Faith Inspiration Journal

On Things Undone

Written by Christine Carter

I live in a perpetual state of undone. All the to dos float through my thoughts and I’m wracked with scurrying scribbles on my day to day lists that go unchecked. The chaos of it all can either paralyze me or empower me, it just depends on the barometer of my anxiety. Life’s sometimes unpredictable. It seems to drown us with those surprises that hurl us toward unplanned moments, dismissing any routine with reckless abandon. The lists become submerged in the ongoing tides that erase the everyday mandates and distinguish the priorities once planned.

I had a week that reflected just that.

The whirlwind of piled up to dos stormed through my thoughts and I faced the growing un-done list surrounding my home, my work, my marriage, my ministries, my friendships. The list seemed never-ending and my first free day was filled with the urgency to get things DONE.

These are the days I twist thoughts so tight I can’t even clear enough room in my mind to tackle any of them with clarity. Other days I can safely plan a strategy to organize all the un-dones and create a clear line of attack. Most days I find myself disoriented and fragmented and overwhelmed. I can’t organize my tasks, my responsibilities or my intentions, and I get blurry and messy and impulsive.


Life is ever constant in its inconsistencies.

So am I.

When I find myself in that place, I often stop and frantically wave the S.O.S. flag as I reach out in prayer. I pull myself back from the overflowing waves of undone, and offer Him the inventory of my tasks, duties, and assignments I must discern. I then ask God to lay out my course.

“God, what do YOU want me to do?”

There is comfort in knowing He is the God of DONE. He is the anchor of assurance. He is the unmoving, unchanging, and unfaltering Creator of all things. He knew this day and all the days before. His plan will be revealed in all the tomorrows. There is no blurry mess where He reigns and His message reveals to the world THE most important “to do”  has been DONE.

John 19:28-30 NIV

28Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

I open my heart to this truth, and my perspective shifts. The great I Am has already spoken, and my list of Un-dones seems infantile, irrelevant, small.  Not that those things are unimportant or should be dismissed- but they are less significant in the big picture of His Kingdom and this world. Surely, God wants to fill me with His peace and lead me in His Purpose, and by gosh if getting those dishes done means that will happen, then by all means…

But to meditate on the greatest work of this world and reflect on his words “It is finished.” reminds me of the true priority in this life. Soaking in that magnificent truth with the awe and wonder of it all, helps me realize that my undones are simply tiny pebbles on the path of His Plan. My lens adjusts to this revelation, and I am transformed with a new vision of what may be most important to Him on my “to do” list.

So I ask Him to lead me.

I quiet my own voice enough to hear His, in the silent surrendering S.O.S.   

Sometimes it takes a while to shut up long enough to hear His whisper.

I’m quite chatty that way.

Other times I take over and my flesh scrawls and claws my way to peace.

It’s much harder that way.

Those days are exhausting and I still squirm and scribble on and on with things undone, with little room for His say.

Each day I face, I want to hold up my flag and listen for His trumpet call.

I want to invite Him into my “to do” list to help me pick out what He wants to get “done“… Through me.

I want to fall into His Grace and bask in His Glory with unending reverence for the biggest “Done” I can check off my “to do” list.

I want to remember always, how fragile this life is and how His View is so much better than mine.

I don’t want to lose sight of it, while buried and blind.

What a waste.

Lord, help me quiet my mind, so I can hear your guiding voice. Open my heart to your dreams for this day. Guide me through my Must Dos and Want Tos and help me discern what you want done, and give me the strength to leave the rest undone. May your peace cleanse my urgency for my plan and pour new intention for yours. Show me where to accomplish YOUR to do list, and walk by me as I take those faithful steps with your purpose, not mine. Remind me that there is only one “Done” on this earth that means most to you. I’m forever grateful to know I have that checked off my list. 


About the author

Christine Carter

Chris Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing kids. She has been writing at for six years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration and faith. You can also find her work on For Every Mom, Blunt Moms, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Mamapedia, Her View From Home, Huffington Post, MomBabble, and Scary Mommy. She is the author of “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.”


    • I love you so much, for your incredible heart and true friendship Mary. I’m always so grateful for your ability to read my ‘stuff’ and still find value in it, when it’s not what you believe. That means so so much to me, dear friend. I love that about “us”.

      • So much of what we believe is the same. There’s a common thread running through it all and I so believe that although we take different paths, we’ll meet again at our next destination. And yes, I love that about us, too. That’s true friendship, being happy those we love, respecting their beliefs and being happy they find so much comfort and support in them. xoxoxoxo

  • Yes! It is so hard to keep the perspective that our day to day ‘works’ are not what He is wanting from us….why must we consistently attach works with worth. It is finished! Thanks for this refreshing reminder of where to find our rest.

