Note to Self: You Can’t Do It All

She carefully places her bags into the little stroller, stacking and rearranging them until they do not fall.  She then looks longingly at the pillow that she has brought down from her room (again).  She makes several attempts to place the pillow atop the already loaded stroller.  It slides off.  She tries again.  It falls to the ground once more.  She is struggling to keep her self control after an active morning at church, trying to entertain herself as she awaits her lunch that mommy just can’t seem to make fast enough.  Glancing up at me, she says in exasperation, “Mama, I CAN’T get it to work!”  Without hesitating, I calmly reply, “Sometimes, you can’t do everything.”  She insists that she CAN do it and persists in finding a way to have both her fully loaded stroller and her pillow…

and she is all smiles!


It isn’t too long, though,  before she starts to trip…


to slip…and to proceed to fall completely down.



You are probably wondering why I stopped to take photos of my little girl struggling and falling, but as soon as I heard myself say,

Sometimes, you can’t do everything.

the tears began to sting and the words echoed loudly in my mind.     I grabbed my camera, ready to capture what I knew was about to conspire.  For, after all, she is her mother’s child.   I was realizing that I must remember

Sometimes, you can’t do everything.

All the while my sweet daughter was playing and working hard to make all of her items fit the way she thought that they should, attempting to carry more than she really should, I was being the typical multitasking mama.  I was trying…
-to hold back tears due to missing my husband who is away for training for missions,
-to focus on making lunch for my five darling children,
-to locate something that had been lost,
-to keep my toddler content and out of mischief,
-to switch out laundry,
-and to listen to my son brainstorm a list of things he wanted to do that afternoon! 

Oh, the irony! 

Sometimes, you can’t do everything.


I am thankful that God has given me this clear visual reminder that I cannot do it all!  It is okay good to ask for help…from my older children, from family members, from friends, and most importantly, from my Savior.  Why do I have such a difficult time remembering this?  Why do I feel like I must do it all?  Not only that, but why do I think that I have to do it all on my own?


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  (Colossians 3:23–24)

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave,where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.  (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

How should I go through my days?
~as working unto the Lord,
doing what He has prepared for me to do for His glory



I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 
(1 Chronicles 16:11)

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11)

 How can I serve my family when I am weak, tired, and stretched thin?
~with the strength that God provides


Yes, I need to work hard and to be diligent, but it is even more essential that I learn to rely on Christ’s strength – not my own.

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  1. Stephanie B says

    Thanks for this, Michelle. I need the reminder, too. I have often said in the last few months, that motherhood takes multitasking to a whole new level! But it’s important to remember to lean on Christ. Only God gets His to-do list done…

    It was great to see you yesterday at church!

  2. Oh Michelle, I’m also glad that you took the pictures! What a great reminder for all of us. For me especially as I try and plan the school year. ((hugs))

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