I tend to keep a constant running checklist and I like to accomplish those tasks ASAP.
Sweeping the floor (again), making returns, scheduling appointments… the list goes on.
My last Lenten observance was aimed at being more present to my spouse and especially my children. For example, in those weekday morning hours when my to-do list threatens to turn my head away from the captivating eyes of my son and daughter and toward texts to reply to, events to plan, and emails to send.
It didn’t come as a surprise on Ash Wednesday, then, when after putting my phone in a removed, designated spot, my morning was suddenly more peaceful. When I chose to be more intentionally present with my children and remain with them, I experienced the grace to let go of the list.
Then, the day immediately following Easter Sunday, I justified having my phone beside me all day because I "just had too much that needed to get done." The day didn’t go well. Shocker.
So today, I try again and again to focus more on my family than on my tasks. Phone or no phone, to-do list or not, being in the present moment can be hard. Duties do not disappear and they must be carried out responsibly; but I have learned that lists should not be checked off at the cost of losing patience.
One of the blog posts I read regularly is Christy Wilken’s The Work of Motherhood. She speaks of motherhood as sanctifying, writing that “what matters is not how perfectly our days are going according to plan, but how perfectly we are surrendering our plans to Him.”
God is God, and I am human. It should seem obvious to surrender my plans to Him. So while I am still working on it, I know that, when I choose to remain, He will bear much fruit, and the fruit will be good.
Without me you can do nothing. // John 15:5
When I brush past God, it is as though I am grasping at the fruit on the tree to try to fill my basket before the rainstorm. It is like I am swatting Him away, refusing His help in an effort to pave my own way. In reality, the fruit that I pluck by myself is withered and bruised.
// How has surrendering your plans to Jesus born fruit in our own life?
// Do you find yourself distracted and fretful when your priorities are misaligned? Have you experienced the opposite, positive fruit?
P.S. Grab this free wallpaper for your phone or computer to remind you of your focus during this summer series (and beyond)!