Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Check it off the List

I love check lists. There is something about being able to cross off items, tasks, errands, or purchases off a list of things to do. It must be that performance based background I come from where there is a sense of accomplishment to cross off the bullets on a piece of paper. And I feel really good when I get it all done. You know the feeling, like you have conquered and completed something. I almost find myself giddy when I am on my way to the store with a list full of things to get knowing the list will be full of lines over words when I am finished. But my problem is not the list itself, it is when the list doesn't have any lines on it.

I got up on this rainy morning ready to start crossing things off my list. I have things to do and what a perfect day to do it. McKenna and Brody are at school for a couple of hours and I can't go for my usual Wednesday run with Anna Beth because of the rain, so I will get my errands done, right? Then I start thinking about the other list I need to write out BEFORE I can even leave the house. Example: Marinate the Pork Tenderloin, Unload the Dishwasher, Give Anna Beth a much needed bath, A short but "deep" quiet time, Make our lunch so we don't starve while running errands, and I guess bathing and dressing myself would be a good idea, too! Then I am frustrated at my TO DO LIST before my TO DO LIST.

And all the while God is tugging at me saying, "I am right here waiting for you. It is rainy and yucky and a good cup of coffee and your Bible will do far more for you then crossing those things off your list." But my flesh and performance gear kick in and I ignore the Holy Spirit. In fact I argue with him,"But I can't do this any other day of this week. When am I going to have the time to get all of these things done with 3 kids tagging along." So I sit down to check the quiet time part off my list and Anna Beth crawls over to me (walking is so far off my 14 month olds radar it is comical) and she wants to sit with me. Sit with me, be with me, and let me hold her.

In a way I think my 14 month old gets it far easier than I do. All she knows and understands is that I am love to her and for her. Every need is met by just being with Mommy. She is simply content and fulfilled by just being with me. In fact most of my joy comes from watching her just be her while she sits in my lap or crawls around at my feet. You see I could care less if she walks before she is 2 because then I know through my own flesh she will begin the cycle of performance and independence we all fall succumb too.

So Jesus begins to whisper in my ear "The more you work to cross those things off your list, the more things that will show up on your list. The harder you try, the more frustrated you will become." Which is exactly what happened this morning. I had a list, which produced another list, which I realized would only cause frustration and anxiety to try to "get it all done." So I sat in the Lord's lap for a minute that turned into five which turned into and hour and realized God's joy, just like my joy comes from watching me BE. Just sitting in His lap and crawling around His feet fills his heart with joy. And there is where all of my needs are met. At the feet and in the lap of the Lord. My lists only bring temporary satisfaction, never-ending frustration and failure.

So today I will just Be. I am going to listen to what the Lord is telling me. If I hadn't been obedient to the pull of the Holy Spirit I would never have seen His love for me through my precious child. I would have spent the morning crossing things off my list. Things that are temporal and not eternal. Things that would have made me even more frustrated about life. Why can't we all just BE? Something my mother would tell you I have never been good at in my whole life. So I will learn from my sweet baby what I didn't learn on my own...

2 Corinthians 4: 18 "while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Until next time,


1 comment:

  1. Once again, I'm reminded why we were such good friends ... and, at the same time, had trouble being friends! We have a LOT in common. It's scary. We share very similar struggles and it sounds like God is also teaching us similar things.

    Thanks for sharing what you're learning - it piggybacks what He's teaching me and reminds me that I'm not alone. I spent most of my twenties trying to "fix" myself so I didn't mess up my kids and I'm finding that there's no "fixing." Fixing would mean that perfection is attainable (go figure, it's not!). I'm only just starting the parenting aspect and being refined daily. I can't even imagine having three so young!