So many choices each day. How do you process them all?
Who taught you to think things through?
Do you have a process or just take the path of least resistance?
Some times it’s just a cup of coffee.
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My to-do list is out of control. No, that’s not accurate. My list of things I want done has gotten long enough to intimidate me into not picking anyone to get started on because the others start screaming at me for attention. The sheer volume can be deafening.
But here’s the really scary part. Each and every one of them I added myself. Sure there are things God has given me to do but I don’t actually put those on the list. Somehow they feel too Holy to type into my reminder program or add to the paper list I make of the things I put on my digital lists. I like the things on His list. They seem like they have a richer feel, a deeper purpose, a sense of Him. They feel more like an invitation into something that matters instead of a striving to make a difference.
Which leaves me with the question…who’s the harsh task master…me or Him? Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
You know this question. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? It’s usually followed by the question, “why aren’t you doing it?” Or the well-meaning, “Then go do it”. But sometimes it’s just not that easy. There are a great number of things I could do without failing. But that doesn’t mean I’d be doing them right and it doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for me to be doing.
Right now I have a long list of things I want to do. Most will not get done. Not because they aren’t good but because they aren’t the best use of my time or resources. Maybe they will just not excite me to act on them. Maybe they will. Everyday we make hundreds if not thousands of little decisions that add up quickly.
For the past month I have been working on a book project that in the beginning excited me. Now I just want to get it finished and to the printer. The only way for me to fail is to stop working. Failing isn’t an option. It’s not a pass/fail kind of thing. But finishing and finishing well….that’s a whole different matter. That’s a choice. A choice to see it through. No risk. No possibility of rejection. I’m self publishing this work. It’s a very limited subject matter and a very limited printing. But it’s an important work for those involved.
What are you working on that you already know you won’t fail? Have you grown tired or bored with the work? Is it worth seeing through to the finish or have you already quit?
There’s an old saying….”Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
I know it’s Monday morning. Many of my Facebook friends are bemoaning the start of another week. For many that includes having to be somewhere at a specific time to resume specific tasks with specific people for specific compensation.
I have to wonder this morning how much different the day would be if instead of dread and dragging the joy of “first day on the job” enthusiasm propelled them out of bed and into the shower. If they were looking at the people around them with anticipation of getting to know their co-workers and learning everything there was to be done at work, would the day seem like an adventure instead of a drudgery.
If the mindset was “I GET to go to work” instead of “I HAVE to go to work” would there be an unseen reward that motivates the effort to be better and the countenance to change?
Depending on where you get your numbers, anywhere from 155,000 to 300,000 people who woke up yesterday morning with Sunday ahead of them did not wake up this morning to face another Monday. For them the battle is over. The day is lost. But if you are reading this, you have today. Now the battle is for how you will spend it.
You can whine and complain and remind everyone it’s Monday. You can surrender and walk through what is the last day of someone’s life defeated and discouraged or….
You can claim the amazing gift you have of MONDAY and celebrate it. Today is someone’s birthday. Today is someone’s first day at work. Today, someone got married. Today someone walks out of the prison of fear and pain.
Today is Monday! Happy Monday!
I like words that have more than one meaning. Many of you read the question “Where do you get the stuff you put in your blog?” But other’s may have read “Where do you get the stuff that makes you satisfied?”
Either way the question is one of filling up the blank space with something. Where do you get that something? What is it about that blank space that is so compelling and so intimidating all at the same time?
For writers the terror of sitting before a screen with the little cursor blinking is enough to make us figure out the settings necessary to make the stupid thing stop flashing at least. Something about it’s steady pulsing and inexhaustible patience is taunting and just borderline cruel. “I can wait…I can wait…I can wait…” It is only by my efforts to get my thoughts out of my head and heart and on to the screen that the little line moves forward and for a moment stop the blinking. I think it was named a cursor more for the emotion it causes than for it’s actual function. I may be wrong.
Transfer that incessant blinking to the rest of the world and you get the massive accumulation of stress that is humanity. “Everybody’s searching for something” Annie Lennox sang. Something to fill the blank space of our closet, our garage, our bank account, our home, our stomach, our calendar, our days, our nights, our lives.
How fitting is it that between the date of your birth and the date of your death chiseled in stone is a sideways cursor that has stopped blinking.
