Thursday, June 26, 2014

No More To-Do Lists

I love lists.

Wait, let me rephrase that.

I LOVE lists.

I mean, LOVE them, LOVE them.

Marking a colorfully coordinated wavy line through a completed task on a cute magnetic pad of paper is one of the most rewarding things to me.

But even before the satisfaction of marking off a done, to-do, I would go as far as to say that I actually enjoy MAKING lists.

The feeling of control.
The feeling of organization.
The feeling of having a plan.
The reassurance of having everything written down, when in case my brain gives way again.

But recently I have decided that I am no longer going to make to-do lists.

*gasp*

I know, I know, you are thinking that there may be something wrong with me, and there may be, but I was realizing that my to-do lists were beginning to dictate my attitude and outlook of the entire day.

Because if it was written down it HAD to get done.
(can I get an amen?!)
No matter what the cost.
No matter what the attitude
or spirit-led "interruption" that I would miss out on
or how unrealistic the long list might be
or how much I would need to ignore my kids or rush them around, nagging them to hurry up...
(because nothing brings me closer to losing my salvation than slow children when I am on a mission)

I have a habit (a good one, I might add) of making my to-do list for the day first thing in the morning.
Before I sit down to have my time with the Lord I sit down with my journal and jot down the things that need to get done.
It is a way to mentally empty out my day onto paper before giving my day to the Lord.
It helps to get all those distractions out so I can meditate and focus on the One I am being quiet with.

I felt like this helped me give those to-do's up to God, but internally I was still holding on to my to-do's and asking God to partake in MY idea of how my day should go.

One morning, though, I was making my list and unintentionally replaced my typical "Today's to-do list:" with "Today I would like to do:"

That's when I realized that I had finally figured out how in the world to give my to-do's up to God.

I had an idea of the things that I felt were priorities for my day, but by changing the header on my to-do to "I'd LIKE to" I was in essence giving up that list to the conductor of my life to orchestrate the notes in my day that add to the symphony of my life.

It's been amazing how freeing this has made my entire day feel, no longer being a slave to the things I need to get done.

I am more motivated to get something checked off when I can, but less stressed out if it just doesn't happen that day.
I am more prone to stop what I'm doing to play a few rounds of hide-and-seek with the Colony or see an interruption for what it really is.
I work more efficiently when I am able to indulge in a task.
I've even read the entire Hunger Games series, because I have more margin in my days.

Now, just because you relinquish your to-do list to God doesn't mean every day is going to go smoothly and you'll never feel rushed or anxious because something needs to get done, that's just unrealistic, but it does help prioritize and bring fresh perspective every morning...and maybe it'll also help you realize that you can go another day without reorganizing the toys into their appropriate bins or color-coding the pantry (not that those things have EVER taken precedence for me;).
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