The Day A Paper Plate Changed My Life

God enters by a private door into each individual. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

      I used to be a “Yes Woman.” If someone needed a volunteer, I’d do it. If they needed someone to plan a party, put together baby or wedding shower games, or coordinate a potluck, I was your woman. My definition of downtime was the brief five or six hours during the night when I was asleep and even then my mind was constantly in motion. It had gotten to the point that other people volunteered me for things because they knew I would say, “Yes.”

One morning I attended a meeting for a women’s discipleship group at church. The facilitator passed out paper plates and asked us to write down all of the things that consumed our time. Needless to say – like most women – my plate was full with people, events and responsibilities that I was involved with. Then came the critical and eye-opening question.

“Does anyone in this room have your relationship with God written on your plate?” Only a few hands around the room went up. I would guess no more than 20 in a room of approximately 150 women in attendance. Mine wasn’t one of them.

     God, the facilitator explained, didn’t include the church and ministry activities you were involved in. It strictly meant uninterrupted, focused, and personal time with Him. Your personal time of communion. Some hands went down.

The room was silent, save for a few murmurs, sighs and sniffles. I wanted to weep. We shook our heads and most of us stared wide eyed at our full plates, and then at each other. That was the day a paper plate changed my life.

Even after that experience I’ve had to constantly re-evaluate my life and clean off my plate. The first time my eyes were opened I was a single woman who wasn’t even involved in a relationship. The only person I truly had to worry about was myself. Now years later as I write this book, I’m a wife, mother of two young children, and an entrepreneur. Some scriptures I’d learned as a single woman didn’t really come to life for me until after I married. Those like 1 Corinthians 7:34 that says, “The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be both holy in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world – how she may please her husband.” (Need I mention that whole submission thing? That too became real. Real quick!)

My priorities have changed. But don’t get me wrong, I never mind lending a helping hand. Yet I always think back to that paper plate that had so much ink scribbled on it that I could barely see white space. And I think about the old saying that your time is something that can only be used once, and once spent is gone forever. So when your plate is full, empty your plate and get a new one. Make God the main entree and everything else a side item! You’ll be able to dine at the table with Him, enjoy sweet communion, and truly be able to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).


Stand On The Word

  • But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. – Matthew 6:33
  • For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:21
  • Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. – Deuteronomy 6:1-2
  • Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15


Think It Out. Write It Out. Walk It Out.

1.  What things can you ‘clean off your plate’?

2.  Do you try to fit your devotion time with God into your schedule, or do you schedule your activities around you devotion time with God? Who or what is your priority?

3.  Find a quiet place to sit still. Listen. What is God speaking to you?

This devotion is taken from “If These Shoes Could Talk,” a 30-day devotion for a women’s daily walk of faith, written by Tia McCollors. Read more devotions like this by CLICKING HERE.



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