When Your To-do List is Overwhelming
I’ve been wrestling my to-do list. In the last few years, it’s literally pages long. When Dan passed away, I didn’t just enter into heavy grief. I also suddenly had about 4 times my normal workload on my plate. Between learning how to do finances and taking care of all the things he took care of to dealing with all the paperwork and administration that’s left in the wake of a death.
The to-do list for our family was split between two of us according to our strengths. Grief-stricken and in the worst shape of my life, suddenly my to-do list multiplied. It’s still this way. Plus right now, I’m in a season of trying to manage a launching my first book. Another steep learning curve.
I feel inadequate and underprepared. My plan was to be on top of this months ago but then carbon monoxide poisoning and then covid left me with only four weeks til launch… and I haven’t even invited you to join in the fun yet! (***JOIN ME HERE***). There. That was easier than I made it out to be! And I just got one thing off the list. Whew.
My new church just entered in to 21 days of prayer, and you know me. Praying with others is my happy place! We’ve been waking every morning at 6:33am together to pray, and these 30 minutes together has been giving me strength. I’ve been so desperately hungry for a prayer group again.
We meet at 6:33 am because of the verse in Matthew… Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.
In the first of the year, we like to reset and regroup. And many churches spend the first of the year praying and fasting. Giving our best to God and trusting Him with the rest.
The temptation is to say, “Now is a bad time. I’m launching a book. I’ve got lots to do.”
But I’ve learned something over the years… God multiplies my time and energies on the days I slow down and meet with Him FIRST. So why do I fall in to season where I forget that?
I slowed down this evening and stared at my enormous wall that is COVERED in to-do lists and sticky notes. I feel like shutting down. And all this time in prayer just makes me want more of it. I don’t want to engage in the busyness and rat race that a launch could be. And yet the firstborn overachiever in me really wars against the desire to go slow.
I called a friend, Becky Harling, author of Extraordinary Power of Praise. I was in tears at the overwhelm on my to-do list. She says to me exactly what my friend Katie Reid had also just told me. They both essentially said…
“Danita, worship, prayer, and praise do more than anything on your list.”
So, looking at a wall-sized to-do list tonight, I saw in my mind’s eye writing on the wall. The writing COVERED over all the to-do’s with a simple invitation: “Worship & Praise.”
What if I let my body rest like it needs in His presence? What if I only do the things He called me to instead of making things more complicated.
After that, I hopped on hope*writer’s lively Facebook page to invite others to join me in the launch (***JOIN ME HERE***). I found one post that blew me away! A young man named Caleb Ward said he was in the thick of book launch prep that ended swiftly when Amazon released it a whole month early. But! He said his book Downfall is already #1 rated in Christian Fantasy. I’m thinking, “Praise Jesus!” And his story COVERED me in so much grace!
Side note: If you feel called to be a writer, hope*writer’s is truly a remarkable community packed full of support and steps to follow in that calling. They happen to be opening up their doors right now! So CLICK HERE and jump in with me there too!
Side note of the side note that brings us full circle: Wow. Sharing with you about hope*writers was also something I didn’t know how I was going to accomplish… easy peasy. God asked me to blog daily. After another night of no sleep, I was sure tempted to say, “Now is a bad time.” But look at that, obedience brings blessings, just like we talked about yesterday’s post!
When we seek FIRST what’s on His heart, truly, all these other things are just given to us as well.
We praise you, God! Your ways are not our ways. They are so much higher and better and more restful and more powerful. May we surrender all our to-do’s and follow what You want us to do instead. In Jesus’s name, amen
Can you surrender your to-do list and FIRST seek the Lord in prayer and worship?
Tell me why that’s hard for you OR a victory you had when you did this in a comment below.