Will you be content with your content?
Today is one of two days this month I get 6 hours to myself. This year I am homeschooling our 8th grader. She attends class just two days a month on the first and second Monday for 6 hours. The rest of the month she works on the curriculum independently. Throw in a rotating band rehearsal schedule and private music lessons, orthodontist and chiropractor appointments and you can see keeping up with her schedule chops mine up a bit.
But Monday School…that is the day I drop her off at 9 and pick her up at 3. The temptation to use that time to blast through house cleaning and errands is pretty easy to resist. Other focus intense activities far out rank rotating dishes and laundry. Those can be worked into the shorter blocks of time. Today I have two big projects. One I can complete and mark as done for the year. The other is creative and only a looming deadline will push me across the finished line on it.
If you had 6 hours to yourself how would you use the time? What would you like to accomplish or create? Would you consider resting and silence a good use of your time? Would you fill it with friends and play? What would you do today?
Friday was a stressful day for my sister. Her oldest son’s high school was hit by a tornado around 9:30 that morning. As you can imagine, being several hundred miles away with communications out, her worst imaginations were running rampant. A few hours later communication via Facebook confirmed he was safe and unharmed. His home was also spared the devastation so many of his neighbors experienced.
When nature or circumstances change abruptly for the worse or tragic there is an outpouring of support and a deeper sense of community coming together to rise above and rebuild. As a nation we not only help our own but have a global response to suffering.
All of this can lead to compassion burnout. Sometimes it just seems like everyone is in crisis or looking to us to fill whatever need they have. I’m not talking about wants, I’m talking about real need. So often the request is for money. Just donate what you can…it’s tax deductible…it’s to save… or to fix…
Many times I hear the phrase ”Our thoughts and prayer are with….” from news reporters and I wonder if there is any power, any comfort knowing someone is thinking of you or praying for you. But then Friday hits and I type my words of comfort to my sister and she knows she’s not alone. She knows someone else is as worried about her son as she is. She knows there are people who care even if the only thing they can do is reach out across the internet or the phone and offer those simple words, “What can I do to help?”
Today my family is all safe and healthy. I hope your’s is, too. But if they aren’t…what can I do to help?
Years ago I helped my grandmother with a garage sale. While we were sitting in the driveway in lawn chairs waiting for people to drive by and be enticed to stop and buy her surplus stuff, I picked up a paperback from one of the boxes. I wish I could tell you the name of the book but it escapes me. What has stuck with me was a wonderful example of such bad writing that even 30 years later I can quote it. “He jumped up naked as a frog!”
Now this in and of itself might fade from most memories but unfortunately somewhere along my journey it got attached to another piece of creative wordsmithing and together they wander through my mind at random occasions. Today being February 29th they came quickly to the fore front and have now been passed to you.
“He jumped up naked as a frog”.
“If you feel froggy, jump!”
Not sure what prompts a frog to jump. But somewhere in that little amphibian mind the idea that where he is is not where he wants to be unleashes the power stored on those little green legs and his whole body is propelled through the air or the water and with the possibility of an agile graceful safe landing he soars if only for a moment.
Given an extra day this year it just seems fitting to ask you, do you feel froggy?
First question we have from God. Where are you?
One of the first questions I call out in the morning when I get up. Where are you?
A question I heard repeated several times in the message from Sheila Walsh on Saturday at the Women of Faith One Day event. Where are you?
For the past month, a question my readers might have asked if they stopped by for a quick visit. Where are you?
Adam’s answer was “I heard your voice and was afraid because I was naked and hid myself.”
My husband’s answer is “I’m here in my office” or “I’m in the family room”.
My daughter’s answers vary widely but are generally exactly where I expect her to be.
My answer on Saturday was ” right where God wanted me to be”.
My answer to my readers is “I’m here. I’ve just been working on a special book project and all my energy and creativity have gone into it the past month.”
I am compiling a history of our family with the foundation being the log cabin built for my husband’s great-grandmother 80 years ago. We are having a celebration Memorial Day weekend and the deadline to get the book done is closing in fast. The photos and stories of six generations take a while to organize and collect.
So I will be catching up on the questions as best I can but today I leave you with this one….
Where are you?