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Posts Tagged ‘To Do List’

The Victoria Day weekend, just past, is the unofficial start of summer, where I live in the Pacific Northwest. The trailers and tents got packed up, kids leave school, and adults leave work early on Friday to beat the rush along the highways and borders. The campgrounds were a buzz with campfires, laughter and snoring, the boats got their metaphorical feet wet, and the cabins get cleaned of their dust and cobwebs.

It is my favorite weekend to stay home!

The local roads, stores, and neighborhoods were quieter (except for the hardware, and home renovation businesses).

Of the three days of the weekend, hubby and I spent two days working at creating order out of chaos in our home and property.

god_order_out_of_chaos

Saturday was spent focused on the garage. It had gotten to the point that it was difficult to get our van parked, and have the door down. Two large work tables were piled high with … stuff. The place was crawling with webs (I fear to think of how they got formed). There were remnants of a bathroom renovation, and a huge need for a load of stuff to be taken away (or maybe two loads).

By Saturday evening the garage was neat as a pin … purged, organized, roomy and far cleaner than hubby and I were, with dirt ground into the skin of our hands, and later found where dirt just should not be found.

Sunday was our day of rest (including vast amounts of pain relievers to equal the effects of a day of sweeping, lifting, hauling, pushing and standing on concrete for about ten hours).

Then Monday was spent around the yard. Hubby focused on needs around the pool, while I was focused on moving the remnants of a load of rock (that was delivered over a year ago … but I’m not bitter), weeding a trimming of hedges. The end was in sight (as was another intake of pain relievers).

By early Monday evening I was starting to love where we live again. The never-ending  ‘to do’ list in my head, that seemed to never have anything checked off was beginning to shorten in such a way that I felt that what was left was actually manageable to accomplish soon. The ‘head space’ that was found in those two days of ordering our world, started to turn my thoughts to dreaming of new projects to enhance and improve our abode and it’s surroundings. It is in dreaming and planning for the future that I feel most alive.

1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Although this verse is, in context, speaking of orderly worship, there is something ‘right’ in it when I think of it in the context of cleaning up the physical chaos in my home. When I have more order than chaos in my physical life, I am better able to see the non-physical parts of my life more clearly, and therefore better able to find order within those facets of my life.

Cleaning the garage and garden as worship … maybe that is not so far from the meaning of that verse after all!

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We humans are hard-wired to ‘do’ things. I wonder if that was the case in the garden of Eden? I wonder if Adam and Eve awoke with a mental list of all that needed to be accomplished in the hours that day provided to them? I wonder if they were goal-oriented individuals?

Can’t you just imagine it, Adam’s eyes opening as the sun creeps across his butt naked flesh, he stretches, stirring Eve. Adam then declares:

“Eve, I need to get up from this cozy lamb wool bedding, and praise God.
Then I will walk over to the animals, and praise God.
Then I will look at the trees, and praise God.
Then I will wade into the water, and praise God.
Then I will look up at the sun, and praise God.
What are you doing today?”

I am just not thinking that this is how it was before sin entered the garden, and all of humanity was banned from it’s perfect beauty. I somehow think 4fbaa0a968bbc5f72c0f50452a2524e7that Adam and Eve were hard-wired differently. They were never concerned with existing, they just breathed the breath that God had given, and everything else that they needed was there, for them to enjoy.

It reminds me of my struggle with the story of Mary and Martha:

“As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”
Luke 10:38-42

I tend to relate to Martha … I would be inclined to be in the kitchen preparing the grub for the gang that has just descended on my house, unannounced. I would be fuming because my sister (no doubt a younger sister) was not helping me to prepare what might be served to the guests.

But my ways are not God’s ways … thank goodness!

The main course has nothing to do with food, but spiritual sustenance.

He only requires that we live a life relying on Him for sustenance for life.

He only requires that we sit at His feet, and “hang on every word.”

No ‘to do’ list required!

 

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“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:21 has great meaning for me, but it has been haunting me lately.

I fully understand that whatever we treasure is what holds our hearts, but what is the ‘treasure’ that this verse refers to?

191cd71c32b32d23ffe64781368f6800The treasures in my life will be different from yours, but we all have them.

Often it is said that if we look to where we spend our money, we will see where our priorities, our treasure, is located. Our spending is so darn … clean these days. We do not give to the church from what is in our pockets (perhaps because there is nothing in our pockets), we place a written (post-dated) cheque or it is automatically withdrawn. We do not give to the poor, a representative send us information on how they help the poor, and request that we ‘support’ them in their meeting of the needs of those with less. We do not give gifts that bless individuals with love and appreciation, we hand over a plastic card, so that they might purchase whatever their hearts desire (I am not saying that I do not like gift cards, in case anyone thinks differently … after all my birthday is coming … but, I digress).

I think though, that I have been haunted by this verse lately, not in the context of my money being my treasure, but my time.

I made a conscious effort to note how I spent my time on a recent Saturday.

  • 6:30-9:30am – writing and researching (with a little laundry thrown in there)
  • 9:30-10:30am – tidying, making a ‘to do’ list
  • 10:30-11:00am – ablutions (one needs to be clean)
  • 11:00-12:00 – errands
  • 12:00-1:00pm – taxiing kids and friends
  • 1:00-4:00pm – thrift store shopping with daughter and her friend
  • 4:00-5:00pm – more taxiing of kid and friend
  • 5:00-7:30pm – baking
  • 7:30-8:00pm – dinner with hubby and son
  • 8:00-9:30pm – making frame for bathroom mirror
  • 9:30-10:00pm – writing blog post for next day
  • 10:00-12:00 – chatting with hubby, playing mindless game to prepare me for sleep
  • 12:00 – lights out

And that was my day!

Now in there were a few short conversations with my other kids, texting with friends, and bathroom breaks as well.

This day was a good one, in my economy of time, as I got to invest in one child significantly, and accomplished both things that needed to be done as well as things I wanted to do, for my own well being.

But, what it reminded me, is that choosing how to spend my time means making intentional decisions to prioritize well. Had I not intentionally offered my time to my daughter and her friend, I would have chosen to spend my time more self-focused!

I ALWAYS choose to spend my time self-focused!

The only way to change that is to be intentional about how I spend my time.

I need to plan.

I need to think ahead.

I need to meet the needs of my loved ones by giving my time to them, in ways that they desire, not necessarily the ways I desire.

If I am to say, with any measure of authenticity, that my family is my treasure, then I need to choose wisely how I spend my time.

I challenge you to record how you spend your time today, or, better yet, yesterday when you didn’t have this to remind you of your treasure.

Just sayin’.

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