Freedom

Tired of lists? How to overcome the frenzy of to-do lists.

As a mom, I have a love/hate relationship with August. On the one hand, I love it because soon, my four children will be back into the school year routines that everyone has dismissed for the summer. I abhor August because it ends my time with all my kids at home. It’s a bittersweet tug of war for me.

Several weeks ago, I was scurrying around helping my son and daughter get ready to head back to college. It’s mid-August, and the kid’s brains seem to kick back in. They realize they have a long list of things to do before leaving. Of course, many of those things need my help. Suddenly I have a list with tons of things that have to get done. Can you relate?

Shopping for clothes, shopping for food snacks to go back with them, shopping for supplies. There were more things on the list, but I am sure you get my point!:)

There are the lists of items the school needs uploading for admittance. In addition, there is the packing and making sure the kids see as many friends and family members that want to see them before they go. It can be an exhausting process.

On one particular day, I, too, had a list of things I wanted to get done. Such as, I wanted to spend time in my bible study and research verses for my next blog. Ideas were swirling in my head I wanted to get on paper. I really wanted to write! I was even looking forward to grocery shopping and doing some cleaning around the house.

That day was the day before my daughter moved into her dorm for her freshman year at college. Let me share with you, I did not get one thing on my list done, but we completed several items from her list.

That evening as I sat and rested, yes, it was a packed full kind of day. I found myself thinking of the lists we make. All the things we think have to get done. We get ourselves caught up in a cycle of living by what we get done from ‘the list .’ I wondered if we had a list of things that really mattered and if we worked as hard to get those items done.

I thought about my bible study and the list of things Jesus gives us. That’s right, Jesus gave us lists or instructions on how we are to live our lives.

Take, for example, the 10 Commandments:

  • I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery
  • You shall have no other gods before’ me
  • You shall not take the Lords name in vain
  • Honor your father and mother
  • Do not kill
  • Do not commit adultrey
  • You shall not steal
  • Don’t bear false witness againt your neighbor
  • You shall not covet your neighbors wife
  • You shall not covet your neighbors goods

Over the years, I have spoken with several people that thought of the commands as rules we had to follow to please God. I don’t look at them as rules but as guides or instructions on how God wants us to walk our faith.

Another list to consider is the items God tells us to arm ourselves with. I encourage you to read Ephesians 6:10-18, but in short, the list goes something like this. Let’s arm ourselves with:

  • The belt of truth
  • The breast plate of righteousness
  • Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gosple of peace
  • The shield of faith
  • The helmet of salvation
  • The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

I absolutely love how Jesus tells us how to protect ourselves from the enemy. We are under constant attack from the devil and require God’s divine protection.

Now, if you are still in Ephesians, flip to the left to John 13:31-35. Jesus can whittle down all these commands to the one we should emulate in our everyday life. Take a close look at verse 34.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." John 13:34 ESV

Yes, I know for many of us, there are some lists we need to write out. I can tell you, if I didn’t write out my grocery list, I would forget half of what I needed and would buy tons of unneeded stuff.

For me, my passion in life is staying obedient to my God. Therefore, I take this one command deeply to heart. But, it can be very challenging. There are many times I don’t want to love someone. The someone that hurt me or disappointed me. The person who broke promises or lied to me. Truthfully, I know it’s not me loving them.

I believe in my heart that if I am obedient to Jesus’s command, he will pour his love through me to them. I can love them with Jesus’s love. You can read my blog, My Unusual Walk in Obedience to God’s Word, at mygracewalk.com to read more on my perspective of walking in obedience and how fulfilling it is.

Jesus takes us right to the heart of the matter, what’s most important. Love one another as he loved us.

As a believer in Christ, my focus is living how Jesus lived and how he wants us to live. It is my greatest joy to imitate his walk as closely as I can.

There is no way to know why God loved us so much that he sent his only son to save us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have erternal life. John 3:16 ESV

We have no right or claim to it; it is a gift we can humbly accept, a gift he gave his life for. Jesus loved us so much he called us friends.

"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing: but I called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15

To thank him, I will strive to be obedient to his command to love one another, to walk my walk as close as I humanly can to his walk.

So, I will ditch the many lists I think are very important to everyday life and concentrate on his lists.

  • The Ten Commandments
  • Wearing the Armor of God
  • Loving my neighbor

My friends, I have four children and know how busy life can be; it can become a frenzy of ‘list-making.’ In the end, if we follow that one command, to love one another, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will guide us to accomplish what he believes are the vital items on our list that need to be accomplished.

I pray the heavenly Father blesses you with the peace of Jesus in your life today.

Christine Williamson is the creator of her blog, mygracewalk.com. Her purpose with mygracewalk blog is to not be a biblical scholar, but a sharer of life! She is a wife, a mom, and, working woman who has transformed into a Jesus Chasing Gal! Her purpose is to share and chat with you, to encourage, to hopefully build a community of sisters traveling this road of life together. Using her experiences to show you how God was with her while she was broken, knowing that while she cleaved to Him, He was building her back into the woman He made her to be.

mygracewalk.com

The joy of being 50 and free!

Have you ever found yourself, having that silent conversation in your head, (you know we all do), that you realize you just don’t care about the things that not too long ago seemed so important? That’s where I was, driving up the highway one day, chattering away with Jesus, praising and thanking Him for the life He had blessed me with.

As I thought about all the things in my life that make me so happy, I realized it was because I had stopped caring! Stopped caring about all the ‘stuff’ that was taking my focus off Jesus and my pursuit of Him. The list of things I permitted myself to let go of is so long you’d be reading into next week, but the ones that I would classify as a patch of quicksand I was desperately trying to get out of was really just a few.

I found I no longer cared about or listened to the tug-a-war raging in my head, ( ever have one of those) about why I wasn’t good enough to be friends with, ( oh yes, even at 50, I wanted everyone to like and accept me) about being the cool mom, or worse yet, not being accepted into the ‘cool moms club’! I didn’t care that I could not make myself care about having the latest fashions to wear. That I might not EVER lose that dreaded last 10 lbs!!!

I wish I could say that a light bulb went off on how Jesus loved and accepted me and that He was the only one I should be trying to please. To know in my soul that He loved me, accepted me and was delighted in me, because after all, He did make me this way right? But alas, I cannot. The light bulb that finally went off was that I ACCEPTED what Jesus had been trying to FREELY give me all these years.

Jesus loves me unconditionally, He infused me with His Grace and Peace, He guided me every step and I was where HE wanted me. Have you ever known something but that game of tug-of-war playing in your head kept leading you right back to the patch of quicksand? I have. Over and over again. Thank God for His patience. Until that day I was flying up on the highway(I’m kidding, I was doing the speed limit), when I realized I LOVED my life, I LOVED who I was and how God had blessed my life. That was the light bulb that finally lit up my darkness.

I had truly stopped caring about what people thought of me. I only cared about what Jesus thought of me. That is when I knew I was FREE! As I was knocking on the door of 50, I knew I was where God wanted me to be. I was 50 and FREE. Free to be me! As I look back over the last 20 plus years of my life, think of all the good and bad, yes, some very heavy stuff, that has happened in my life and family, and how I had to cleave to Jesus just to make it to the next day.

I realized that just maybe my experiences with our amazingly faithful God could be helpful to other women that have faced hardship and want to see how Jesus can help them too. So my mission through this blog is to take all that I have gone through and share how Jesus used it all for HIS GLORY, and changed me into a chasing Jesus kind of girl.