Wednesday, July 15, 2009

To-Do List of Life

I love to make to do lists of everything I need to do. I need to clean the permanent marker picture off every surface in the nursery. I need to finish laundry. I need to get some sewing done. I need to reorganize my computer. The list is endless.

The problem is I never do any of those things.

And it drives me nuts!

I have to do lists swirling around in my brain constantly, plaguing me to complete them. My day flies by and I accomplish nothing. I go from feeding, to diaper changes, to comforting, to potty time and next thing I know it’s 1 am and I am no further than I was the day before. The marker remains; the laundry sits, neglected. I am constantly frustrated by all these little things I “must” do.

But what is really truly important?

It is important that my kids are healthy, so they must eat and have good hygiene. My relationship with God is important, so I need to spend time with Him. It is important that I fulfill my obligations to our youth group. It is important that I eat, have good hygiene, and get enough sleep. It is important that I spend quality time with my children to show them how much I love them.

So why is it that all these other things plague me? Why is it that I fuss around trying to do them instead of doing things that ARE important? It shouldn’t bother me when I don’t complete tasks that aren’t of any importance in the first place.

It also shouldn’t bother anyone else.

I feel sometimes like I am letting my husband down when things aren’t perfect for him, when he has had a long day at work and he has to come home to a mess. He even tells me he feels let down at times. But how is it possible to fit not only the basics into one day but then complete all these other things on top of it?

It gets so frustrating when I can’t finish any projects because they tend to grow. I don’t ever finish the laundry because my children have created 2 loads in the time it takes me to complete one. I cant keep up with the house because as soon as one room is picked up, another is trashed. My daughter will clean up after herself, but only if prompted, and I can only prompt her if I am not feeding or changing my son, which is pretty much never.

I believe the reason I feel overwhelmed is because I try to take life in as a whole instead of one piece at a time. Instead of thinking of everything I need to do, I need to accomplish that which is most important and then try to do one thing at a time.

I also need to work a little at a time on major projects, such as laundry, which takes time to wash, dry, fold, and put away. It’s too difficult to push everything I have into 2 hours when occasionally both children are napping and I have free time. Most of the time that is the only minute I have to shower or rest myself after a busy day and being up all night with my son.

Lastly, I need to cut myself some slack. If today I can only do one load of laundry, then I must realize I have done enough. There is always tomorrow to complete one more load of laundry. I have found the most enjoyable places to visit were not always the cleanest. What mattered more was the love coming from the people who live there.

At the end of life, it isn’t important how many times the house was immaculate, how many loads of laundry got done, or what projects got completed. What is most important is that I spent my time wisely, and joyfully. That I was responsible for the care of those in my circle of influence. That I invested into my children and into the youth group with all that I had. That my attitude reflected the face of God to others around me. That I continued to grow closer to God everyday. That I was faithful and invested into the eternal kingdom more than I did into this short life.

Now that is a to-do list I could go for.