My Tyrannical “To Do” List ;)

Yesterday was one of those days. At the end of the day, I was disappointed with how much I had gotten done, or rather, hadn’t gotten done. I successfully took one of our young people to do some necessary clothes shopping, did some Costco shopping, got all the laundry for a family of nine done, went over to my mom’s to help out a bit, and cooked a good dinner, but . . . I did not get everything on my “To Do” list done. This feeling of disappointment is a recurring thing, and I want to know why I so often am disappointed in myself.

One cause of my disappointment, I realize, is that I have unrealistic expectations for myself. At the beginning of each day, the world is new and fresh, and anything seems possible. Full of hope, I place so much on the “To Do” list, that any rational being would realize the impossibility of completing it. Why do I do this?

Well, all of the things on the list are good things to accomplish, and are within the scope of my calling as a wife and mother. I want to excel in my calling. In 1 Timothy 5:9,10 I read:

Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,

Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. (Emphasis added.)

I earnestly desire to follow every good work that pertains to my calling. This I should continue to do. What needs to change is my attitude toward myself. Intellectually I assent to the fact that I am a finite creature. I have only a certain level of strength and endurance; I get sick; I require sleep; I need to stop and eat, and so on. However, I do sincerely regret these limitations. Many a time, for example, I have wished that I didn’t need to sleep. “Just think how much more I could get done!”

The Lord enabling me, I acknowledge my creature-hood, my finiteness. As He enables me, I will labor diligently, and then, when it’s time to quit, I purpose to thank Him for that which was done, and not mourn over what didn’t get done.

I will allow myself time to go for a walk, and will not begrudge myself that wee bit of down time which is necessary for my health and well-being. No matter how diligently I work, it will never be completely, perfectly or totally satisfactory. Ecclesiastes 1:15 states,

That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

So, impossibly large “To Do” lists will continue (I don’t want to forget something, after all), but irrational disappointment in myself when all is not done will cease, the Lord willing.

Comments are closed.