Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the TO DO list

i woke up early on this first official day of summer.  the school year is over, the parties have ended, and our out-of-town guests have gone home. we have not one immediate thing planned for this final tuesday in may, this first tuesday of summer -- not one thing at all.  a part of me wants to sit in my pajamas and sip lukewarm coffee for hours on end. maybe make pancakes and leave the dirty plates on the table.  you know the kind of day where we don't brush our teeth until lunchtime and might not even get to our hair.  that kind of day.

that's what i want.

but when i crossed over the great divide of busy school year and stepped slowly into summer this morning, i woke with the sense that there's much to do.  i should make a list.  yes, i told myself, a list would help -- keep me on task and focused and moving forward.  i have about a thousand things which i promised to "get to" this week.  in the past month of the great school-year-wrap-up, i was continuously shoving things into the save pile.  continuously pushing appointments and communication and decisions into the "look at it later" file.  and so now here i am in the middle of that later.  and what's a gal to do at this stage in the game, but to make a glorious TO DO list and begin her determined-woman plan of attack.

that's what i did.

a long, excruciatingly detailed list of everything which i have for so long put off.  this list with all of its grievances and annoyances and nuances -- this list which i cannot ignore for too many minutes more without serious repercussions.  oh, this list.  that list. the TO DO list helps.  it will make me more efficient and effectual in my day...my week...my summer.  but as i put down my pen and look at those 36 items neatly numbered on pretty paper, all i can think is, "is this what i am really supposed to be doing?"  i can sit here this morning on the cusp of lovely summertime and write out a list detailing the mundane, but why am i not using my morning dreaming something more marvelous?  i have these quiet hours before small (and actually, rather big) feet come pattering down the stairwell, and i am using my brain to plot out appointments and grocery items.  and what keeps running through my head is this thought:  i know i have stuff to do.  i cannot escape that.  try as i may, i can't hide from the menial tasks and necessary to dos of everyday living.  but, for heaven's sake jody, carve out the time to write down the bigger stuff...the dreams and desires God stirs in my heart -- when i take time to hear Him.  what does God really want at the top of my TO DO list? i am pretty sure, though He is okay with me registering a child for a sport's camp or calling a repairman, what He really wants is me to be listening and looking to the list He has for my life.   what does He want me to do?

that's what i need.

i wasn't kidding
i know i have to make lists. i have practical things pressing at me from all sides.  in fact,  i have an oven door this morning, hanging by a thread and some duct tape (the spring just decided to break over the weekend).  i know i have to make lists about veterinarian and pediatrician visits...but what i really want is to know the bigger lists God has already written for me...for my family.  i want to enjoy the simple tasks of my day with a heart beating wildly to embrace the larger, harder, deeper tracks of my life.  they all go together.  small-big. simple-complex. shallow-deep.

that's what i think you want too.

i am pretty sure we are all wired this way.  i might be an odd woman, but i am not a woman standing alone in this.  whether you are a list maker or not, you are a fellow traveler with TO DO type items trailing behind you --swirling around you.  and this morning...on this lovely, start-of-summer morning,  can we ask ourselves and ask the Creator and the Writer of the morning and the summer and the lists, "what am i really supposed to be doing?"

i know we all have places to go and appointments to keep and mouths to feed and dogs to groom and letters to mail and errands to run...these are the unavoidable details of humble living...grateful breathing.  but can we...shouldn't we...might we...make a list on this sweet morning of summer's edge and listen to His voice.  what has God put on your heart that is hiding behind all of the stuff you have put on your list?  that's a great question for summer's gracious start.  and when you ask, get ready to write, for i know He will answer. because...

that's what He does. 

"call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."   
~ jeremiah 33:3


andrea said...

i am a list maker....this post was exactly what i need to hear...thanks jody.


Melanie said...

Excellent reminder. I am not quite to the last day of school yet (next wednesday)but Thursday is my last day of work and I have so many to do lists in my mind that I am looking forward to gettting on paper however, the real reason I want to work from home going forward is so that I can be aware of and respond to what God puts on my heart and list.

Aus said...

Jody - as usual - a great couple posts here - but a recurring thread....listen....hear Me....wait for it....

And thanks Jody - for 'getting it' - for understanding the need to listen for His word!

hugs - you guys bring me great joy and peace - thanks for that..

aus and co.

Bridget said...

So true, Jody. The urgent things already have a way of making themselves known, drowning out the important things with their frantic screams. We need to give God's desires a voice in our lives.