Many years ago, when I was still in high school, I heard a sermon illustration that has stuck with me all this time. This past Friday and Saturday I attended the Fresh Grounded Faith Conference with some ladies from church and I heard the illustration again.
I has to do with prioritizing and balancing all the things that we, as busy moms, need to balance. There are days when things go undone, maybe we don't get to the dishes, or the laundry that needed to be put away. But there comes a point when you really have to sit down and think about the important things in your life and what matters most. You have to set your priorities straight. Even then, once your priorities are in order, there are going to be times when things are left undone, because there are just so many minutes in a day. And, do you know what? That is okay!
Consider this: If you put sand in a bucket, then small pebbles on top of the sand, then larger stones on top, it is not all going to fit. BUT if you first put those large stones in, then the smaller pebbles, then pour the sand in, the sand will filter through all the cracks down to the bottom and the sand will fit in the bucket along with the pebbles and stones.
The bucket is our day-to-day life. It holds all the "stuff" that we need to get done. The sand represents all of the little things that we often run around frantically trying to accomplish; chores, errands, our to-do lists. The small pebbles represent the people in our lives who need us or those that we have the opportunity to bless throughout our day. The larger stones are....you guessed it! God and our relationship with Him. What happened in the bucket illustration when we tried to put in our sand and pebbles first? God didn't fit. That day God was an afterthought. Maybe you quickly gave a sleepy little prayer before you crashed that night, but you didn't give Him much of your time.
But when the day started out with God (large stones) all the other "stuff" fell into place. Notice too, that the pebbles (the people in our lives) are put in before our to-do lists. If you have to make the choice between blessing a person-a friend, a family member, a church member, an exhausted mommy-always, always choose the person over your to-do lists or your errands.
This was applicable to my life back when I was a junior in high school just as it is today as a wife, mom, and teacher. I still have work to do in the art of prioritizing but each day, God's grace meets me where I fall short and I wake up the next day and try it again.