Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To Do vs. To Be

I'm having surgery tomorrow.  It's nothing major, but they have to put me out and I won't be moving quickly for about a week.

Needless to say, I'm a little anxious -- not really about my surgery, but about my to-do list.  I'm the type of person who has a really hard time relaxing when there are things hanging over my head.  When my husband or my kids get in my way when I am trying to get things done, I can get, um, a little testy.  When I fear something is not going to get done on time, I am snippy, stressed, and quick-tempered.

This morning in the wee hours (that's 6am for me, folks -- I like my sleep), I talked to God about what I needed to get done today and my desire to spend quality time with the kids (they are a little anxious about my surgery).  The response I got was, well, a bit shocking.  The conversation went somewhat like this:

Me:  How am I going to get everything done until this forced rest time?  Can you tamp down this anxiety I feel about accomplishing everything and being able to spend time with the kids today?

God:  You are not going to accomplish your to-do list today.  You are going to accomplish my to-be list today.

Me:  Whaaaat?  You pick today for this?  Do you realize...??

[Side note:  Lately, God has been teaching me that my to-do list is less important than my to-be list.  I had found myself always seeking God for the answers on what to do and He kept coming back with answers about how to be.  Obviously, I thought He must have misheard the question, so I kept asking over.  And over.  His reply was always the same--

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.  When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12: 12-13]

So today, I'm going to try this new list.  I am going to work only during the kids' rest time.  What gets done, gets done -- I'll let God show me what takes highest priority.  When the kids need something, I will respond and open my heart and arms to them.  I will remain steadfast in my prayers and rejoice in the promises that He has given me. 

The above list looks wwwaaaayyy more daunting than my actual to-do list.  But, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, right?  Right.

Oh, and my daughter just read this over my shoulder.  She said, So, Mommy, whenever I need anything today, I can ask and you'll respond?  Man, it's gonna be a long day.


  1. Great post! It's weird how our to-do list take priority in our minds, and then it's hard to switch to God's to-be list...

  2. Great post. Now, technically, she wasn't looking over your shoulder. She was in front of you surrounded by your loving arms, her eyes peering over the counter and up at the computer. It was a great image and I should have taken a picture. As I think about it now, I'm getting the sense that this image is a representation of where God wants you to be. So close that you can feel His presence. So quiet that you can hear His gentle whispers. So vulnerable that you can feel surrounded by His loving arms. I love you.

  3. Jen,
    I hope your surgery goes well. Thinking of you!

  4. I hope your day of to-being went well -- I admire you so much for trying. As a fellow Type A, I can relate to the to-do list ruling my life (my husband calls me triple type A, actually, so you know I've got it bad).

    Wishing you good thoughts for your surgery tomorrow...and BTW, loved your post over at Amy's place.

  5. Sounds like the forced time out is being given by our loving and heavenly Physician. From someone who has had her share of forced time outs, one thing seems to be the same - God's "to be time" is always about forever things. Where our "to do" lists tend to be temporal. Who will know in 10 years that our floors were clean? But will a 6 year old remember her mom holding her and giving her quality time? Absolutely! You hear well and love well. A life well lived has forever blessings! Will be praying for you tomorrow. Love you much and am very proud of you!

  6. I love this! I will be praying for you! Please let me know if I can help with anything.

  7. Oh, I think I've said before that you and I could be "two peas in a pod." I so understand where you are coming from. What a great reminder this was for me that nothing is more important than His "to do list." Wishing you a speedy recovery and may you enjoy this time of "being still and knowing." Blessings!

  8. I've never thought of it that way before - that He kept saying to "be". That's very insightful and I'm going to be remembering that as I tackle my day tomorrow. I completely relate to the ever hanging to do list! I hope your surgery went well.


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