By Marion R. Lambertus
Recently I found an old To Do list while cleaning out a kitchen drawer. Judging from the list, I’d guess that it was from the week of my daughter’s slumber party. It said things like, pick up goodie bags, find the best deal on pizzas, and call about the cake. Looking at it, I quickly remembered how stressed I had been that week to get everything done. Lists have always been a way that I try to stay 0rganized and focused on what I need to do, but at times it can make the stress level even higher when you see what all still needs to be done.
One afternoon as we were pulling into our driveway, coming home from running errands, my mind was swimming with To Do’s- start dinner, do a load of laundry, baths for the kids etc. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a new flower in my small garden. My heart skipped a beat and I said aloud, “I think Gramma’s flowers are in my garden!” I jumped out of the van and ran to see. I was right! There growing in my yard were two of my Gramma Nance’s favorite flowers. How on earth did they get there? I certainly hadn’t planted them and I have never seen them in any plant or hardware store. Nine months after she had passed away, I had a baby. I’ll never forget my precious Grandpa walking into the hospital room with a tear in his eye as he handed me a big bouquet of “Gramma’s Favorite Flowers.” Later, for my birthday, my mom had given me some also. My guess is that after my birthday, when I dumped out the vase of dead flowers, some must have taken root and were now blooming in my yard. What a simply amazing gift that only God could provide! It was as if my Gramma was smiling down on me and sending her love.
I often think about those flowers. What if those flowers had not caught my eye that day as we were pulling into the driveway? I wonder how long it would have taken me to notice that they were even there. Sadly, I possibly could have missed them all together. We live in a world that is always spinning, always going with no breaks, even on the weekends. God has placed precious gifts in our paths to remind us of His love, His forgiveness and His mercies.
Galatians 5:1 tells us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Often our bondage in this world looks like endless hours at the soccer field with never any time to eat a meal as a family. Sometimes it can be helping with so many activities at church because if you don’t do it, you wonder who will. It could be job related, working overtime on little sleep to complete a big project and hopefully get a small raise one day. The pressures we put on ourselves to always look nice and have others think well of us can also enslave us. We take on so much because so many things are thrust upon us. It may be good things, but it doesn’t always mean God has called us to those things. We must stand firm and not give into the temptations of always checking things off so that we can begin the next thing to check off in our busy lives. Live in the moments that God has given you. Don’t just be there as a warm body, but be present, focused on what your child is saying to you, what your pastor is preaching about and most importantly to what your Heavenly Father is whispering in your ear. You don’t want to miss this life He has for you.
A very familiar verse, Psalm 107:1 says “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Say that verse slowly. We give Him thanks because He is good and all good things come from Him. His love endures forever. There is not one thing on my To Do list that I can scratch off that will endure forever. Not one thing.
When I found that old list shoved in my kitchen drawer, I thought about this fall. It is going to pass by extremely quickly and the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons are going to be all over. I could easily waste away this time stressing over Christmas shopping, the baking, cleaning the house to prepare for company and so forth. In the scheme of eternity…do any of those things really matter? I challenge you to stop, look around and spend time thanking the Lord for what you see, for what you have and for what He’s done in your life. Thankfulness is the key to slowing things down and making each moment of our days count for His glory and endure for all of eternity. What is God’s To Do list for you this season? Each day is a gift and He has an amazing plan for you. You don’t want to miss it!
Marion Lambertus is a happily married, stay at home, homeschooling mama to her five children. She is passionate about teaching the Middle School girls at her church, running a photography business and also has several writing projects in the works. Most importantly, Marion loves Jesus and desires to be used by Him to reach others for His kingdom.