I Don’t Know How You Do It!

“I don’t know how you do it.”

Has anyone ever said that to you in response to how you handle your schedule, your stresses, the pressures in your life?

I have. It makes me uncomfortable because it implies that I am some “other” kind of person, someone who is fine living with high stress and pressing on – let me tell you, I’m not.

I do have a secret to surviving but the secret isn’t me. What’s important for you to know about me is that:

I’m a quitter.

Most people don’t know that about me because I’m also a procrastinator so I don’t get around to following through on quitting but I quit on things all the time.

I’ve quit on my marriage. My husband of twenty-two years knows how many times I’ve given up.

I’ve quit on homeschooling. Over the past two decades, my kids have heard me many times mention that the following week they would be registered for public school.

I quit on karate about twelve times a week before I earned my black belt. Most people don’t know about that because I was usually mumbling about giving up as I was face down on a mat or in a muddy football field.

I quit on writing at least once a week but no one notices.

That’s why I find the verses in the Bible about perseverance to be the most annoying.

Perseverance, what a boring virtue! A clue to the irritating nature of perseverance is that it’s generally mentioned in tandem with its twin sister – patience and it’s developed by enduring suffering. Really, need I say more?

James writes about perseverance in chapter 5: 7-11: “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

OK, how irritating is that? Farmers, Job, prophets, suffering, waiting – all boring, all hard to do. Where’s the gratification? Where’s the glory? Where’s my best life now?

Galatians 6:9 is another frustrating passage: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Again, with the farming, the waiting, the not giving up. There’s nothing exciting about watching things grow. Try it some time. Planting is fun, harvest is a Mardi Gras but the actual growing – this is not the gripping stuff of bestselling novels or summer big screen blockbusters!

Knights of the Round Table were often known for their virtues. Sir Lancelot, the brave. Sir Dinadan, the bold. Sir Bedivere, the True. No one is lining up to be known as Sir George, the Perseverant.

So, how does a quitter with an aversion to long-suffering stay married twenty-two years, homeschool for the long run, earn a black belt, or continue to show up at the keyboard every day?

Here’s the secret: Daily meetings with God at the well that never runs dry. Sometimes updated to minute-by-minute meetings.

He listens to my complaints. He endures my irritation and my impatience. He nods when I offer my resignation. Then, He speaks. I listen. He pours Himself into my empty cup – Living Water for my thirsty soul.

OK, I decide. I’ll give it one more day – but I’ll probably quit tomorrow.

God smiles. He knows all about perseverance. Believe me, He’s the Master.

How do I do it? The same way you can do it. I tell God that I can’t do it but I’m willing to let Him make me able – and He does.

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3 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Karin says:

    Loved your post! Sounds like the thoughts in my own head, lol! Gotta love those moment by moments meetings with the One who fills me up! When I’m so full of myself He keeps pouring in, displacing what is the way of His fullness!

  2. Dakota says:

    Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I’m glad I did! I’ve added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you’ll check out my Christian devotional site as well: http://www.nocondemnation81.blogspot.com

    Have a blessed day!

    In Christ,
    Dakota

  3. sheri says:

    Lori, you just made millions of people identify with your blog! Myself included! Thanks for being clairvoyant with your followers, makes it believable!
    Please check out my website http://www.dailybreadoflife.net
    In planning process of updating it and ‘starting over with the devo’s’