Do Your Best and Leave the Rest to God

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I had one of those conversations again, recently… the kind where you excitedly chat with a kindred spirit and share things you’ve discovered.  I was particularly happy that day because I had, once again, managed to score three pounds of organic apples for a buck on the reduced produce rack.  She thought that was great, too.  And the conversation continued.  Eventually, she asked me this question:


“So what do you do about canned tomatoes?  You know, with the BPA and all?”


And a little part of me inside simply thought, “Oh, crud.”  I felt like I’d gotten busted for yet another one of my “un-clean” living moments.  But, I dusted off my pride, and admitted, “Well, if I can find them for a decent price in jars, I prefer those.  But the simple truth is that I get the big #10 cans from Costco more often than not.  Maybe there’s less contact with the actual can that way?  I don’t know.  I’m totally making that up.  But that’s where I’m at with that one.”


And that’s just the cold hard truth for me, my friends.


I’m well aware of the Dirty Dozen list.  I carry it around in my purse, for heaven’s sake.  And I do try to to buy organic apples, potatoes, peppers, berries, etc. whenever I can.  But that’s not always.


I know about BPA, but I still use some canned goods.  I also still handle the receipts that the cashiers give me, even though I’ve certainly read the articles that caution that they, too, are laced with the chemical.


I love, and use, whole wheat and whole white wheat flour, but you’ll still find all-purpose in my cabinet.  Some of my recipes just don’t turn out without it and some of those are my husband’s very favorites.


I’m not cutting sugar out of our diets completely.  I’m just… not.


The quality of my butter ranges from store-brand to Kerrygold and everything in between.


In some ways?  I’m a hot mess.  But the truth is, I just can’t do it all.  Something is bound to snap, be it my budget, my sanity, or my husband’s happiness.  I can’t figure out how to make it all add up to “perfect” and pat myself on the back.  So I just keep chugging along, trying to make good decisions whenever I can, and admitting I can’t handle it by myself.


The good news is… I don’t think I have to.  And that’s why you’ll also often hear these words leave my lips, “Do the best you can and leave the rest to God.”


Now, this is not the same idea as, “Well, we ate XYZ, and we turned out fine!”  I despise that logic.  We children of the 70s had mamas who were told formula was far superior to breast milk… and, so, many of us had it.  Did we turn out fine?  Yes.  Is formula of the devil?  No.  (I speak of formula itself here, people, not the marketing thereof.)  Is formula better than breast milk?  Of course not.  There’s not a soul around who would attempt to make that argument in this day and age.  I don’t believe “turning out fine” should be a ringing endorsement of a lifestyle– just saying.


But I do believe that life is a balancing act.  I believe that I am called to look over my family’s health, as best I can.  I believe I am called to be a good steward of our resources.  I believe I am called to bring joy and comfort to those I love.  I believe I am better at serving others when I am in a place of contentment.  And I believe that “doing my best” IS good enough.


And, so, there I am, opening that ginormous can of tomatoes and, rather than fretting, I’m letting it go…


I’ll continue to do my best.  And leave the rest to God.

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9 comments to Do Your Best and Leave the Rest to God

  • Little freaked writing on that same exact topic recently…but I’ve been working on that letting go too lately, and struggling a bit with it! You are soooo right, to Let God, and Let God!!!

  • Katie

    Amen JessieLeigh! You captured my thoughts and feelings on this topic perfectly. I firmly believe that we can only do the best we can and have to leave the rest with God. He is definately capable of keeping us healthy even if we are sometimes eating less then ideal food. Fantastic post!

  • Yes definitely the tomatoes touch less of the can in a #2. ;)
    How on earth do you use a #10 up before it goes bad?
    I would buy everything organic and in glass, but my store just doesn’t have everything and I don’t want to devote the time and gas to a giant trek. Yes it does irk my soul to pay $4 a pound for organic whole wheat pasta, but it’s offsetting whatever I didn’t get organic. ;)

  • Yes, we do the best we can with what we can. Potatoes are on the dirty dozen list, yet for 6 people we can eat a lot of potatoes. That gets expensive. I am a stickler for no HFCS or artificial colors and will buy organic when I can afford it. I cook from scratch as much as possible and try not to feel guilty about the rest.

    • I confess we don’t actually eat many potatoes… I’m not a big fan and neither are two of my three kids. :) So it’s not a huge financial burden for us. But I do hear what you’re saying– and I think it’s so important that we figure out what works and how to prioritize for our individual families. Cooking from scratch makes such a difference– I love the control of ingredient quality that affords us, too.

  • I nearly cried real tears when I realized my beloved potatoes were at the top of that blasted list. ;) If I had to make a list of “what I do right” and put it next to a list of “what I don’t do right/could do better/can’t or won’t fight right now” well… it might get ugly.

    My husband assures me that we’re light years ahead of “the norm” (as are you, my friend!) and I’m just trying to be good with that. And keep learning. That’s always fun.

    • I’m lousy about the berries… I try to pick my own when I can but, if I buy them, I’m just going to ‘fess up that they’re usually conventional. *sigh* I know they’re on the dirty dozen, but organic berries are SO pricey…

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