the master of the to-do list

Remember how I mentioned last week that my plans weren't going as intended?

It may well be the theme for this summer. The strangest of things have the ability to throw a kink in your plans.

Like monkey bars.

Who would've thought we would spend Sunday taking care of this?


Elijah {8} fell off the monkey bars at the park. He's such a tough kid. He barely cried, so we weren't sure it was even broken until he couldn't move his arm later.

The nurse asked him to rate his pain 1 {none} to 5 {excruciating} and he said 2. Tough guy. :) He's been a trooper.

But I'm not so sure about the monkey bars now. Or how I will ever get to my to-do list.

This weekend I was thinking of my May goals, and how far behind I am on them right now.

Last week was supposed to be catch-up, but things kept coming up, and I really didn't do even 1/2 of what was on my list.

And I won't lie- it bugs me. It really bugs me.

I was imagining my goal/priority quadrants yesterday and thinking about the rest of the year overwhelmed me. Which comes first, what next, when should I do this? How much energy should I put here?

It was mentally exhausting.

I was praying about it, and the Lord told me something very specific about my goals, and when I heard it-  no joke- the heavy burden of my endless to-do list immediately lifted from my shoulders.

His sweet words came like a whisper of relief to my heart:

"Focus on me. The rest will fall into place. Stop worrying about the future. You don't need to know what will happen."

And suddenly the lightbulb turned on.

Plans mean nothing. Goals mean nothing.

He means everything.

Why do I worry about my lists? Who really cares how many projects I get done? Or how many verses I memorize, for crying out loud?

Focus on Him and the rest will happen just the way it's supposed to. 

I love that I can trust Him- that He wants me to give Him my plans, my goals, my desires. All of it.

He promises that He will give us the desires of our heart- that He will act- that He will bring it to fruition.


Psalm 37:
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.b
4 Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.


That's the God that we serve. The One who has control over every single part of my life. He just wants me to delight myself in Him- to trust that He is my God, and He will take care of the rest.

And I have to ask myself- who is in control here? Me or Him?

I know the answer.


The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9


Looking back at last week, I realize that I spent most of my week with my husband running errands, cleaning up after my husband's awesome remodeling work, eating lunch, going on a date, and riding to work with him on his long commute to fix a computer problem.

And you know what? My sweet husband wanted me to do all of that- to be there with him. We spent an hour and a half at the eye doctor for him to get a new prescription instead of painting or cleaning, and that was exactly what I was supposed to do last week.


When will I learn that my plans aren't better than God's? I pray that I can let go of my own desires and motivation- what will those things profit me in eternity?

When will I learn to put the goals of others above my own on the list?

I imagine my goal quadrants or 82 things on my list, and right now it's all starting to blur into one big box.

I really have one priority in this life, and it's to love my Lord with all my heart.

And the rest will fall in to place.

When I do that, the to-do list will happen when God wants it to.

Focus on Him, and the rest will follow.

The burden lifts, and unreasonable joy fills my heart. What took me so long to realize this?

The peace overwhelms me when I focus my eyes on the one true Light.

The to-do list seems so much easier than ever. I serve God, and He directs my path. I delight myself in my Lord, and He shows me my priorities. He's got this.

List making can be good, but so often I let it become my master.

And I can't serve both God and my list.

The joy and peace I know is from Him is nowhere to be found when I serve myself.

If my list doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. If my plans fail, God didn't want them to be. And there is so much freedom in letting go of them.


When I focus on Him, what didn't get done wasn't supposed to, and what does get done is what He wants to happen.

I love knowing God is sovereign over my life. He is such a good, merciful Father. Praise His Holy name!

So, there are no lists today. Not for now.

And I'm excited about that.

19 comments

Kristin said...

I loved this post! My daughter just broke her elbow falling off the monkey bars 3 weeks ago and she didn't cry much either! It threw off our plans of finishing t-ball and gymnastics! Did you know they have water-proof cast? She got one so she can still swim. We live in Henderson and took her to Azalea, we love them there! The cast lady did a pink cast with a purple stripe just for her! I hope your son recovers soon!

the krekes said...

Thank you for this reminder! I really needed to hear it :)

Victoria Huizinga said...

This post gave me so much encouragement. I am really struggling right now with not getting as far on a few goals as I would like, and your words (and HIS words) were an awesome reminder that I will get those goals done, at His pace, and on His schedule, not mine.

Bonnie Getchell said...

I needed this today. I'm a list-maker as well... and it truly bothers me when I don't get things marked off. Thank you for the reminder :)

Katherine said...

Cute blog! :)

I'm hosting a blender giveaway... would love to have you enter :-)

http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com/2012/06/magic-bullet-blender-giveaway.html

Melissa said...

Ha! Ha! If you could only see my to-do list for today. Thank you, thank you for this gentle reminder that HE is really the only "to-do" I need. :)

Sara * said...

I so needed to read this today. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Joy Sylvester said...

I am such a list maker! This was an awesome reminder. So encouraging. Thank you!

Curt Head said...

i still have to make lists but give the process over to Him so the important things will be the ones i choose. Then give it to Him to be sure I haven't stuck some things on that are not His plan. It is still easy to do that crazy COMPARE thing and wonder why i am having so many things left over at the end of the day and so and so has all of hers completed and time to spare.. Or to listen to others expectations rather than His plan.
THANK YOU FOR THE REMINDER ABOUT WHOSE PLANS ARE IMPORTANT.

Jen B said...

Great thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 are my life's verses.

petejessnewland said...

I've been thinking on this very idea today. Thanks for the reminder - what's really important?!

Jeannie Davis said...

I wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Reader Appreciation Award. You can follow this link to find out what you have to do.

http://heavenlyramblings.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/reader-appreciation-award/

Heather Allyce said...

I read once over on the GirlTalk blog... Only God gets his to-do list done every day. It is a constant reminder that we always have more we want to accomplish and do... but God has done EVERYTHING that he wanted to accomplish that day. Love your blog!

mandyBH said...

thank you Jeannie!! :D

mandyBH said...

oooohhh, that's so good!! I love that! So true! :D

Thank you for your sweet encouragement!

mandyBH said...

I'm such a huge fan of lists! And it's funny how God takes reign over them every time! :D I love your thoughts! It's so easy to compare ourselves, and I'm the worst. Thanks for your encouragement! :D

mandyBH said...

:D much love to you!

mandyBH said...

Amen! His schedule and pace! speak, it sister! :D much love to you! :D

mandyBH said...

We are so alike there! :D much love to you sweet girl!