Life Full of Limits

There are so many options, so many good options, for what we could do each day. Sometimes that is exciting, but often it seems more of a problem.

Recently we were enjoying time with friends and the conversation turned to highlight the possibilities open to one couple and those waiting for the other. One family has four young children, and a priority for this season is raising them well. The other has an empty nest and the ability at this time to see the world and the amazing things it holds. Both of us appreciate the treasure each other has, but also we know that we can’t have both at the same time.

That is real life. We can’t have everything. We can’t do everything. We are finite creatures.

There may be five great things you could do today, but you know you only have time and energy for two or three of them. You may want to start your own business next year, but that means you can’t fully invest in mentoring a young associate at your current company. You may be able to join the team of a new church plant in your neighborhood or take advantage of a year sabbatical to travel the world. Drama practice and soccer practice schedules overlap almost completely. The next two hours could be for running errands or for deep cleaning the pantry.

So we have a choice, both in life and each day.

We can ignore the limits, try to grasp it all, fail in frustration, foster discontentment, and focus on what isn’t. We can keep trying to do everything poorly and nothing well. We can mourn all the missed opportunities, constantly, as they continue coming. We can regret taking the path we did. We can feel like a failure as we focus on the path we didn’t take. We can feed a resentful, coveting, jealous, discontent attitude and pour all our energy on that flame.

OR

We can be thankful for the gift of the life God has already given us, in all the big and small situations and choices. We can trust the wisdom and love of our Father. We can appreciate the options we have now, pray for wisdom, pick one, and live in it today as an act of worship. We can live a limited life in a limited world while turning our eyes to an infinite God of power greater than we can imagine.

Super Simple Meal Planning

Would you love a month of beautifully drafted, delicious, and easy meals for your family? Are you actually scrambling to make one or two a week, always at the last-minute and in desperation?

If you are overwhelmed with meal planning, this post is for you.

Sometimes, to be successful, we need to go back to the basics and start over. Strip away all the extras and simplify.

  • Pick three meals that are easiest for you to make. If 20 minutes or less is best, pick three that are quick prep. If the slow cooker is your best friend, work with it. If you aren’t sure between some favorites, pick the one that has the fewest ingredients or is easiest.
  • Make a list of the ingredients you need on hand. This will be your base grocery list for a while. Check stock before you head to the store and get more of what has been used on the list. Then you will have what you need on hand.
  • Keep this list and the three recipes handy or post them in your kitchen for reference.
  • Cycle your way through the three meals. When it’s time to think dinner, you are making the next one on the list (1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3…).

This process assumes that there will still be some days with drive-thru or pizza menus, but the daily planning is already done on the days you eat at home. Cycling through three meals gives some variety, but keeps it simple enough to manage until you are ready to tackle more.

If you are ready for change in a month or two, but not ready to ramp up, you can start over. Switch up one meal or all three, make a new grocery list, and carry on. If simple works for a longer season at this stage in life, stay with what works.

When you are ready, you can add one more meal. When you don’t hate your kitchen anymore, you can start experimenting or expanding the meal plans.

But for now, cut out as much stress as you can and go back to super simple.