When school and back-to-busy life start up in the fall, I become Woman on a Mission. And let me tell you, it’s not pretty. I barrel through the day with my to-do list, and my mission is to cross everything off of it. If someone in my family needs help or wants something, I get huffy and bent out of shape because they’re interrupting my plans!
I told you it wasn’t pretty.
Recently, after a full day grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, organizing books, and reading school materials, I heaved a sigh of relief and turned on my computer. At last I was going to finish some record keeping that had been hanging over me for weeks. I hadn’t worked longer than 5 minutes when my 17 year old son came in, sat down, and looked at me, waiting.
My mother radar went up. Sure enough, he started talking.
Any mother of teens knows that when a MAN child comes in to talk to his MOTHER, it’s time to put everything down. I forced myself to close my laptop and look at him. We ended up having an important conversation. I left my record keeping undone, but I thanked God that I hadn’t missed out on something more meaningful.
Am I the only one who struggles with this?
Interruptions or Opportunities to Love on Our People?
What if I reframed interruptions to my schedule as opportunities to show love to the people around me? Often someone approaches us because they need help, need to talk, or want to connect.
One way to walk in the way of love is to be willing to lay aside our plans and show love in practical ways. Interruptions like these are a chance to give a bit of ourselves and our time to family and friends:
- Helping your daughter with her dress while you’re rushing to get ready for a wedding yourself
- Running an errand for your husband on the way home
- Helping a co-worker with his project
- Sending a text to encourage a friend even when you don’t have a minute to spare
We say “I love you” so easily, but demonstrating it is more difficult.
Interruptions or Divine Assignments?
Sometimes God has a different plan for our day than we do. Often what we view as interruptions are actually divine assignments. We have a choice. Will we hold onto our to-do lists for dear life, or will we flex and respond to God’s direction?
God is more interested in using us to touch lives than he is in our productivity. He wants to see how we reflect Him to those around us, not how many things we crossed off of our list.
Of course not EVERY interruption is a divine assignment. We need discernment to recognize when it’s God sending someone our way. That’s when it’s time to let go of our to-do list. That’s when I’d rather be a Woman Walking in Love than a Woman on a Mission.
What about you? Do you struggle to let go of your to-do list? Or do you find it easy to flex?
Note: Check out Leah diPascal’s amazing story about overriding her to-do list for a divine assignment from the Proverbs 31 Devotional site.