Nov 28

To-Do List

2005 at 3:19 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

Now that we have barely shut the door on Thanksgiving, the Christmas season is at our door with a loud, demanding knock. And with that knock comes a whole new set of responsibilities that can be even more daunting than the ones we just completed: Making lists, shopping for presents, wrapping those presents, putting up Christmas decorations, trimming the Christmas tree, addressing Christmas cards, attending Christmas parties, baking cookies, preparing for out-of-town guests…. Not to mention, we must squeeze all of these tasks into the already-full-schedules of our daily lives! How is it possible for a woman to do everything she needs to get done this time of year?

I still remember the wise and helpful counsel my husband CJ shared with me many years ago when I was having one of those “I just can’t get it all done” breakdown crying sessions. When he finally got the chance to speak, he said: “Carolyn, only God completes His to-do list. We are not God. We are finite creatures with serious limitations. Therefore we need to humble ourselves by accepting our limitations and draw upon God’s strength to simply do what we can.” CJ’s advice not only helped me then, but continues to benefit me to this day, especially with the Christmas season on my front doorstep.

Here are 3 simple ways we can be mindful of our limitations as we make our to-do lists this holiday:

1. Separate the-really-do-matter items from the really-don’t-matter items—of course doing the really-do-matter items first.
2. Simplify the really-do-matter items where possible (i.e. purchasing already-prepared cookie dough rather than making Christmas cookies from scratch).
3. Trust God for all the things on the list that don’t get done.

Let’s honor God by answering Christmas’s knock at our doors this year with humility—joyfully accepting our limitations and simply doing what we can.