Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Because of busy days ahead, I've decided to publish a few posts from the archives this week. The following post originally appeared November 27, 2007.

"One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy."

~ Elisabeth Elliot ~

I like lists.

If I write it down, I remember it better and give myself permission to forget about it for a while (it makes sense to me).

When I was a new mother and began this SAHM gig, I made a list every day of what I hoped to get done. I even put down the tiniest of jobs, stuff like "Make bed" or "Take a shower" or "Unload dishwasher." It wasn't that I was THAT forgetful, I was merely groping for things to scratch off my list. The more I checked off, the more evidence of my accomplishments. The problem came when my plan for the day didn't always materialize. Sometimes a baby would be especially crabby or an unexpected visitor stopped or an impromptu trip to the store was necessary. At the end of many days I would look at my list and the war zone I called my living room and shake my head thinking, "What d'you do today, Tami, anything?"

Yet I realize you can't put a value on rocking a child or comforting a hurting soul. Extending lunch with a friend is more enriching than time-consuming. When I help a kid with trigonometry, I'm building a relationship. Plopping on the couch late at night, watching syndicated reruns is not wasted time. It is relaxing with my husband. Reading a good book does more for me than a spotless kitchen floor.

Now I'm more realistic. I allow for changes in my schedule. When I make my lists today, I don't limit them to time. My goal is to check things off within a span of a week or so. I don't include daily things like "Cook dinner" or "Pick up kids from school" or even "Exercise" (yes, I know what you're thinking). I WISH for unexpected phone calls or visitors to pull me away from things. I'd pick hanging with you any time over cleaning! My prayer each morning comes from Psalm 90:17,

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us--yes, establish the work of our hands.

Amen, Lord. Your will be done.


Dianne said...

I love that verse in Psalm 90! And yeah, sometimes my todo lists are padded with silly little things. What I've actually found very helpful is to sit and recall at the end of the day what did get accomplished, and give thanks - big thanks - to God for getting me through another day! ;)

Jana Banana said...

I see myself in this post! :)

I'm looking right now at my "to do" list, and on it are things such as "dishes, get the mail, shower".... It must be the need to accomplish?

Anyway, thanks for the good post and reminder about those things that often don't make the list....rocking a little one and encouraging her smiles!