This time of year presents us with barbecue’s , picnics and outings. All of these gatherings offer up the chance to walk away with a plate full to the brim of mouthwatering specialties. Whether Aunt Susie made her famous potato salad or Uncle Hank showed up with his kickin’ steak tips. Once our plate is loaded to the brim with all of these items , it is then we realize the enormity of what we have collected.

The same holds true in other areas of our lives. A great many people are holding onto plates that are laden with things they may never be able to actually use. How does this happen? The answer is simple. We do not usually take on all of these things at once. They begin to fill up our plates a little at a time. It can be as innocent as taking on a new project at work or volunteering for a school fundraiser. While it sounds great at the time we sign up, once we take a look at our calenders we may realize that doing these things may throw us into overload.

I remember a number of years ago when my children were in pre-school, I would see advertisements for ” The Christmas Tree Shops”.Their television ads would have women looking at all kinds of things in their stores. The ads showed these women loading up their carts with all kinds of things that they found at the store. Their slogan was “Don’t You Just Love A Bargain!” But how much of a bargain is it really when you have no more room on your plate or in your house for all of these things?

Personally I have never come out of that store with a cart overloaded. Some of my friends used to ask me how I could do that. My answer was answered with this story. One time when I was shopping at the “Christmas Tree Shop”, I was with my then three year old son. I stopped in one aisle to admire the beautiful pasta bowls they had. One in particular caught my eye. The bowl was a beautiful deep blue ,gold and white pattern. I stood there for quite a while admiring it. Then I decided it was time to move on. My son asked me why I was not buying the bowl. I told him simply.

Even though I could afford to buy the bowl, I would have no place to put it once we got home! Do you have enough room for more or should you clear your plate before taking on more?