Tag Archives: to-do lists

Dirty Ice Cream


Smith Wigglesworth said, “You must have a brokenness to get into the depths of God.” Psalm 34:18 lets us know that the “Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.” I haven’t met many Christians who haven’t been through some “stuff.” That word “stuff” covers a lot of ground. Loss, hurt, disappointments, tragedy, physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, just scratches the surface it seems. People are amazingly resilient, but without God, I can honestly say I don’t know how anyone would make it through a fraction of it. Without truly knowing that God is in control and that He’s not shakin’ in His proverbial boots, many of my own days would have sucked even more. (How’s that for waxing poetic?) I’m just trying to be honest here.  

This life is hard and to say it stinks sometimes just doesn’t cover it. And I can’t do “churchy” when real people have real problems. “I’ll be praying” doesn’t cut it when brokenness threatens to take over. Don’t misunderstand me, prayer works, and if more believers were doing more of it, we’d be changing more situations. God will answer your prayer. I believe that. The brokenness that unbelievers feel must be the most gut-wrenching, detrimental emotion because I know my own brokenness is that way sometimes with God on my side. Jesus loves me, and He loves me so much He allows me to grow. That means life isn’t ice cream and rainbows and puppies. That ice cream may fall in the dirt, the colors fade into dreary gray, and that puppy pees everywhere. That’s real life. And for real life, we need to turn to the One Who created it. He’s not responsible for cleaning up our messes, but for some reason He helps us out of so many of them. We’re here for a reason and we can’t lose focus. Losing focus is the easiest, wide path. Truly learning Who God is and how far His love reaches for us individually should be on our To-Do list for the days/weeks/months/years ahead.  


Tasks Worth Doing


Anyone else get tired of those stupid to-do lists? Mine were everywhere. I’d have scraps of paper, notebooks upon notebooks, grocery lists, superstore lists, get-done-today- lists, didn’t-get-done- yesterday-lists, weekly lists…I had lists of lists! It almost got to a point where I needed to make lists of my lists to keep track of them all. *Note: I did not do that. I was not only stressed because I had so much to do, but also because I couldn’t figure out what to do first, then I couldn’t figure out where that stupid list went! I literally spent the time I could have been doing the task, looking for the list. Why? Because I love to cross things off. Just saying it brings a smile to my scary morning face. There is something about it: a visual reminder of just how productive you are. Your task is complete! TA-DA! Until…
I realized I was never finished with my tasks. My list was ever-changing and continuous. Once I got 5 things done, I’d add more. Then more, until I was so discouraged I couldn’t see straight. Where oh where was my stopping point? Where was the ribbon at the finish line if there was no finish line?? Wait, am I even running the right race?
So, I changed it up. I read this verse, Acts 20:24 (NIV) says:
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace”that simply lets us know:
1. It’s not about me. (Much to Hollywood’s dismay.)
2. We just have to finish the race.
3. We just have to testify to how good our God is.
I give God the very first moments of my day. (Ok, maybe it’s shared just a little with Folgers) and remind myself of all that He’s done and the only thing I absolutely have to do today are things that show how amazing our Creator is. In everything we do, we can testify to God’s grace…whether it’s washing those dishes (yes, the ones with the gunk still on ‘em from 3 nights ago) or going to work. Don’t let the enemy of your soul stress you out. Life is good! Life is simple! You don’t have to do more. You can literally do less and let God do the changing of the lives!

It’s not about how much we get done or even the tasks themselves, although my kids’ room is a beast of its own, but more about why and for Whom we do them. Our attitude toward the tasks is important because we do more than simply check them off, we do everything for the One Who made us. It’s all about Him, not us. So quit chasing that to-do list around the house and breathe…you are doing enough. You are enough. Testify to God’s grace through what you do, no matter what it may be, and you’re running the right race.

The Minimus…Ahhhh…


So, I’m not one to advertise brand names, but I just ordered and received a new pair of New Balance shoes. On the tag, I noticed, under the name, it says “Minimus.” This got me to thinking. (*Note: See previous article on “thinking too much.”) Instead of this company shouting from the rooftops about their awesome “maximized” shoes, they took a different approach, a minimalist one if you will.

I began to think about the things we’re supposed to do as believers. Matthew 28:18-20 states:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(NIV)

As humans, we complicate things to the point where we don’t even know what we’re talking about. We not only can’t explain it, we can’t follow it. If we simplified the Word of God and acted, how would our journey change? If you people, who are called by my name, would pray… the “minimus” of our “to-do” list…can it be that simple?

