Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hi, my Name is Paula and I am a List-aholic!

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1 (NIV)
I am a perpetual list-maker. I have lists for lists and sub-lists within those lists!! It really has become a sickness. As a matter of fact, I need to write down "update Blog" on my list just so I can mark it off. I really am that compulsive about my list making. As I peruse my many lists, marking off items I have accomplished and moving those that are relegated to another day and/or possibly another list, I realize that not only am I getting a sense of accomplishment and a well-deserved self-pat on the back but that God was once again showing me something through my obsession. He seems to always do that me!! I started to analyze several things about my process:
  • How much time I spent compiling lists? (no matter how helpful they are)
  • How many items do I actually do and how many do I simply move onto a new list? (like update Little Man's baby book -- I think it's been on their since his birth years ago)
  • Why do I put "givens" on the list? (like Bible study, eat breakfast, etc)
He impressed upon me that it is just as easy to do an item versus writing it down. For example, no need to actually write down, "Call Susie," when I could just pick up the phone and give her a quick call. It came to me that maybe I thought to "call Susie" because one or both of us needed to talk or be encouraged. Also, "Bible study," "Quiet Time" and "Prayer" should givens and not required to be written on a list. And if I feel so-compelled to write the tasks down (as you know I do), then actually complete them with the right heart and not as an item just to checked off my list. In addition, these items should be completed daily and not simply moved to another day like the aforementioned baby book.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
It comes down to priorities and making time for what matters most to us. For me, that should be time spent nurturing relationships with friends, family and most importantly my Heavenly Father. There are items on my "to-do" list that most certainly are notable goals but simply writing down the task is not the same as actually doing it. I must admit procrastination, distraction and afternoon naps have been my downfalls as of late. This revelation came to me a couple of weeks ago and ironically my list-making has almost come to halt. Shockingly, I actually went away for a couple of days and did not make a packing list. Fortunately, I remembered everything without the assistance of a piece of paper barking orders to me in my hand. This is not to say the list making has stopped with me for good. I still intend to make my lists but the focus now is on actually getting more done with more immediacy like calling my friend, spending time with God and cleaning the house.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." James 4:14-15 (NIV)
God doesn't promise us tomorrow, tonight or even a second from now, so I have decided that I should make every moment count. I need to truly spend more time in Mary mode sitting at the feet of Jesus versus trying to be superwoman and get everything done or at least put on my list! (Luke 10:38-41) Dear Heavenly Father - Thank You so much for meeting where I am at all times. I praise You for Your revelations and care to take time to bring things to my attention. I so enjoy and feel fulfilled by our time together. Please forgive me for relegating our time to an item on my to-do list. Thank You for being a loving God. In the name of Jesus - AMEN Application:
  • What compulsion or distraction do you have that may take you away from the true intent of spending time with the Lord?
  • Think about ways you can make changes in your day by changing the way you do something.
  • Take a moment to ask God what obstacles are in your way that keep you from getting the most out of this life and being the most effective for the cause of Christ.

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