I LOVE a good list. The unhealthy kind of love. I make lists of all the lists I have so I can be sure to keep track of everything that needs tracking. Also, I am now 40 and I forget crap all the time. Not only do I love lists, I love checking things off my list. If I do something that I forgot to write down, I will add it to the list JUST SO I can check it off. I think you are starting to understand why I spent so many years in therapy.
My number one strength on the Strength Finder test used to be Achiever. Yes, I love to get things done. And lists are great…until they get in the way of more important things. Like people. Relationships. Connection. If I’m honest, sometimes I like lists more than I like people. Lists play by my rules and are much less messy. But I wasn’t put on this earth for a list. I was put here for relationship. I was put here for connection. I have had to work really hard over the past few years to push myself beyond being so task oriented into being more relationship focused throughout the busyness of my day.
Kids. My daughter is like me and lives in her head a lot so we can coexist quite well without actually connecting if I’m not careful. But not the boy child. He requires all of me all the time. “Mama. ‘Mere.” It’s his 2 year old way of saying “Mama, come here. Come be with me and do this thing.” He forces me to be present with him. He requires connection.
Which can wear me slick because sometimes I just wanna unload the dishwasher. I have a hard time remembering when the days are long that the years really are short. There are only so many days he will want me to play “asketball” with him. Or “occer.” Or want me to pick him up and cuddle and watch a “moomie.” I want the house to be picked up and the rest of my list complete. THEN I can relax and enjoy the fun things, but it doesn’t work that way. In 16 years, those dishes will still be there but my little humans will be out in the world. I must take advantage of these moments with them. I must be intentional in the things I want them to learn while they are still under my roof. So I made a list. Listen, you can’t quit cold turkey, ok?!?!
Family. As we get older, I think we start to realize we won’t always have our people with us this side of heaven. Last year, Husband and I had 2 scary diagnosis’ in our families in the same week. That was rough. It’s tempting to be focused on the cooking and the cleaning and the entertaining of time with family, but that’s not what we will remember when they are gone. Ask questions. Listen to stories. Play games. Take pictures. Connect.
Friends. Some are here for a lifetime and others are just for a season. Either way, there is so much life to be done together and so much fun to be had. That laundry will still be there tomorrow. Go meet up with a friend for French fries and a movie after the kids are in bed. Take that weekend to get away, lay by the pool and catch up over a big glass of awesome. Pick your people over your tasks when you can, or at least invite them to do your lists together. #costcoparty
Jesus. How many times do we show up to our quiet time with a list? An agenda of prayers that need answered and problems that need a solution? Yep, busted. Sometimes we get so caught up in Jehovah Jirah that we forget to spend time with Abba Father. There is so much the Lord wants to download into our hearts about who He is and who we are. There are greater depths of love He wants to wash over us and more broken places He wants to heal. It feels awkward at first, uncomfortable even, to just kinda show up and say “Hi God. It’s me. I’m here.” Honestly, you might feel a little bit like a middle schooler at the homecoming dance all over again. But the Lord is so gracious and He will be so glad you showed up. Just like any relationship, it gets easier and more comfortable over time. Practice being present in it.
When it comes down to people vs. list, people win every time. Lists aren’t bad; they just don’t connect us with ourselves or others. And the world needs you. That’s why you were put here. You have a job to do that nobody else can. Plus, you’re pretty cool. So, step away from the list. Walk quickly and do not make eye contact. Then go grab your people and do something. Talk about something. Bake something and bring me some. Give them something to remember you by long after you’re gone. That list will still be waiting for you when you come back. Trust me.