Recently I shared about a blog I LOVE called Burning Bushes. Not only do the posts inspire me to daily fix my thoughts more on Christ, but--even better--how to also APPLY God's Word to my every day. I want to share a great xample.
Not long ago, Nicole wrote about making a "to BE" list instead of a "to DO" list. Since I have always been a big fan of "to do" lists, I was intrigued. And now after having read her article, I have a new and improved perspective. Here's the deal: when we make out our daily list of things we feel we need to do, we can't help but become task-oriented. We may start out the day with a good attitude and optimism about all we hope to accomplish, but would you agree with me that more often than not, by the time we reach the end of the day, we feel a little discouraged because we didn't do many of the things we had planned? And so, not only do we start to feel unproductive, but also overwhelmed when we have to carry those unaccomplished tasks over to the next day's list!
Here's Nicole's point: Instead of making a to DO list and focusing on all your "chores", make a to BE list and turn your focus to the roles you currently have in your life. You start by prioritizing all of the roles you currently have in your life (Christian, Wife, Mother, and so on).
Next, for each role you list, find a bible verse that directly applies to that role and perhaps relating to something God is trying to teach you in that area. I have found it beneficial to ask Him to direct me to scripture that would encourage me in each role.
After you find a verse for each role, write down your top 3 goals for the week within each role. I hope this doesn't sound too complicated or too time-consuming. I have been doing this on Sunday evenings before bed or in my quiet time on Monday mornings and have found that it is helping me be much more intentional about spending my time on what really matters.
Nicole suggests that at the end of the week you take some time and get alone with God on your list and look at what worked and what didn't...especially before making out the next week's to be list!
My scanner is not working right now, but I wanted to share what my to be list looks like to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.
Role #1: Follower of Christ ("Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5) Goals for the week: 1. Meditate on/memorize scripture; 2. Journal prayers/answers to prayers/lessons God teaches me; 3. Guard my mouth against gossiping and complaining.
Role #2: Wife ("...the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:33b) Goals for the week: 1. Evaluate spending habits and cut back where possible; 2. clean/straighten Stephen's nightstand for him; 3. Stay abreast of job listings and apply where I qualify.
Role #3: Mother ("Therefore encourage one another and build each other up." 1 Thess 5:11) Goals for the week: 1. Make a point to bring attention to things the kids do right and praise them for it; 2. Pray with the kids; 3. Look through closets to see what the kids need in the way of clothing for spring/summer.
Role #4: Homemaker ("Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Colossians 3:23) Goals for the week: 1. Clean showers thoroughly; 2. Purge toys in Mac's room; 3. Plan good-tasting, budget-friendly meals.
Role #5: Family Member ("Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2) Goals for the week: 1. Be available to others; 2. Call Mom and Daddy regularly; 3. Be a better listener.
Role #6: Hope Church Member ("Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2) Goals for the week: 1. Pray more for email prayer list I receive from church; 2. Pray for my pastors; 3. Pray for Married SS class to continue to grow and for more married SS classes to be formed.
Role #7: Friend ("Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." James 5:16) Goals for the week: 1. Pray more often for friends; 2. Admit struggles to a close friend and 3. Ask for prayer.
Role #8: Neighbor ("Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4) Goals for the week: 1. Smile and speak to others; 2. Take regular walks to get out and meet my neighbors; 3. At least one random act of kindness to a stranger.
I realize you still may want or need to make longer lists within these roles--esp for something like homemaker, but you get the idea here. It's really been helpful to me to put the focus more on my roles and to tie a verse to each one to remind me of all God wants me to BE instead of getting hung up on individual tasks. Yes, I still fall short and neglect some things I care about, because I'm human. But I have found that when I focus on my role as a mom or wife--and what God's Word says about those roles--I am much more inclined to be productive in that area and to be a blessing to others in Jesus' name. And I think that's a really good thing. :) Thanks Nicole, for sharing this with me.