29 May 2009

My To-Do List

I like lists.
(And the photo of Mosely has nothing to do with that. I just think everyone should look at my kids more often. )

As a kid I made loads of lists. Lists of my favorite names (I was collecting them even back then.) Lists of my favorite books. Lists of places I liked to eat, places I wanted to visit, stuff I liked to collect. I had lists of my stuffed animals' names and everyone I could remember having ever met. (Seriously.)

I typed my lists out on my cool Smith Corona typewriter. I loved that little piece of technology.

All this to say, it is no surprise that I am still an avid list maker today. I keep a list of the novels I have read and the novels I would like to read. I am sure I could locate dozens of baby name lists. I just made a list recently of all the free or cheap summer entertainment ideas for the kids. (I haven't made a list of every person I have ever met in a long time though - in case you were wondering.)

And each week I make a to-do list. (Doesn't everyone?)

But here's the thing. My to-do list is lame lately. So lame, in fact, that I noticed that I had actually written down on my list --- boil eggs.

What? I have to remind myself to boil eggs?

Well, yes.

Having that activity make my to-do list told me two things. One, my memory is pitifully over-taxed right now. Two, I think I am a pretty boring person these days.

My life feels.....uh......pretty mundane.

I think about sleep. A lot. I prepare a great deal of food and then clean up that said food waste. I do so much laundry that I spend more time with my lovely black Kenmore than my spouse. I feed Otto Fox. Frequently. I break up arguments and direct child play. I loosely monitor Riley's end of year school work. (More loosely these days than I care to confess.) Sometimes I take a shower. Usually at a bizarre time. Piper and Otto get their bums changed regularly and that's my area of expertise. And, oh yeah, I boil eggs. (When I write it down.)

Mostly this realization makes me feel sorry for myself. And that's not how I want to spend my thoughts. And I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that their mother believes their care and maintenance is drudgery or unfulfilling labor. So as I struggle with these ideas daily, I think about the following quotes. Maybe you need to read them too. Or maybe not. But here they are.

"Ordinary work, which is what most of us do most of the time, is ordained by God every bit as much as is the extraordinary. All work done for God is spiritual work and therefore not merely a duty but a holy privilege." - Elisabeth Elliot

"This is what he has given us to do, this task here on this earth, not the task we aspired to do, but this one. The absurdities involved cut us down to size. The great discrepancy between what we envisioned and what we've got force us to be real." - Elisabeth Elliot

"Great thoughts go best with common duties. Whatever therefore may be your office regard it as a fragment in an immeasurable ministry of love." - Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott

"Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there." - A.W. Tozer


  1. one of my favorite pieces of art work is something pretty simple and personal to the artist (Who I couldn't tell you their name!) It is a huge canvas about 15' by 8' full of names or descriptions of people. It was people who have influenced the artist some how in life, negative or positive... He worked on this piece for year and had it set up in a central part of his house so that he could run to it when someone came to mind. You should do that with your lists... turn them into art.

  2. I make lists too...I love them. In fact, I just sat down to make one and clicked on your blog instead!

  3. do not despise the day of small things, be faithful in the little things. A friend once related to me how the men working on the great cathedrals in Europe often did not see the completion of them because they took longer than their lifetimes to build. We as mothers are like those men, doing our small part, changing diapers, doing laundry, fixing and cleaning up meals, and we may never see the completion of our work, but it is all for the Glory of God. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do all to the the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31