Mark 14:3-9: “She did what she could.”
Helen slammed the car door and put the key in the ignition. If I hurry, I can make it to the store and back before the children come home on the bus. She turned the key. Nothing happened. The battery is dead again? Why can’t the garage fix this car so I’ll have one when I need it! She tried again. Nothing! In frustration, she put her head down on her hands that were folded over the top of the steering wheel. Tears pricked in her eyes.
“Lord, I have to get to the store now,” she said aloud, looking toward the ceiling of the car. “I can’t possibly walk there with three children in tow!” She tried the key again. No luck!
Getting out, she returned to the house, hung her coat and threw her purse onto the shelf above. I have twelve items on my “to do” list, only two of which are “quickies,” and now the car won’t work! “I’m sorry to complain, Lord,” she prayed, “but this business with the car is getting really frustrating. Please help me to calm down and trust You. I don’t like to be cross.”
Most young mothers know the frustration of a too-full “to do” list. It is easy to succumb to the “tyranny of the urgent” and let some items on our lists be pushed onto the next day. We feel frustrated at the end of the day when so few items are done. Why can’t we accomplish all our tasks?
Each of us tackles our tasks differently. Perhaps someone else’s methods will help you to accomplish more:
Try the easy items first. If one job takes only five minutes, get it out of the way as quickly as possible. Seeing at least one item crossed off your list at the beginning of the day is a great morale booster.
Tackle a difficult task first while you have fresh energy. Later, completing a couple of quick items will give you a boost. Then take on another longer or more difficult task. Pacing oneself can relieve the stress.
Do one room at a time. If several items involve work in one room, do all those items before going on to another room. One young mother’s vanity license plate reads “BCKN4TH.” Doing one room at a time will alleviate the exhaustion of walking back and forth, back and forth.
Shop once a week and mail items at the post office on the same day. That way, you need to get the car out only once.
Limit TV watching. Watching only one program a week would free up a lot of your time. OK, so one a day! Limiting the hours small children watch TV will cut down on the volume of noise in the house. The hours when the TV is off can be filled with soothing music from a radio or CD player.
Do two things at once. If you must watch TV, you’ll accomplish more by doing something else at the same time, such as ironing or folding clothes.
The pressures on any woman in Jesus’ generation were as real as those faced by women today. Even though the woman in Mark 14:3-9 had wasted much of her life in sinful pleasures, Jesus didn’t expect her to earn her salvation through much work for Him. Jesus commended her not for doing much, but for doing what she could.