Usually these are a few of the items on my list ….
I will fit exercise into my schedule today. Somewhere… sometime….
I will call my parents.
I will connect with each of my children.
Every word spoken will be overflowing with kindness.
This is the night my family will sit down to a great dinner.
I will be a helpmate to my husband
I will fit a little housework into my day because those bathrooms won’t just clean themselves, will they?
Unfortunately when I lay my head on my pillow at night and revisit my list, I realize I was unsuccessful in completing many, if not all, of them. I never exercised, the bathroom is still crying for a cleanup, and its been three weeks since I talked to my parents. My intentions of showering God’s unconditional love upon my family and friends, with a soft voice of compassion, has somehow evaded me more times than I’d like to admit. And now that I am a Mimi, new plans and purposes are being added to the ever-growing list. Good intentions. I am full of them. My wise hubby tells me that while not following through on our good intentions may not be a bad thing, it may not always be the right thing.
So, what keeps me from following through on my list of goals, I mean good intentions? That is what I have been lacking lately and I have been feeling a little convicted by it. It is one thing to think about the actions I must take to complete each entry on my list, but nothing will be accomplished by mere thoughts or good intentions. If I want to check items off this list, I must be willing to put forth the effort needed to do so. So, I took a few days to ponder this and here is what I have come up with. I fail to follow through because I make excuses.
Excuse #1- There’s always tomorrow. What I don’t do today, I will get to tomorrow. However, if I can’t scratch an item off the list after five days, chances are my intentions were never true goals.
Excuse #2- I am too___________________. I could fill in the blank with words such as; busy or tired or far behind. There are days when I can honestly say that I was too busy to accomplish every task I had hoped but let’s be honest, some days I am just too easily distracted.
Excuse #3- I don’t feel like it. Plain and simple, I don’t want to put forth the effort. Does that make me lazy? One of the Antonyms for effort is laziness. Ouch.
After some time seeking the Lord for wisdom on this, I discovered that I seem to have gone from one extreme to another. In the past, my “to-do” list has been a little extreme, making it nearly impossible for me to get to every item. As a perfectionist, when I failed to complete a task, that meant, I had failed. My identity was found in my “do”- not my “who.” I had to allow the Lord to reconstruct my identity and my purpose, and not feel guilty if I didn’t complete my agenda for the day. There was no room for interruptions, no room for anything spontaneous; I had a list to complete. Now, I am teetering on the other side… “eh, whatever happens, happens.” I need balance and motivation and I need to pray…
So, Lord, help me find balance in my day to do what YOU decide is the most important items on my list. Help me to let go of what I can’t complete, but help me to drop all excuses, that keep me from finishing what I can. Help me to be well-balanced in my day and when I make a plan, help me put forth the effort, to complete the plan. Let my good intentions meet my goals. Motivate me, Lord, to do all that You have asked me to do…and “let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24, NLT).