Gifts for Dad ➔

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. 

 

Christine Carter

Christine Carter writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. Her work is published on several various online publications and 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." and “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World.” Both books sold on Amazon.

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

As an Anxious Mom, I Remind Myself You Were God’s Child First

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping

I remember bringing that squishy baby home from the hospital. His 9-pound birth weight didn’t label him as scrawny by any means, but he was so small to us. I cringed the first time I laid him in the bassinet beside my bed. I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him all night long like the nurses in the hospital nursery. I couldn’t make sure he was breathing every second of my coveted slumber. To calm my worries, we turned on our bathroom light and left the door wide open. The extra light wouldn’t disturb our angel from...

Keep Reading

Home is Holy Ground

In: Faith, Motherhood
Kids and mom at home

Some days, I wake up and walk around my house feeling my chest rise looking at the chaotic mess I didn’t get done the day before.  Trampling over toys, incomplete laundry, and dishes that seem to load up by the end of the day. I pause, I stare, and I wonder which of the objects in each room I should tackle first. I take a deep breath and notice my heart and my mind are overwhelmed with a running checklist. Why can’t everything just get done all at one time? You can talk to a dozen mothers and I am...

Keep Reading

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

In Motherhood, Grace Makes up the Difference

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young child

Today, I have been the mean mom, the tired mom, the overwhelmed mom, the anxious mom, the impatient mom, and the want to turn in my mom card mom. Mostly, I’ve felt like the I have no clue what I’m doing mom. I have raised my voice 47 times, told children to “suck it up, buttercup” 36 times, and have intervened in approximately 83 sibling disagreements. I have rolled my eyes 59 times, sighed 148 times, and visibly showed other signs of impatience, well, way too many times. RELATED: I’m a Good Mom, You Just Caught Me in a Bad...

Keep Reading

Jesus Meets Me in Motherhood With His No Matter What Love

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother embracing daughter in sunlit room

My toddler was that kid on the playground—the one who would push and bite, erupting into a tantrum and needing to be carried home screaming. As I would carry my child to the car, the other moms looked at me with sympathy, confusion, fear, and . . . judgment.  Parents of challenging kids know this look well. We see judgment everywhere we go. I knew others were judging me, and I knew our challenges were beyond the normal bell curve, but as an overwhelmed young mom, I did all I knew to do: I blamed myself.  At my lowest, I...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

Dear Girl, Give Jesus Your Mess

In: Faith, Living
Woman holding Bible, color photo

Oh, dear girl, Give Jesus the mess. Your mess. The mess you think is too much or too big or too unbearable. The depths of the mess. The very worst of the mess. Lay it at His feet. He knew you long before the mess existed. Nobody knows your mess like Jesus. I assure you—this will not catch Him by surprise. Even when you do not understand, even when it is most difficult, even when you have your head buried in your hands. Praise Him, for God wastes nothing.  Even when it feels like opposition is coming at you from...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Love Is an Endless Pursuit

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child on bike, color photo

I look at him and my heart breaks into a million little pieces. It simply hurts too much to know he hurts. He is my heart, and it squeezes and revolts when he struggles. I want to close my eyes and hold him close, and when I resurface, I want the world to be different for him. Look different, smell different, taste different. But, it remains the same, this pain.   In the beginning, when he was in my womb, I held my hands on my stomach and his tiny feet kicked me back. His bodily imprint on my skin. He...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Brings Me to the Floor and Jesus Meets Me There

In: Faith, Motherhood

I recently came across a short memoir writing competition with the theme, “Places that have made me, changed me, or inspired me.” I could write something for that, I thought. I’m by no means a jet-setter, but I do have a passport. I spent my 16th birthday in Russia on a three-week mission trip. During college, I lived in Thessaloniki, Greece for a four-month study abroad program. After my British husband and I got married, we settled in the UK, where we’ve spent the last 10 years. And now, I’m back in my sunny Florida hometown. These experiences and places...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections