How to Cross Items Off Your To-Do List QUICKLY

 
 

When the Busy Kicks In

I noticed a trend a few years back during my mornings. They were tense (to put it mildly). My kids struggled with normal kid stuff, like what to wear and what to do next, and I found myself so quick to get annoyed. My response was to snap at them, which of course just created a snowball-of-frustration effect. We were all rolling down that hill together. No one was happy and our mornings were starting off terribly. As I thought and prayed about it, it became clear quickly that the problem might be me.  

Starting the Day Off Right

I decided that now that my kids were older and mostly sleeping through the night (meaning I was mostly sleeping through the night), I would get up earlier than them. Then I could make sure I had some time to slowly wake up and really start the day focused on Love. I'd do some stretching, a guided meditation, drink my coffee (while it was still warm!) and read something that really focused me on God's Love. Shockingly, it worked! My kids didn't stop struggling, but I was able to enter into their struggles with peace, compassion, and love. We were all rejoicing and our mornings were so much smoother! But I found it fascinating to notice how quickly I lost that Love.  

Where'd The Peace Go?

I'd get the kids off to school and then LIFE would happen. My to-do list is generally long. I'd get to it and find myself back to that place of frustration and annoyance. Sometimes (well really, a lot of times;)) I'd just look at the list and go straight to feeling overwhelmed. There's always so much to do! I'd find myself thinking, "How am I going to get all this done? I'm just one person." Or I'd feel sad because I'd wonder when I would ever have the time to do something I enjoyed. All the hours I had while my kids were at school were spoken for, and then as soon as they would get home, I got an entirely new list of stuff to do. I was just so busy!  

Busyness Stole It

I brought that frustration to God and He was pretty clear. Mark 4:18-19 (from The Message translation) explains what was happening EXACTLY. In that verse, Jesus is telling a story about a farmer who is scattering seed. The seed is God's message of love and it falls in many different places. As I read that story, I was so floored when I read about the seed that fell in the weeds. I was a waitress through college and I can remember being "in the weeds" when I got slammed with customers. It happened when I'd get three new tables all at the same time and everything would get really crazy! It felt like I could never catch up. That's exactly what was going on in my day-to-day. Then I heard what Jesus said about weeds. "The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it." YES! That was exactly it! I was living life in the weeds. And those weeds were strangling the love right out of me.  

 
 

Taking Another Look At The List

God was really clear with me about what was going on - TOO MUCH! So often I feel the need to be and do EVERYTHING and to be and do it all perfectly. But God is clear that He's not interested in that. And that it's impossible! He's interested in me bearing fruit that only I can. When I have so much on my list there is no room for what His plan for me is.  

I took the time to really look at the list and evaluate it. I invited God in and asked Him the following questions:

What on there was necessary for my family's survival? 
What could I give up?  
What could my kids be doing on their own that I was doing for them?
What brought me joy?
What was He thinking about my list that I wasn't?
What was I thinking about my list that He wasn't?

As the answers came, I began to cross so many things off my list. And not because they were completed, but because God was making it clear what was necessary for loving Him and loving the people in my life. He was making it clear that busyness was the enemy of purpose, and thankfully, I was listening.  

What About YOU?

What about you?  Do you feel overwhelmed, frantic, frustrated? Are there items on your list that aren't yours to do? Where is busyness getting in the way of what God has for you? Join us this week as we invite God into our busy and allow Him to remove the weeds. Use the verse as a reminder to pay attention to when you're "in the weeds." Ask God to help. Try using the meditation to help you in this process. And please let us know how we can be praying for you during the weeding process!