16 September 2011

TO-DO lists & Shared Blessings

“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing
better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and
enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness
along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun”
- Ecclesiastes 8:15

This morning I woke up and found it hard to climb out of bed. It wasn’t because I was tired, or was struggling to get to work... the reason was that my “to-do” list for my day off was so long that I dreaded trying to decide where to begin.  So, I grabbed a cup of hot cocoa, and with pen in hand, put a big X on my to-do list. Then I took out my blessings journal and began to add to my “thankful list.”

... a day off of work
... a sunny, cool morning
... freedom to choose my activities

As I was writing in my journal I noticed some other blessings that my friend, Peggy had written in my shared blessings journal when we had swapped books:

... the smell and taste of coffee
... hum of the dishwasher
... the feeling when a task is finished

Our “shared blessings journey” continues as we thank God in all things; the little joys, the unexpected blessings, and yes, even the hardships, disappointments, and challenges.  As I acknowledge my blessings, my "to-do's" don't seem so overwhelming.  Today instead of worrying about everything that I may or may not get done today, I will continue to thank God for the small things and He will help me prioritize the rest of my day.

Problem: Any to-do list can get out of control, becoming overwhelming and un-doable. When we feel anxious or overwhelmed, we can become less productive and even dysfunctional.

Solution: It is important to recognize that our time and energy is limited. We have but 24 hours in each day. We need to be sure to find time for God, time to take care of ourselves (exercise and rest), time to nurture relationships (family and friends) ... and we need to make sure our to-do list balances that reality.

Prevention: In order to avoid being overwhelmed in the future, I’ve come up with an idea. There are so many projects I want to do, but so many others I need to do - so I decided to write down my fun list – the things I WANT to do. This will be an on-going list so that when I do have a few minutes free, I can look at my list and find something I enjoy (fun, relaxing, stress-free) “to do.” I plan to keep my NEED to-do list to a maximum of 3 items. These items will most likely be time sensitive, urgent or a necessity. As I accomplish these tasks I can add to my list, but not before one is crossed off.   Today I’ve realized:

• After my time with God, work, school, and scheduled commitments, I have limited time available.

• It is important to be “thankful” ... when we realize our blessings first, we appreciate each and every minute of the day we have been given.

• I don’t have to have a “spring housecleaning” mentality every time I have a day off.... some tasks can wait until another day.

• It’s okay to think of a day-off as if I was “playing hooky” – maybe stay in my pj’s and read ALL DAY, or throw on a pair of jeans and head out for a day of garage sale-ing with lunch at my favorite coffee-shop, or maybe spend the day hanging out with a friend.

My new goal for today is to have fun and do some creative projects, and in between I may even tackle my 3 item list. Cleaning my bathroom before I get started on an art project, a few important phone calls during my afternoon break, and a couple loads of laundry tucked between my writing time this evening ... now that sounds like a schedule that God & I can handle together.

I can't wait to get started, I’m looking forward to a peace-filled day!  This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice in it ... and when this day is over, I will thank God for the many blessings He has provided along the journey. 

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle... action required... Did you know that this Sunday, September 18th is National Back to Church Sunday. “Back to Church Sunday,” is a national movement to reverse declining church attendance and encourage former church-goers to rediscover church.

Although 83 percent of American adults identify themselves as Christians, only about 20 percent attend church on any given Sunday. Yet, a study by LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board of over 15,000 Americans found that 67 percent say a personal invitation from a family member would be effective in getting them to visit a church. Fifty-six percent say an invitation from a friend or neighbor would likely move them to respond.

God has called us to relationships, To walk through life with other believers.  So, this weekend why not SPARKLE and invite someone to your church.  Let God touch their hearts through your act of invitation. Remember the words of Colossians 1:6, “This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours.”

Keeping our eyes focused on God, and our priorities aligned with His will for us, will give us a life of peace.  Share His peace... other's will be greatful!

Have a great weekend.
God's Peace, Donna Weaver

NOTEKIDZ PEACE will now be posted on Wednesdays instead of Fridays.  Same place, different day .. be sure to check out the mid-week inspiration and encouragement for kids of all ages. 


Kathi said...

Donna (Sis2),

I absolutely love the idea of the 3 item to-do list...and having a fun list to balance the day!! Great info and suggestions, as always!!

Also, my daughter decided to get back on track and go back to church with my grandchildren this Sunday but did not realize it was "National Back to Church Sunday" until I told her about your blog...Yea, I'm feeling very blessed and excited for all of us!!!

Thank you for your ongoing, awesome inspiration...

I'm going to get busy with my to-do list, have some "fun" and go to church with my daughter and grandchildren....

Have a Blessed, great weekend and week...

Lv, Hugs and Many Blessings,
Little Sis

Donna Weaver said...

Hi Little Sis,

Good to hear from you again. Sorry I didn't get to respond to your comments last week. Been exhausted lately and havent' been on my computer as much in the evenings. But I've read everyone of your comments and appreciate your encouragement so much!

What wonderful new about your daughter and grandkids going back to church.... God is so good! He never gives up on us no matter what choices we make.

Hope you have a productive AND fun weekend (with your 3 items list). It looks like I might be out of a job as of 11/1, so tomorrow is job search day.... please keep me in your prayers, as I do you! Today I added your name to my Shared Blessings journal... you are such a blessing to me! Reminds me of the Bible verse about entertaining angels unaware - you are my "encouragement angel."

Have a blessed day tomorrow at church and peace throughout the week.

Love & Peace, Donna aka Sis2

Mary Anne Benedetto said...

Donna, I can SO relate to the endless TO DO list and not enough hours in the day. And I had to laugh when you mentioned the desire to stay in your jammies and read! I would really love a day like that!!! It's so encouraging to know that I'm not the only one who is trying to squeeze so much into every single day, only to have MY plans thwarted by multiple interruptions and sometimes distractions. God has some definite plans for us, and we'll be right on target....in His time....as we look to Him each day and thank Him for everything He has given us. Thanks so much for the words of inspiration!

Kathi said...

Oh my Goodness, Sis2,

Just read your response and I'm shocked that you will be out of a job soon...I will definitely keep you in my prayers as you search for another position. It sure humbled me when I was laid off and I was so worried about my future but our Heavenly Father gets us through our difficult times, always! You should have no problem because you are absolutely, "BRILLIANT"...

I wanted you to know that I have not posted a blog in quite some time as I am deeply involved in the Celebrate Recovery 12-step program twice a week and a Bible Study as well..I have been feeling so drained lately myself.

You're on my Priority Prayer List...

Lv U, Hugs and Blessings,
Little Sis