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When You Have Too Many Plates

When I got married, I registered for the same dishes my cousin had registered for the year before. I didn't know it at the time and didn't do it on purpose. I'd been copying my cousin my entire life, so when faced with a wall of plates in a department store, I subconsciously reverted to the little girl who wore hand-me-down neon T-shirts and stonewashed jeans.

Recently my cousin brought new dishes and boxed up her white pottery for me. I was thankful for such a generous gift, but all those dishes didn't quite fit in my cabinets. Now when I see those towering stack of plates, I'm reminded that not only do I have too many plates in my cabinet, but I have too much on my proverbial plate also.

I've always struggled with the temptation to believe I can do everything - everything I want to do, everything I need to do and everything everyone else thinks I should do. Since becoming a mom this struggle has only increased, and I've developed a bad habit of overestimating both my ability to do one more thing and my ability to remember anything that's not tattooed on my eyelids. The result, as you might guess, is that I forget appointments, I miss deadlines and I feel perpetually exhausted.

I can't seem to get it together.

My plate is so full it's overflowed onto other plates, and those full plates - those beautiful, breakable plates - keep crashing to the ground. Shattering. Cutting. Scattering.

Thankfully, I'm not alone in this plate madness. My husband asks, How can I help?" My counselor nudges, "What would it look like if you said no?" And my manager says, "Tell me if you don't have time."

Thats when I hear another voice saying, "It's OK. Put down the plates. Lean on me. BREATHE."


Put down the plates.

And for the love of pottery, stop adding things to the plates!

God never asked me to say yes to every project, every opportunity, even every need or every person. He didn't. I'm pretty sure he said the opposite actually.

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

-Psalm 127:2

Oh, yes. There's the truth - and the peace - I've been missing. God isn't asking us to carry loaded stacks of plates, no matter how pretty they are. Put down your plates, friends.


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