Tuesday, March 8, 2016

When Your List Looms Long

I stood in my closet for a solid 2 minutes this morning making my list for the day and contemplating just how in the world I would ever accomplish even half of what I just wrote especially since I have a sick kiddo at home.  I literally just stared at this list for a while, and even though I made the list in pink marker in hopes it would make me feel better...I felt more stress than joy about what today would hold.  A sampling of the list included:

Grocery Store (when we are out of goldfish and fruit snacks I know it's time)
Sunday sermon prep
Purchasing furniture for the husband's new office
Work Emails that continue to ding on the phone although it's my "day off"
Prep for our community group tomorrow night
Get Hair Appointment

I'm sure your list looks different than mine, but knowing people (especially women) today, I'm certain that you have your own list...and you're actually probably chuckling to yourself thinking that my list looks like child's play compared to your own.  Right?!  We have LOTS to do!  So many things pulling at our time and some days I'm tempted to crawl back into bed and just ignore the looming words on the list.

So what do we do?  When the list is a mile long and the day seems like mere minutes?  How do we keep our joy...our SANITY?!  I'm not an expert, but here's what's saving my life in this area:

1.  Allow God to Be the Plate - If you are like me, you've likely often said, "I've got so much on my plate!"  God convicted me years ago that when I got too busy that I in essence made Him a side course on my overflowing plate, when in fact He wants to be the plate!  He wants to be in every moment of my days.  Of course He'll be involved as I do some sermon prep today, but He's not relegated to just those things that I deem sacred - He also wants to give me wisdom as I choose furniture or talk to my neighbors.  It's more of a mindset than anything, but so long as I keep Him as the plate, I find much more balance and peace in my days.

2.  Choose the Important Over the Urgent - I'm always tempted to choose the item on my list that is screaming at me the loudest, but I'm learning that usually the items that are the loudest are not necessarily what's the most important.  I also tend to procrastinate on the things I know God is directing me to do but scare me.  I've put off projects and dreams so I could cater to small urgent matters, and I'm more determined than ever to make the most of my days.  So what is it that is that thing that is quiet but that you know needs to be done today?  Go ahead and move it up on the list - you'll thank me later.

3.  Take Care of You - One thing on my list today that I haven't mentioned is that I made an appointment 2 weeks ago for a massage today.  It's a gift to myself after doing quite a bit of manual labor this last week, and as I made my list this morning I picked up the phone to cancel the massage.  I mean really?  I just don't have time for something so frivolous!  But then I stopped and realized that if I'm healthy I will be more equipped to tackle what is in front of me.  Now most days, I don't have anything nearly as luxurious as a massage, but I DO take time for myself everyday.  It usually comes in the form of coffee and a good book or sitting outside for 30 minutes to enjoy the sunshine.  And taking care of myself takes time, but it's always a deposit and gives me the strength to continue pressing forward.

I could list a few more thoughts, but these 3 things are definitely helping me to maintain my sanity when the list looms long.  What about you?  What is saving your life as you stare down your lists?


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