...running the course God sets before us, no matter the cost, no matter the task, to the end, for His glory

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The To Do List vs. The Mom

All the experts will tell...

  • make a list
  • write it down
  • prioritize your tasks
  • do the most important first
Ahhh. The dreaded To Do list. (there really needs to be a background of ominous music here.)

I am, quite frankly, a recovering To-Do-List-Aholic. I have been running around with yellow legal pads dragging behind me for decades. I have of course in the recent years modernized to more electronic means and have been using my phone and my computer. 

So, I like the list thing.

Except for when I hate the list thing.

What I like:
  • organizes my wandering brain
  • bolsters my fading memory
  • constricts my distracted attention
What I hate:
  • that at the end of a very busy day full of activity, ministry, prayer, and mothering I can look at that wonderful, prioritized To Do list and be unable to scratch a single thing off. 
  • Because in all of that busyness, I never got around to a single thing on that dreaded list.
Because life for a Mom- especially one that is full of people and their issues- is not willing to either be organized or constricted by my list.

No, my list will not bend to my life. Rather my list more often than not gets trampled by my life.

For so many years I would feel so defeated by one of THOSE days- one where my long beautiful list had NOTHING scratched off. But then...

Now I have victory over (or maybe in) my defeat.

Instead of feeling defeated by the lack of To Do's that are actually done, I simply write down what I did....AND CROSS IT OFF.

Tricky, I know. But very effective!
I can see the long list of what I did and I can see those lovely lines marking through them and announcing, "Done! Look at all you have done!"

Write down EVERYTHING. Everything you actually have done.

Like what you ask? Well, depends on the day. But here is a sample:
  • wiped tears and bandaged a knee
  • cleaned up spill
  • cleaned up another spill
  • prayed for patience
  • cleaned. up. ANOTHER. spill
  • changed clothes after baby spit up on me
  • disciplined child
  • prayed
  • disciplined again
  • again
  • cried
  • got gum out of hair
  • cried again
  • prayed again
These are not the sort of things that would go on the list at the beginning of the day. 

But they may be the exact things that were The Most Important things for you as a Mom to do that day.

So be encouraged!
And write your list!
And draw lines through what you have done.
And look at all you have done with pride.

And here is another use for that list.

At the end of the day, when your husband asks you, "Honey, what did you do today?"...and you look at him with a blank look because you can't actually remember one specific thing you did to explain why you are so tired....you take one look at your list and....voila!....you will be able to answer him!

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