How many questions bombarded your mind right then when God asked you to pray? Oh, I had a few, I’ll admit. How? When? What do you want me to pray? For how long? Why on Your earth is it called a closet?? I can’t fit into my closet! That’s just an expression right? (Wouldn’t wanna lose my “Overthinkers Club” card.)

I was driving behind a van that was not going nearly the speed I felt she should be. I have a horrible habit of trying to make people travel faster with sheer mind power. It never works, don’t even bother attempting it. As I was about to floor it and pass, with a wave of course (we have to be neighborly Christians) I thought, Why don’t YOU just slow down? This is really difficult for me. Slowing down, whether it be physically, mentally, and any other “–ally’s” you can name. It’s a skill that doesn’t come naturally to me, even though I’ve been thrown into the “easy-goin’” category by friends.

So, to make a long story even longer, I noticed the van had a handicapped license plate. God instantly reminded me to pray. The very first thought I had was, Shouldn’t I lay hands on them? After all, that is what the Bible says. And if that’s the case, well, I can’t very well do THAT, can I?” followed by, “Oh dear God, don’t make me follow them to lay hands and pray!!” (EEK! Skeery! Adios Comfort Zone!) At this point, I pictured God dropping his shaking head and sighing, possibly uttering the words, “Have I taught you nothing?”

So after a slight discussion that could be considered, in some circles, an argument, I began to pray. Instantly the anger and frustration I had with regard to the van left the scene and a sense of overwhelming compassion for the people in the vehicle swept over me like a drenched surfer. I prayed for healing and peace and comfort and joy and salvation. I praised God that they would know him better than they ever had in the coming year. I sang Hallelujah’s because of it.

What if that’s all I had to do today? The minimus. Not the overwhelming maximus in my overworked brain. What if doing what God asks us to do is enough? What if we don’t have to have a meeting of the elders? What if God wants to work through us in a HUGE way, requiring less than we ever dreamed on our part?

What if He, the Creator of the Universe, doesn’t need our input, doesn’t need to be reminded of what His Word says? What if He just wants us to do what He asks, RIGHT then? No question. No doubt. Just DO it. New Balance and Nike in one article…maybe they’ll send me free shoes.

Go do something for God this week. You don’t even have to come up with it. He’ll let you know. Even if it means chasing a man on the side of the road down. Another story for another time. Life in Christ is anything but boring.

Pop! Goes the Scapula


So, as it turns out, I’m not so good at “being still and knowing He’s God.” I’d like to say, as a member of the Women’s Ministry Team, and a member of the greatest church in the world, and God’s own chosen child, I am AWESOME at that! But guess what: I’m not. The thought that only somewhat comforts me is this: As I look around, I don’t see too many people “being still and knowing He’s God.” Who’s standing still these days?? Life is fast-paced, quickly passing, and short! We’ve gotta move, move, move!!! Faster, faster, faster!!! If we don’t get the 18 things on our to-do lists done, then…then…what? What will actually happen if we just get the top 3 done? Is it our lives that are causing our stress? Is it our choice to be stressed? This very thought came to me as I stepped onto my bathmat this am and something popped in my back. As I’m drying my hair, I hear Pop! I then proceeded to take the towel off my head only to realize that it hurt almost as bad as a kick to the face with a golf shoe.
Then, the thought: I wonder if I could have prevented this. I hold all my stress in my….body. Ha! Another area I’m working on—don’t ya love when someone point s out something you already knew but didn’t want to admit? That’s what God did for me this morning! We don’t have to hold our stress ANYWHERE! Not our shoulders, our upper back, lower back, pinkie finger, big toe…it’s not ours! Cast ALL your cares, worries, fears, doubts, stress on Him and He will bring you through.
I then said a prayer that went something like, “I need you to heal me. If I don’t believe you can heal me of this, then how would I believe you could heal anyone of cancer?” I stood, hunched over, waiting to hear another Pop! as it went back into place. Nothing. I felt “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still? Ok! Nooooo problem at this point God! I can do that! I stood still…for all of maybe 30 seconds. Maybe. Then, I started to move…this way, that way, oh ouch! That hurts, yep, gonna have to go to the chiropractor. Ouch! is right!! God knew today that I would hurt His feelings I bet. And He loves me anyway! Thank you God for holding my hand as I walk through my days and learn lessons that will help others as I help myself! Belief. I believe He can heal me. I believe He can heal cancer. I believe that I can hear that Pop! back into place! As I have my finger on the speed dial to the chiropractic clinic. Yep, being still and knowing full well that He is not only God, but that He is more than capable of more than we could ever imagine may be an area that needs work.