To-do lists. I love them. Instead of doodling in meetings, I make lists. I have lists tucked everywhere; they give me a sense of purpose to each day. Garden lists. House lists. Goal lists.  Like I said, I love lists!

I awoke early this morning to quietly jump-start the last day of a long weekend of household projects. My husband and I have been on overdrive these last few days, trying to wrap up projects, trying to get life back in order, trying to get back on top of all the obligations pulling at us. It feels a bit like climbing a mountain; the projects and obligations are never-ending. And, quietly tugging at my heart has been a need to squeeze in one-on-one time with each my kids.

I walk over to my to-do list at the table. I sit down. I lift my pen, ready to start….and stop. I set the pen aside and reach, instead, for my devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. If you are looking for a daily devotional, this one is it: small, succinct and always ready with a nugget of divine truth. It is scripture written in first person, from Christ to you.

Today’s reading is particularly apt: “Most people scurry around busily, trying to accomplish things through their own strength and ability. Some succeed enormously; others fail miserably. Both both groups miss what life is meant to be: living and working in collaboration with me.”  Hmmm…. Me? Scurrying? Busy? Failing miserably to stay on top of everything? Check, check and triple check!

As I pause to think about what I’ve just read, I look up and meet my daughter’s eyes as she drifts down the stairs. She’s up? My late sleeper? At this early hour? I leave my reading to meet her halfway. She’s had a bad dream, so I invite her to snuggle with me in the armchair.  I gather my first baby, the infant who once slept on my chest and whose long, lanky legs now dangle and tangle with my own as I pull her onto my lap and into my arms. I set aside all the intentions I had for this early morning and, instead, visit softly with my former baby turned young girl and turning, daily, into a young woman. I shed a secret tear at how quickly time passes and laugh with her as we sing a silly song. She and I speak of the past and of the future, and I take a moment to tell her of the gifts I see in her and all of the ways in which I am so proud of her. I speak promise and faith and hope over her future. And as the house begins to stir, the sun begins to rise, and my husband wanders downstairs, I smile at my daughter and know I had been offered a gift in place of my to-do list this morning.

This time, I chose wisely.