To-do lists

Have you ever looked at your to-do list for a day and just wished you could skip ahead one day? I have.  Many times.  I'm glad I can't though, because I think I would use it a little too often:)  Its just that we all have so many roles in our lives.  I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, aunt, Pastor's wife, friend, etc etc etc.  I'm sure you feel the same way.  So many roles that sometimes I think I must be failing miserably at all of them.  And the to-do lists!  Do they ever actually shrink?  Its like they're alive and growing constantly:)  Some days, like today, I start off the morning feeling pretty good.  Kids school going awesome, laundry going, kitchen clean, and then I remember a few other projects and start feeling overwhelmed again.  By 1:30, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown:)  Then I started preaching at myself.  I preach at myself so often, I've become quite good!

I've read many books on time management, read blogs about how other moms get everything done, and yet it seems I can never get ahead.  I'll feel like I'm almost caught up on life and then things like coming home from a trip and finding out that mice had taken over my house while I was gone happen.  Spring cleaning for three days with jet lag was not really in my plans.  Actually, spring cleaning never quite makes it on my list:)  So, I didn't get my to-do list done that week, which means it got moved to last week, which already had its own long list.  I've done all this reading, yet the most important and helpful thing I ever came across were these few words from my homeopath.  "Jen, you need to start your day by asking God what He wants you to accomplish just for that day and He will give you the strength and time to do it."  I started using those words to revolutionize the way I look at my to-do lists.  I made a list of the things that I know God expects me to do every day.  Like spending time with Him, even if its short, and other things, such as feeding my children:)  Then I listed things that are almost every day, or things with very little wiggle room, such as homeschooling my kids.  If we need a day off once in a blue moon, that's doable, but its not like I can just not homeschool every time I don't feel like doing it:)  After that, it goes on a day-to-day basis.  For instance, my front doors, which are mostly glass, really need cleaning, but the last time I tried in this weather, the windex just froze instantly on top of the dirt and made even more of a mess, so that got moved to a different day's to-do list:)

So back to today's sermon to myself:)  I was in the middle of my almost nervous breakdown when I thought to myself, you know what you need to do.  So, I went to my favourite chair by my woodstove, curled up, closed my eyes, and prayed for somewhere between five and ten minutes.  Such a short amount of time, yet such a benefit!  I felt God's peace come over me and a reminder that I had enough time and strength to get done whatever He wanted me to do today.  With being sick, there are somedays, like the last four, where the pain and exhaustion relegate me mostly to the couch, but there I can do the computer work I need to, catch up on emails, work on my writing and reading projects, let my body recover, spend extra time just hanging with my kids and catch that Old Navy online sale for Jonathan's new pants.  Seriously, when will the growing and the hole making stop?!   Then there are days like today where I feel good and I can put the house back together after it fell apart the last four!  My to-do list for today included the ironing, but my body gave out before I got it done, so I'm blogging instead:)  If you hang around this blog for any length of time, you'll find out that ironing is my enemy.  Its mocking me from on top of the dryer right now!  Reminding me that there are probably clothes in the bottom of the basket I forgot I owned:)  But its a comfort to know that, for today, I worked hard and did what God gave me strength for.  And that means that even if I didn't accomplish my to-do list today, I accomplished His.