If there’s any weekend that you might find it interesting to be a fly on my wall, it would not be this one. Unless, you’re ready to watch heads spin. This weekend, I am participated in a Holiday Market – one of those huge events where 20,000 people smoosh in a few rooms like five kids in a queen bed. That alone is stressful, but couple it with the fact that I received a late night call on Monday saying I may be going to Ecuador (ALSO happening this weekend, since it’s now confirmed), and you have one mom who is just trying to keep her head above water.
Do you know the feeling? Whether it’s planning for a last minute trip out of the country (which is still surreal for me) or just trying to accomplish the day to day woman, mom, or wife kind of things, I always go back to one of my mentors, Elizabeth Elliot, who encourages, “Just do the next thing.”
Sometimes I don’t really know what that next thing is because there are so many things to do, but that’s the point…just pick one and do it.
My encouragement comes with the fact that I CAN get through this. It’s short lived. He doesn’t give us anything more than we can handle. I CAN stand on my feet for the next three days because I know that at the end of that final day, I will be hustling to catch a plane to bring my sweet nephew home.
When we get overwhelmed with whatever life is calling us to do, it’s about just doing the next thing. (Or maybe re-evaluating our priorities and just saying “No,” but that’s another post.)
So, what “next thing” did I do today?
Baking/Freezer Day was something I was really looking forward to, but I realized that devoting a huge chunk of time was not the best use of my afternoon. Sometimes, good and wonderful things need to be readjusted. My husband and kids can scrounge up lots of things to eat while I’m gone, so I just spent one hour trying to do a mini cooking day.
I’m thankful I got a jump start on baking day with homemade applesauce in the crockpot; I’m ready to make some more.
Having purchased market down zucchini, I knew I didn’t have time to make the bread I planned. I shredded some up in my mini food processor. Seriously, look for these when you are thrifting. I bought this for $2 at a yard sale years ago, and I use it at least three times a week when I don’t want to dirty larger dishes.
I ran out of steam and just chopped the rest for later use.
I had already thawed a bunch of marked down ground chicken and pork, and threw six pounds into one skillet. I fried it up, added a bunch of the zucchini and some sauce and dinner was done. 🙂 It’s one of those, “I have no idea what I’m creating, but with enough spices, it will be good” meal.
I divided some into freezer bags. I have rice cooking in the rice cooker, and lots of noodles boiling. I’ll add 1/2 of this meat mixture to the rice, mix in some shredded and cottage cheese to make a casserole for when I’m gone. Ok, the pic looks kind of odd, but it tasted really good.
Here are some of the things I ‘m pondering whether I’ll get done. I’m determining what the “next thing” should be for my Holiday Market. This painted dinner tray may not get finished to sell at my booth.
These antique dinner trays have been repurposed, but can I embellish them enough in one day that someone will want to purchase it? And, just out of curiosity, what would you pay for one of these cute things?
And this is a live look at only a part of my foyer. So, do you want to switch places? Anyone?
Remember, just figure out what the next thing is…and do it. I’m in process.
My next thing is going to happen right now. I sadly realize I will miss MOST of triple coupon week at Harris Teeter (boo hoo), but I’m doing what I can to stock my fridge and pantry with triple coupon items.
Yes, that is my next thing.
What is yours? Remember, don’t feel overwhelmed by all the “Superwomen” you may know, just do the next thing.
And to answer my previous post’s question about whether I could feed the family pizza all week…I’ve decided they will get to know this well loved pan awfully well. 🙂
Great advice, Jen! I’ve always loved that quote by Elisabeth Elliott. Haven’t always lived it, but love it nonetheless.
However, I can say that this week I did live by it in my chaotic mess and eventually the chaos got under control and I got so much done!
I hope you have fun in the midst of your extremely busy weekend/week.
Boy! I really needed to hear this this morning. Thanks! I think my next thing right now is a shower – then on to the next thing.
Hope all goes well for you.
What a wonderful post! You are going to be a busy girl. I do so love your blog!
Thanks for that post! I really needed to hear this today! Super busy week/weekend coming up with church and school activities. I was begining to feel overwhelmed.
Glad to see North Carolinian with such a great blog! (I’m from the coast. No blog yet, but hopefully some day.) I just found you this week and have really enjoyed your blog and found many useful things! Thanks so much!
Wow, Jen! That’s a whole lotta “next things.” And, how exciting about Ecuador. Hope your trip goes smoothly!
Wow, Jen! You never cease to amaze me. The thing is I know you will get it all done. I like “Just do the next thing”…it is how I operate I just never had put it into a conscious thought by putting words to it. One thing at a time what is important gets done.
Well, I hope you will get lots of rest on your long flight. Enjoy! My daughter, Jen, is going to visit my other daughter, Laura, in Italy tomorrow for 10 days. They haven’t been together in three years. She is leaving four kids and hubby at home and sweating that, but I know she will have fun and needs this time for herself. I am sure her foyer looks a lot like yours right now and the cooking is about the same too. My son, Chris is, going on a business trip to the Carolinas tomorrow as well and I wish I could go too and meet you at your booth! Have fun! Just breathe and do the next thing!
Oh Jen! What a wonderful post! This is good, good stuff. Thank you for listening to God and seeking His will in your schedule and then sharing it with us. I too appreciate Elizabeth Elliot.
What an incredible blessing that you get to bring your sweet nephew home! Wow!!!
Also, I know what you mean about the things to sell at your booth. My booth was a week and a half ago now and the night before I must admit to spending about an hour and a half frustrated trying to figure out what to do next when I knew there wasn’t time for “everything I wanted to do”. It all turned out just great. The fact that I didn’t buy and plant succulents in adorable little tea tins to display and sell in my booth didn’t change a bit about the day.
Blessings on you, my friend!!! Kelly
You don’t know me, but I check in on your blog quite often. I have never heard of anyone else besides me refer to Elisabeth’s idea of “doing the next thing”. I tell myself that so often and it bring such focus and peace. It was an encouragement to see you post it here. Thanks.
Emily – that is so neat. I just love Elizabeth, don’t you?
Wow! You’ve got a lot going on, Jen. Hang in there. Love that quote–I might need to post it next to my computer for crazy days like this! 🙂
What an unbelieveable amount of stuff on your plate, not to mention all the delicious things you’ve already cooked up on your plate. Wow, a trip out of the country? Amazing ! You sound so calm right now. I am totally laughing that you showed us your foyer. That’s a pretty common look in my house too.
Bless you this day and safe travels !
I needed to hear that tonight – today hasn’t been very productive, but even late doing a couple next things will go a long way!
How did you get so crafty?… Ive been reading your blog for months and I have to say your like if Mattlock and McGiver somehow procreated a master chef =) you give me hope lol