    • I hate that I am constantly struggling with that ‘works=worth’ issue! I’ll keep going back around to trusting that when He says “It is finished” – it IS FINISHED, and there is nothing more I need to do to earn His love and grace.

  • Things never do go as planned here either, but still I suppose it is what it is. But thank you for the gentle reminder that it is Ok when it doesn’t and to embrace it still. Hugs ?

    • It’s just a way of life, really. Isn’t it? I wish I could find peace in that truth- but I’ll just keep clinging to the peace His Truth brings. 🙂

  • Inviting Him into my to-do list popped right off the page, Chris, as I read this. But then again, a poignant truth needed in my life always seems to pop off the page when I read your words. You are a busy lady, but your perspective brings grace to it all.

    • You KNOW how good it feels to realize something you wrote spoke to another’s heart… Thank you, my friend. I’m so blessed to walk alongside you in our busy lives and learn from each other!

  • Hi Chris! I think this is a perfect Monday post (not to mean that these feelings don’t come on other days too!). My list for Mondays is always long, probably wanting to cram a week of work into one day. It’s so silly.
    I liked the line about perspective, and how the ‘to-do’s’ sometimes look so small. That’s the beginning of peace, don’t you think?
    Reaching out to the God of ‘done’ is the only way to let go of what I can’t do. So hard sometimes. So hard. But it’s the only way to stay sane, and get back to reality!

    • You are SO right, Ceil! It is the beginning of peace. I love that. And yes. My flesh really gets in the way of that peace- often. I have to remind myself and pray about my list and strategy every day… and all day, if I’m going to be honest! I get off track- a lot. lol

    • Oh do I know that feeling well, my friend. I hope you were able to dive in and begin feeling better as the day pushed forward! Those first hours in the morning can be brutal. I know…

  • Beautiful! And so very true! I always feel that I need to get so much done, but I need to change my way of thinking and allow HIM to get things done He wants done through me! 🙂

    • I think I will fight this ‘getting things done’ for the rest of my crazy “Type A personality” life! Every day, and sometimes many times a day- I need God to reel me back into that truth and perspective. It really helps shift things. 🙂

  • Christine, you actually loosened the tension in my shoulders! I needed this, a I head into what is tied with, if not surpassed December as my crazy time! May Madness!

    • I know, I KNOW!! I was just looking at our family calendar with all the soccer games/practices and swim meets/practices and school events and and and… I swear I got dizzy. LOL I’m NOT good with SUPER busy. I love busy, but SUPER busy? Help me GOD. *Literally* 🙂

  • Amazing grace Chris we wrote this week on similar themes about our great I Am. Amazing Grace!! I so relatevto tgat frazzled ahare your storyvwith much humility and honesty that brings it home. Always love reading your posts!

    • See what I was talking about Kathy? Isn’t that amazing? Love that we were in the same frame of mind and heart this week. <3 Thank you so much for your beautiful encouragement, my dear friend. You know I feel the same way about you.

    • Dana, it means the world to me that this filled you with peace and calmness. You are so kind to share that here. <3

  • Oh this is so very, very beautiful Chris!

    I am the “queen” of to do lists… but my favourite part in making them, is I ask God first thing in the morning what should go on my list (I do this after Bible time and prayer). My pen guides me – then I invite Him to change anything He sees fit and ask Him to nudge me hard to get me to pay attention (because sometimes I’m a little daft)! lol

    I love this the most though… “I want to fall into His Grace and bask in His Glory with unending reverence for the biggest “Done” I can check off my “to do” list.” Oh and the prayer – can I laminate that and stick it all over my house?! So beautiful Chris.

    Thank you so much for sharing this insight and perspective today.

    • Thanks SO much for your beautiful response to this piece, Jennifer! I love how you begin your day- so intentional and purposeful! And yes- I too, need to keep that prayer displayed so I can truly focus on THAT before I dive into those lists!

  • What a beautiful change of perspective I desperately needed, Chris. Thank you, my friend. I can’t express in words how important this question is: “God, what do YOU want me to do?” I really need to start my day with that rather than my usual “I’m so overwhelmed” chant. I’m loving your prayer at the end and definitely taking it with me :).

    • Thank you so much Candace! I need that question and that prayer every single day. It truly helps diffuse that ‘I’m so overwhelmed” chant I am VERY familiar with too. <3

  • It would be super great if you could have that prayer printed on a flash card for all of us. Because I need that prayer – daily.

  • Great example in your conclusion. Losing sight of God’s plans for us means that we’ve buried ourselves so deep in busy that we’ve missed what’s most important. Busy is a blinding thorn!

  • These are the days I twist thoughts so tight I can’t even clear enough room in my mind to tackle any of them with clarity…. yes! Thanks for reminding me to stop and wave my S.O.S. flag and seek Him first! <3

  • Truly great post. Love that you say you want to know what He wants to get done through you. What a wonderful way to look at your to do list. Really love this post.