Tuesday May 1, 2007

     To-Do Lists.  We all have them.  Some of you keep them in your head, mentally crossing off tasks as they are completed.  Others of you have daily planners or homemaker’s journals where your schedule of daily tasks is kept.  Some of you jot down your to-do lists in the morning in a notebook, or even on the back of a receipt!   My daily schedule with all of my to-do lists for every day, week, month, etc. is kept on my laptop.  I consider having a to-do list, or other scheduled list of chores, activities, etc., for every day, a necessity.  Without a plan, we plan to fail, right?  However, we must be very, very careful that our planners, schedules and lists are kept in their intended place as tools for us to use.  These are our servants, and not the other way around!

     Too many times I’ve been so obsessed about getting the tasks on my schedule or lists accomplished, that I have missed many opportunities for something better in my day.  If I’m too focused on getting my chores done, I may miss an opportunity to spend some time with my husband.  If I allow my household schedule to become my master, I may be tempted to tune out my boys’ bickering so that I can finish my work.  If I concentrate on keeping my homeschool schedule running smoothly, I might miss a valuable teaching moment with one of my sons.

     This is a temptation that I know is common to most of us.  We become so absorbed in tending to our homes and getting our stuff done, that we lose sight of what is more important.

     My husband has days off during the week.  Today is Tuesday and this is a normal day off for him.  My to-do list for today is quite lengthy.  A couple of loads of laundry still need to be washed, dried, folded and put away. The front flower bed, outside potted plants, goat yard, orchard and berry patch all need to be watered.  The houseplants need to be watered and fed.  I have several of my dresses, skirts and blouses to iron.  Tuesday is also the day that I do the weekly cleaning in our school room and my sewing area/mud room.

     However, Copper had an appointment to meet an FBI guy in town for some business.  They were meeting at noon at McDonald’s.   Well guess what?  All of “my stuff” is still needing to be done because I’m sitting in an indoor McDonald’s play area watching my eight year old while Copper is in the main dining room talking to the FBI guy!  We’ll all order lunch once my husband’s meeting is over, and then my husband has some other things he’d like to do while we’re in town.  My to-do list is my servant.  I’m the one calling the shots and spending some relaxed fun time with my husband was the better choice to make today.

     Yes, the laundry and watering still need to be done.  I will do what I can when we get back home this afternoon, and the rest will just carry over to tomorrow’s list.  My husband will be at work tomorrow, and I won’t have the opportunity of going to McDonald’s for lunch and running errands with him and our boys then.

     I have had days when I have had great expectations for what I can accomplish in my home.  My to-do list was long, and the day promised plenty of time to get it all done.  On some of those days my boys have had wonderful days of getting their home school work done quickly and then enjoying the rest of their day playing together.  On those days, I was able to tackle my to-do list with fervor and cross every single item off.  On other days their school work was done slowly and laboriously, and the rest of the day was spent contending with one another. Turning a deaf ear to my boys on those days and working on my to-do list would not have been my best choice. Yes, I would have finished my list and had a sparkling clean home to show for it at the end of the day.  But what of my boys?  Their hearts would have been hardened not only towards one another from all their bickering, but they would also have unknowingly been hardened towards me for allowing them to behave sinfully all day unchecked.  Sinful habits and attitudes would have been allowed to take root.

     I haven’t always realized this, my friends.  Not at all.  There have been far too many times that I have allowed my lengthy to-do list to be my master and to make me feel guilty for all that I wasn’t getting done.  I would allow that list to control my day and to keep me from my daily Bible reading, from spending time with my husband, or from training my children.  If you let it, that to-do list or schedule can be a wicked, demanding master!

     There is nothing wrong with spending a good part of the day tending to your home, unless it is done at the expense of your children’s hearts.  Take every opportunity to disciple.  Take every opportunity to teach a lesson. Those opportunities for discipleship or teaching may not present themselves in quite the same way ever again.  I can, however, assure you that the toilet will need to be scrubbed again, the cobwebs will appear in the corners again, and the dust will most certainly settle on your tables and floors again.

     You know that my counsel here to you is always the same – to see well to the ways of your households.  Please understand me when I say that your household consists of much more than just the house!  Your husband and children should be your primary concerns in your household, and the cleaning of your home behind them.  Yes, it is very important, in my opinion, to keep a tidy home.  However, seeing to the needs of your husband and to the training of your children come first (after, of course, your own relationship with the Lord!).

     By all means, keep your to-do lists!  Just remember to keep them in their place as a tool for you to use in keeping your home.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!!
Proverbs 31:27

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14 comments to Tuesday May 1, 2007

  • Dad’s meeting with the FBI? I thought Dani was finally staying out of trouble!!! She’s out of control you know! :nono: 😆

  • You all are so funny with your comments!  You must have such fun together.  GREAT post! I’m FINALLY reading “Lies Women Believe”, and I’m really enjoying it so far.  I have browsed it in the past, but haven’t completely read it.  It’s very convicting.  I remembered what you said about the little diary things at the beginning of the chapters.  I don’t care for them either. 🙂

  •   You know, I DO try to stay out of trouble, but sometimes I go a little crazy :fun::spinning:

  • kamps624 – I’m glad you’re enjoying the book. 

    The girls in my family are awfully silly, aren’t we?? :wink::lol:

  • This was a wonderful post, Cheyl. Full of very good advice!
    Kelli

  • Boy can I relate to the making of to-do lists …
    Lately I have become a slave to mine and so I appreciated this post and all the wonderful advice!
    I need a 12 step program for to do list addiction!!

    Have a blessed day!

  • Boy can I relate to the making of to-do lists …
    Lately I have become a slave to mine and so I appreciated this post and all the wonderful advice!
    I need a 12 step program for to do list addiction!!

    Have a blessed day!

  • Hi There! Just wanted to stop by and say hi. :wave:

    I loved your article, there was a lot of truth to it. I can really relate to the part about some days getting through the day so easily, school is abreeze, the kids are so sweet to one another and I am jamming on my todo list. Then other days I feel like I am not in my own house. Who are these little punkins that are arguing and contending over the littlest things. I like the way you described it. We can not let our house work take priority over the character over our precious littles. Before the Lord we stand or fall.

    Oh by the way, on Sunday night we stopped and got our mail, and I saw your card. Sorry I didn’t mention it at church I didn’t know about it. That was so sweet and thoughtful, thank you so much. My eye is doing sooooooooooooo much better. I really appreaciate the prayers.

    Have a great week!

    God Bless,
    Liz Rafferty

  • I just read this post and thought, “Hmmmm….didn’t it rain for awhile this morning?” God did most of your watering for you (assuming you got as much in your neck of the woods as we did in ours!). :sunny:

  • Susan:  I wrote the post Tuesday, but yep!  It did rain on Wednesday, which meant a whole day of no watering outside!!  More rain coming in tonight and tomorrow morning, too.  Yippeee!!!

  • :sunny:I love this blog. Thank you for sharing cristi

  • Wow, this post is about exactly what I’ve been convicted about lately. Except I’ve completely abandoned any kind of list and I’m just failing… miserably. But I found this post very encouraging and I think the Lord is showing me what I need to do.

  • Wow, this post is about exactly what I’ve been convicted about lately. Except I’ve completely abandoned any kind of list and I’m just failing… miserably. But I found this post very encouraging and I think the Lord is showing me what I need to do.