Finding Peace with the Reality That You Can’t Do It All

A couple of weeks ago my husband started a new job. Instead of seeing him off on his first day with a kiss and an encouraging word, I was asleep in bed.

We can’t do it all. We can fight this reality and be disappointed in ourselves or we can find peace with it and trust the Lord to direct our efforts.

I felt awful when I woke up and realized I had slept through his departure! My 9-month-old daughter was going through a rough phase where she was waking about every two hours. Having been up with her several times, I was tired and slept through my alarm.

As I plodded through that morning, I mentally reminded myself of a reality that we must all accept: I can’t do it all.

I want to be a faithful follower of Jesus, a devoted wife, a loving mother, and a caring friend. My Type A personality drives me to do these things with excellence. Unfortunately, no human has enough time and energy to be perfect at all these things. Eventually something must give. That’s what happened when I slept through my husband’s departure on the first day of his new job.

I can’t do it all. I felt immediate peace on that morning as I repeated those words to myself. I remembered that God sees me and loves me (Psalm 121:5, Isaiah 43:2). He has plans for me and my family, and these plans won’t be derailed because of my limitations (Proverbs 19:21). In fact, He may be using these very limitations to form me, my husband, and my daughter into the people He wants us to be (James 1:2-4).

In letting go of my drive to be flawless in my roles, I surrendered myself to the larger purposes that God is working in my life. I found peace. I found freedom. I found God’s grace and was in turn more gracious with my family and friends.

If you are facing numerous roles and their corresponding tasks, then I encourage you to find peace with the fact that you can’t do it all. God sees you. He loves you. He has grace for you to accomplish the truly important things. Regardless of your capabilities, He is carrying out his purposes in your life.

Let’s surrender our expectations of ourselves and trust the Lord to direct our efforts.

Shared on the following link-ups:

Faith Filled Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Titus 2sday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Making Your Home Sing, Saturday Soiree, Weekend Wind Down, Faith and Fellowship Blog Hop and Shine Blog Hop.


  1. Expectations can do so much harm in our lives. We can be so much harder on ourselves just by the expectations we set up. I love your simply reminder that we can’t do it all, if only we can learn to give ourselves this grace more often! I hope sleepless nights wont continue for too much longer for you!

    • What you say about expectations is true…and often we have higher expectations of ourselves than others have of us!
      Our sleepless nights have gotten better. 🙂

  2. It can be hard to remember that we can’t do everything, no matter how much we want too. I’m currently struggling with the same realities, as I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and I have far too many unfinished projects.

  3. We all have expectations that we sometimes can’t live up to. And that’s okay! You’re right, we can’t do it all all the time. We need to give ourselves some grace.
    Thanks for sharing on the Shine Blog Hop!

  4. I often have to remind myself that in my weakness He is made strong. Thank you for this reminder to give myself some grace o those (many) days when it just doesn’t all get done.

  5. AMEN! Well said Shannon. Bravo! I have been learning that in spite of what expectations I have set for myself, God has a plan for my life. I too have found the peace that only He offers as I am learning to trust Him! Thrilled have found your site on the weekend wind down link up:) Have a wonderful weekend. May God bless you and yours!

  6. I loved your statement about having a Type A personality because I can completely relate to that! I have also been trying recently to come to terms with the fact that I can’t do it all. Like anything else though, I have good days and bad. I’ve found that on the days that I start to feel rushed and frazzled I need to take some time (even though I don’t feel like I have any to spare) to refocus myself on God because He is the source of my calm within the storms of life.

    • Hi Kristin,
      I think your approach to handling those days when you feel rushed and frazzled is great! Those are the times when we need to refocus ourselves the most.

  7. I have been feeling this way lately. I wear so many hats and feel like I’m failing in all areas.

    Your words, “I encourage you to find peace with the fact that you can’t do it all. God sees you. He loves you. He has grace for you to accomplish the truly important things. Regardless of your capabilities, He is carrying out his purposes in your life.

    Let’s surrender our expectations of ourselves and trust the Lord to direct our efforts.” gave me great encouragement.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Kathy Jackson says:

    If you can’t do it all, then maybe you need to look at what you ALL is. God’s Word says that I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME. My ALL is the “list” of things that God gives me to do every day. My ALL involves knowing my priorities and living those priorities on a daily basis. My ALL is wrapped up in

    1. My relationship with God.
    2. My husband.
    3. My child and his wife and children.
    4. The rest of my family.
    5. My home.
    6. My church.

    I live out each day according to this list. I don’t have a lot of time for anything outside this list, but that suits me fine. I thoroughly enjoy being a “keeper at home.” Now, a sick baby will change the way your day goes…and perhaps your week. But, a life lived according to the list of priorities that God has given you you means that you are following His instructions and ordering your day according to His desire for your life. Doing it all IS possible!!

    • This is great, Kathy! You have beautifully articulated what I was getting at when I said that God “has grace for you to accomplish the truly important things.”
      If we stick to the priorities He has given us (as you’ve listed), then we can do it all. Thanks for encouraging all of us with this!

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