I’m often asked, “How do you do it all?” meaning balance a life of 5 kids (including 2 with special needs), ministry as a pastor’s family, speaking, racing goals, and well, LIFE as we all juggle.
The answer is: None of it has to do with me at all. Any good you see in me is because of Jesus working in my life. That’s totally it, friends. I had to give up the control I love so much and allow the Holy Spirit to get to work as He is ready to do when we let Him.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
All of these things are a process, and I’m continuing as God does his transformational work in me. Believe me, God still has plenty of material to work with when it comes to Sara Borgstede life projects.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Looking back I see teeny, tiny steps I’ve taken along the way that have had huge impact. When we are in the midst of needing to make a change, looking at the big picture is overwhelming. Instead, choose to make one teeny, tiny change. Get that one down, then make another. That’s all I did. I did it 1,000 times over, and then I did it some more.
Here are some of the basics that helped me get going:
- Get dressed in real clothes every day. I’ve been a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and worked several businesses from home for the last 18 years. For years I lived in sweats, semi-PJs, and bulky sweatshirts. I looked slobby, I felt slobby, and I ate slobby. Now I get dressed in real clothes every day. I do my hair, put on make-up, wear jewelry, and wear real shoes — no tennis shoes — even if my family is the only one who will see it. If you already get dressed for work every day, consider wearing nicer clothes than expected. Not only will people treat you better, you will carry yourself with more honor. (There is a debate raging around the topic of Christian women wearing yoga pants in public. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check out the debate here.)
- Wear a real bra every day. (Sorry any men reading this.) Along with #1, I lived in sports bras or no bra at all with a layered t-shirt plus sweat-shirt look. It wasn’t attractive and more important, I didn’t feel especially good about myself. If you already have this one taken care of, consider your posture. Each time you hear a phone ring, sit up straighter, with your shoulders back. The difference in confidence is amazing.
- Start the laundry on Mondays and Thursdays. This is from a Fly Lady concept which is that you do all your laundry — start to finish — on Mondays and Thursdays. Start to finish is totally not going to happen around here. Remember, we are talking teeny, tiny steps. But, I can START the laundry each of these days. There are 7 of us and laundry is my ongoing nemesis. No matter how piled up it is, every Monday and Thursday I have everyone gather up what is in the rooms, and we start more loads. This at least keeps the process going.
- Every time you walk past the laundry piles, fold 10 pieces of clean laundry. I pass by the laundry, I make myself fold ten items. Often that leads to a few more, which ends up being a couple loads during the day. It’s kind of annoying but it’s getting it done.
- Tell your kids or grandkids specifically what you want them TO DO, one direction at a time, when they are misbehaving. This sounds ridiculously simple, but in the heat of the moment, it’s really hard! Quit hitting your brother! becomes Put both of your hands in your lap. Keep your hands in your lap until the timer goes off. Another example would be, instead of Stop jumping all over the place! Why can I not go anywhere with you in public? becomes instead Walk with your leg next to my leg. Keep directions short, simple, and to the point. Do not add any extra words (as much as you really, really want to add them!). There is a time and place for explanations and in fact these are very important, but in the middle of the misbehavior is not the time.
- Write your workouts on your calendar and circle them. The ideal is to write your workouts on your calendar beforehand. I do my planning on Sunday nights, along with the who-is-driving-whom-where-when-how-is-this-humanly-possible-let’s-not-panic planning Mike and I do weekly. I also plan my weekly meals and shopping list most of the time. You might not be there yet — that is okay. Instead, write down your workouts after you do them as a reward. Circle them. You will be able to see your workouts for the whole week. Aim for more circles this week than last week. I don’t care if it’s holding a plank for 30 seconds on your lunch break. It gets a circle. It all counts!
Now for the challenge: Which number will you start this week? Comment below for accountability. We will be here to cheer you on!