Finding joy in NOT doing it all

There is a lie going around.  It’s one that we hear every day, from every angle.  This lie, it’s robbing us of joy.

Can you feel it?  That stomach-twisting, stress-inducing thief of peace.  The one that keeps the mind racing long after your head hits the pillow.

The lie is this:  We CAN do it all, have it all, be it all.

I’ve written about this tension a few times before.  I’ve tried to be better about saying “no” and finding balance.  But I’m starting to think balance is a myth.

Seriously, do you know anyone who perfectly balances family, work, health, hobbies, etc.?  I feel like sometimes I get close.  But only for a moment before the next gust of wind blows through and I’m struggling to find my feet again.

Lately I’ve been feeling this tension, but couldn’t quite put my finger on the root of it.  Then last night it hit me as our pastor used the example of a sign hanging up in his gym, which happens to be my gym too.  As we walk down the stairs to leave, we see this.

Finding joy in NOT doing it all. (

“I can do it all in my lifetime.” (She certainly looks balanced.)  (And air-brushed.)

As I pat myself on the back for staying consistent and getting another workout in, I am confronted with the image of someone who has it all under control.  Someone who does it all.

Last night I listened to my pastor rebuke this lie with a simple, “You can do it all in your lifetime?  Well, no.  No you can’t.”

But this is what we strive for, isn’t it?  To do it all, and to balance it perfectly?  (And to compare ourselves with everyone else that we believe is doing it well?)

This chase, it’s robbing us of joy.

In trying to do all, have all, be all, we are missing the opportunity to do that one thing we were made to do.  The thing that lights us up inside.  Life inspired.

Living too long in this tension wears us thin, and then we miss out on the beautiful, messy, imperfect, sappy, life-giving, full-of-joy pieces of life.  You know, the good stuff.

Finding joy in NOT doing it all. (

Finding joy in NOT doing it all. (

Finding joy in NOT doing it all. (

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Finding joy in NOT doing it all. (

We can’t do it all.  We weren’t meant to do it all.

Drop the lie.

Find freedom in the truth.

There is joy to be found.


Do you struggle to find balance?  How does the temptation to “have it all” affect you?  


  • Jennifer April 30, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Love this post. I have found that sometimes the biggest challenge is realizing the reality that I am “trying to do it all” and was so busy trying that I didn’t even realize that it was that “trying to do it all” that was making me crazy. Does that make sense? 🙂

    • inspiredrd April 30, 2013 at 7:12 am

      Yes of course!! That is exactly what inspired this post 🙂

  • tj April 30, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I feel like everything is on my shoulders this week and I needed this reminder. I put so much pressure on myself to do it all. Being 8 months pregnant no one expects it from me, but myself! We are our own worse enemies and I beat myself up when I don’t accomplish ALL of what I set out to do. I need to relax…and take a deep breath. 🙂

    • inspiredrd April 30, 2013 at 7:18 am

      Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

  • Lauren April 30, 2013 at 8:55 am

    This blog post could not have come at a more perfect time. Thank you so much for saying what I needed to tell myself!!!!!

  • Alexandra @ Delicious Knowledge April 30, 2013 at 9:16 am

    You mean I can’t do it all!? Ah, this post is so relevant right now. I have been struggling with work, taking on additional projects, and family/relaxation time and finding balance! Thanks for your perspective!

  • Laura Henson April 30, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Thank you so much for this post, it’s so true. I love it!

  • Erin Rhineheimer April 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

    This was just so perfect! With homeschooling the kids, ministry demands, and just the every day life challenges, I often feel a lack of balance. After reading a book about spiritual disciplines, I have started praying, not for balance in life, but for a well balanced heart. It has helped me to find the joy in life as I try to tackle what He thinks is important.

  • Renee Robinson May 2, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post! I think as women too, we try and do it all but really, we end up driving ourselves into the ground. And with that comes upset and disappointment in ourselves. I think that we go along with what we’re capable of doing and follow what God wants us to do. He’s got our lives written out already, we just need to follow and accept His path(s). Thank you so much for this read. A real treat! 🙂

  • Bean Bytes 36 May 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm

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  • Cathryn May 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Erin R I love your comment… about needing a well-balanced heart rather than a well- balanced exterior. Amen! I am constantly sturggling with the “battle of the shoulds.” God has been reminding me lately that when I wake up my 1sts question shouldn’t be “how can I get my (or other people’s) agenda done to day” but rather, “Lord, show me Your agenda for my day.” After all, everything we have is a gift on loan from Him!