Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tackling My To-Do-List When I Returned Home

(Alternate Title:  What's Most Important After Being Gone for 5 1/2 Weeks)

Before I even got home, I had one started.  

I live by a lengthy to-do list every. single. day.  So, naturally, after being gone from home since July 25th, I knew there were a number of things at home that needed my attention.  So, I started, mentally at first, and then on paper, making a list of everything that needed tackled when I got home: 

  • Unpack suitcase and put everything away
  • Sort through boxes of school books that arrived while I was gone
  • Return a book that I ordered that was the wrong edition
  • Figure out how to use some new curricula I ordered
  • Edit writing assignments 
  • Grade papers
  • Check my kids' progress in school
  • Make doctor and dentist appointments
  • Schedule a repairman
  • Add many events to my calendar
  • Take an inventory of the fridge and pantry
  • Re-organize the spice cabinet
  • Decorate for fall
  • Etc.
When I got home Tuesday evening, I walked into a beautifully clean and neat home and enjoyed a delicious dinner, compliments of my awesome family! :)

Immediately my mind was a whirl of things that needed to be done.  Even though the house looked amazing, I started noticing cabinets that needed re-organized or wiped off, dirty fingerprints here, smudges there, etc.

Fortunately, I stopped myself short before I made an Epic Mistake!!  I stopped and asked myself, "What's really important after being gone nearly six weeks??"

My heart answered accurately, and drowned out my cluttered mind --"None of these tangible things really matter.  It's the intangibles that are truly important and invaluable!!"

I quickly revised my to-do list to include:

  • Listening attentively to a child's stories
  • Reliving adventures that included frogs and snakes
  • Listening to accounts of all that was accomplished while I was absent
  • Snuggling with a child who missed her mommy
  • Reading to my two youngest
  • Laughing over a shared Facebook status 
  • Playing a game of Dutch Blitz 
  • Praising character qualities displayed
  • Hearing the hearts of my children

Slowly, but surely, those other things will get done.  But, I wisely readjusted my focus and made sure the most important things were taken care of first!!

How about you?  What is more important to you?  Checking off every single task on your to-do list, or tying heart strings with your children??

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Christy Johnson said...

You are KIDDING ME!?!? That's EXACTLY what happened to me - I was also gone from my family pretty much the whole summer (it was a first) and I did the exact same thing. They worked so hard to make my homecoming special, and I too had a list, but then had to turn a blind eye to some things, and focus on my relationship with them, re-connecting...and for us it was Skip-bo. You wrote my homecoming so well, thanks for articulating the priorities.

busymomof10 said...

What a coincidence! That is so hard to believe that we had the exact same experience!! What took you away from home for so long??

Thankful to God for showing us both what really matters!

Ceil said...

Hi Elizabeth! I am coming over from Bible Love Notes.

How lovely that God filled your heart with the priority of loving your children right then! I do tend to get focused on the 'list'. I think I put too much emphasis on getting things done, instead of putting people first.

Not sure where you were for all that time? But I hope it was fun :)

So nice to meet you today!

Christy Johnson said...

I served a lady who owns property in Colorado (where the huge fire was this summer). She had smoke damage, and JUST lost her mother - so it was an overwhelming time for her. I offered to stand beside her, and fly up (from Florida) to help with clean up. It took longer than originally thought, but I'm honored God could use me to serve & love this lady. She is not a Christian, so I was excited to have an opportunity to BE Jesus' love, and even speak it into her.

busymomof10 said...

What an amazing opportunity! Hoping your investment yields eternal rewards for both of you!

busymomof10 said...

I was visiting my parents, and helping them out. My Mom has been on Hospice for 11 months, and it was expected that July would be her last one . . . but God had other plans!

Thanks for coming over from Bible Love Notes!

Linda Sears said...

Thank you for the reality check!
I'm so glad you arrived home safely, and get the chance to re-connect with your family. That suitcase will get unpacked eventually, but those very first welcome home hugs and catch-up conversations are priceless.

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