Letting Go of Wonder Woman

My lists and I, we used to be so close. Buddies, best friends, really. They affirmed my value and worth as I crossed items off. Now, it seems, they mock me.

When I was single (and living in a townhouse full of female housemates), I made lists of everything I needed and wanted done and then would just do it. Far from a perfectionist, my lists weren’t an impossible standard but kept my space clean and my responsibilities up-to-date. It was easy to feel like Wonder Woman. Even with an especially long list, I could usually bust it out in one Saturday and still have time to rest on Sunday before the impending work week. Back then when I cleaned something, it stayed clean.

We like to fool ourselves into thinking we can do it all. But eventually our super powers run out and we find ourselves needing to ask for help. In those moments there's a great lesson to be learned about grace and letting go of control. Letting go of Wonder Woman is a gift we give to ourselves.

My lists have changed since then. For starters, I manage, in conjunction with my husband, a whole house and am responsible for the care of: one husband, one toddler and two dogs. While I still make lists of things I need to do and want to do, I separate them into things that have to be done and additional things that would be nice to accomplish. Rarely do I get to check off everything in the would be nice category, and I’ve come to be okay with that. The unwritten-but-clear-in-my-head rule: things that have to be done, have to be done.

Then comes a day like today. I woke up with a full list of have-to-be-dones and a strict timeline: TODAY. But it was manageable, as long as I used my time wisely and no unexpected things popped up, I should be able to get it all done.

Mid-morning the unexpected popped up. I’ve been fighting an especially nasty cold for almost a week and am finally on the mend, except now I feel dizzy. Really, really dizzy – like bumping into walls dizzy.

James offered to come home and take me to the quick care, but as I mentally calculated the time out of my day that would require I brushed him off. “Let’s give it a little more time and see.” I replied while finishing up some contract work.

I didn’t feel any better by lunch time but hoped that a bowl of soup would help as I made my daughter’s traditional (read: requested every day) peanut-butter-only half sandwich. After eating I still wasn’t feeling better.

When I put Reagan down for her nap, I made a decision: To feel better, I needed to sacrifice this valuable alone time/work-time to take a nap myself. There was no way I’d get everything on my have-to-be-done list completed now but maybe if I rested I could do some of it later.

When I woke up, my dizziness had lessened. But I could still feel it and knew I needed to take it easy. So I did what I hate – what I think most women hate – I asked for help and let some of my to-do list go.

My husband ran an errand on the way home and started a load of laundry (so we’ll at least have clean clothes). The dinner I had planned will stay unmade in the fridge for another day, and we’ll grab some cheap take-out. I’ll just have to make my apologies if we’re not as fully prepared as planned for our day tomorrow with family, and trust God with the rest.

I’ve never actually been compared to Wonder Woman, but even as a non-perfectionist, there is a level of accomplishment I try to keep. As my toddler is prone to say: I do it myself. And when I can’t do it all myself, I don’t like it. I don’t like asking for help or not completing my list.

Maybe that’s exactly why I need to do it. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul writes, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” Did you catch that? Christ’s power is made perfect in our weakness. We aren’t meant to do it all or be it all. We are meant to rely on Christ and rely on each other.

So I guess that’s at least two things I can check off my list for today.

We like to fool ourselves into thinking we can do it all, but there's a time to ask for help.Click To Tweet

What about you? Is it hard for you to ask for help? Do you have a hard time acknowledging your weakness and relying on Christ’s strength in the dailies of life? #metoo

  • Letting Go of Wonder Woman
  • God Has Always Loved The Girl With The Ponytail
  • The Inheritance of Daughters
  • Free to be Beautiful
  • This Body: Celebrating the beauty of YOU
  • Making the Leap to "I Am Enough"
Rachel Oliver
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Rachel Oliver

Rachel Oliver is mommy to one sweetheart of a girl and loved by a fabulous guy. Fueled by good chocolate {dark!}, good discussion and Diet Mountain Dew, she spends her days focused on family and encouraging others in the journey of motherhood.
Rachel Oliver
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  • Sasha Maples Johns

    As Wonder Woman’s biggest fan (I really mostly like her style) I was recently struck by the fact that she did not ever carry around a list, or prep dinner, or even have kids to care for. I’ve come to appreciate more
    the mom from the Incredibles….she gets it for reals.
    I LOVE this piece friend.

    • Rachel Oliver

      Oh ya. The mom from The Incredibles is way more realistic (her kids didn’t listen to her and she got frustrated with them — and her super hero husband). Love that movie and love you!