed to sleep.

I listened to women’s stories after speaking engagements and received much more than I gave.

I scrapbooked memories rather than writing online.

Doing nothing in some areas allow you to give everything in others.

The world says do more, do it all, be all you can be. Each moment says, “This is it.” The question is,

What are we going to do with it?”

When it’s time to work, I work. When it’s time to write, I write. When it’s time to listen, I stop. When it’s time to say no, I do.

I don’t do it all and neither should you. By being intentional in what we’re doing, we make time for what is most important in the moment. It may be a person, a responsibility, or being still before the Lord.

Only one life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” – Anonymous


Do you feel like you have to do it all? You don’t. Do you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities or demands others put on you? Take them to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to show you what is most important.

Then do it with all you’ve got.

I’d love to hear your stories in the process. Share with us how you manage priorities and the challenges that go with it!  We would love to hear about it here at Life Beyond the Picket Fence!

Lord Jesus, help us to stop and hear you in our busyness of life. Help us to see what is most important to you and to those you desire us to minister to. Will you hear the heart of each one reading today? Then speak to her or him and lead them to the places you desire them to be with their time and energy.  Thank you.

PS – if you haven’t joined me at the other sites I write for, join me at notalonemom.com every Friday and regularly at parents-space.com and tentotwenty.com. I’d love for you to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss a post – they go right to your inbox!

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