To do lists

1. Write out to-do list for today.

2. Write blog on to-do list

Do you all live on to-do lists like I do?   How many do you write in a week? Recently, as we were leaving for a trip, I started freaking out and frantically searching through my bags trying to find the trip prep to-do list.  You know those moments, where you feel like your world is going to fall apart because you may forget to do one thing on there?   No matter how much I looked, it was gone.  Mentally I started looking thinking through the list, trying to remember if there was anything left on there.  I left for the trip with a feeling of unsettledness, worried I had forgotten something.

I love to-do lists!  But not because I always need another project, but it puts my mind at ease when I can see it on paper.  Shh, don’t tell people this, but you know that back section of the bulletin where it says to write notes on the sermon? Yah, I usually fill it with my to-do list during the first minutes of worship.  Before you judge me, let me tell you it actually helps me worship.  For some reason, my brain loves having a hundred browser tabs open all the time.  You know the saying, how men think in boxes so they can just shut the box and put it away.  Well, my husband says I have a 100 internet browser tabs open all the time.  And I have to constantly think on them for fear I’l forget them.  Somehow, when I make a to-do list, it puts my mind at ease and I can let it go.  (insert Frozen song) If the paper has all my ideas on it, I don’t have to remember it anymore.  My brain can move on knowing my trusty list has it covered.  🙂

Yes, I know in theory, that life will continue just fine if I don’t get it all done.  That someone will call to remind me if I’m not there to meet them. That I’ll remember it later, or I’ll get an email reminder.  Or perhaps I’ll forget it because it really wasn’t that important to start with.  My motives wrestle within me in writing them. 


Part of me writes them in the hopes of becoming….everything.   Remember that post about being enough?  I want to be good at maintaining contact with people, have beautiful gardens, read books, be hospitable, organized, put together, etc, etc, etc.  So I make desperate lists in the hopes that it will help be come what I am not. That I will be…enough.  But, the dream doesn’t work.  There’s not magic in writing it down that makes it happen.  I’m still …me.  

The other part of me writes it down out of a knowledge that what I prioritize, I do.  You can tell by the dust on my shelves, but the lack of dishes in my sink, that I view clean dishes as more important than clean shelves.  Or the rows of tiny seedlings, but the lack of home-cooked meals that nothing else matters when gardening season happens. 🙂  Some day I’d like to read the book, Say Good-bye to Survival Mode written by Crystal Paine.  It details her journey towards prioritizing the many things that call for our attention.  When I pick the top 5 things for the day and do them, there is a marvelous sense of accomplishment in crossing them off the list!  It also means, I don’t have to worry about the other items for they aren’t the priority. 

Prioritizing is the key, I think, to finding that balance.  Not based on what the world or I value.  But what does Jesus say?  Waking up each morning and saying: ‘Good morning, Lord, here are all the lists of things I thought maybe we should do. But what would you like to do today? What are your priorities?’.  Then comes the feeling of both accomplishment and peace as together (the Lord and I) do the things on His list. 


Lord, help me to value the things you do.  To see priorities as you do, and not to get caught up in trying to be enough.  


You know that list that I anxiously searched for before my trip?  Yah, I found it yesterday. There were only two things left on the list to do.  But it turns out life happened just fine without them.  🙂 


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