When I was growing up a popular mantra was, “You can have it all." I always heard I could have it all as a woman: a career, a family, and a wonderful vacation filled life. That is what I thought, and I believed.
Well, in a perfect world where I could have it all, I would be the Last Comic Standing. (yes, really!) Regardless of what my husband says about my comedic timing, I think I have great jokes. I am sure that I can have a ton of laughs just based on my family! I would be able to travel all around the country and my family and husband would love me so much that my absence would not matter. The money I would send home would be enough to keep everyone happy, well adjusted and cared for. Now, if only my mother in law would have given me that day off when they auditioned in Austin, life would be different! Oooo that Suegra!
The mantra that you can have it all is a lie. The truth is you cannot have it all, there are always consequences. How many women have had successful careers but failed marriages and troubled relationships with their children? How many women have a wonderful family life but are criticized for their choice to stay at home?
The actual Truth is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13. However, the verses before this truth reveal something that I believe is too often over looked. Philippians 4:11-12: "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Okay, I don’t know about you, but the verses I underlined just slap me in the face! What? Be content with whatever the circumstance. Hey wait a minute; I am not the Last Comic Standing…. Is that ok?
The last week was rough. I work part time, mother full time, and wife full time. My job is not overly demanding, yet it is a job that has to be done to the best of my abilities. However, I find that while trying to have it all, there are many things that go un-noticed, half done, or over-looked. At the end of the day I think, if I had managed my time better, my house would be cleaner, all my emails answered, and dinner perfect with every food group. The truth is that you can not have it all without doing something half way.
The secret is to be who you are supposed to be, what God calls you to be. I think everyone has a place and purpose. I can do all things with God who strengthens me, but I also need to recognize when I need to be content in the things God has provided for me. Then verses 6-7 come to mind, “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I love these verses because it gives me assurance that through prayer, I can ask for a change in situation; or I am given peace to accept the situation. I find that chapter 4 in the book of Philippians has held me hostage for more than a week. I find great comfort and conflict in these verses. (The conflict is in my willingness to obey the directions to attaining contentment, and make it about me rather than about God.) I cannot have it all, I cannot be it all, and I am not good when I try to have it all. I have to recognize my limitations and realize that God is the Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. GOD gives me just what I need. He gives me my needs, but not always my wants. When my needs are met, I can be content. Now the trick is to keep my wants in check!