What happens when you abandon your to-do list?

Last week, I wrote about abandoning your to-do list and giving God full control of your day. Did you try it? How did it go?

At the time of writing this post, it’s been six days since I’ve let God rewrite my to-do list. For one, I feel much more peace and joy. I’m disgusted at how much I do, and I’m making changes to my schedule to do a little less of the crazy stuff and a little more of what I actually enjoy.

But of course, not everything is sunshine and rainbows. I was 10 minutes late to work today, and I still have a pile of dishes to do before I go to bed tonight. I’ve learned through submitting my schedule to God that He is not a genie. He doesn’t exist to make my life easier or more enjoyable. So, I’m not always going to get to work on time (as a side note: this is not a sign of irresponsibility; my job doesn’t care if I’m late). I’m not always going to have a clean house. I’m going to do what is best for me, for my family, and ultimately for the glory of God, in each moment.

In Luke 10:38-42, we find a story that people often use to talk about slowing down and spending more time with God. Martha has a house full of guests in her home, so naturally, she is doing the chores and preparing the meal. Her sister Mary, though, is sitting at the feet of Jesus, clinging to His every word. Martha complains to Jesus Himself that Mary is not helping, and she asks Jesus rather forcefully to make Mary help her.

But Jesus, the Great Teacher, decides to teach Martha a lesson.

“‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed–or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.'”-Luke 10:41-42

What Martha was doing wasn’t wrong, but what Mary was doing was better. Truthfully, this small portion of Scripture taught me so much about my adulthood.

Now that I’m responsible for making my own schedule, I constantly have a choice. Do I read the Bible, or wash the dishes? Do I spend time with my husband, or go to a prayer meeting at church? Do I enjoy the beautiful day outside, or do I vacuum? Do I call a friend, or do I write a blog post? All of these are good things, but in each moment, I need God’s wisdom to decide which is better.

So, when I decide to let God tell me what is better to do in each situation, it changes me. Here are the symptoms of letting God have control in my life:

  1. I feel less in control.
  2. I want to control those around me.
  3. I realize the magnitude of God.
  4. (I have more in my journal, so we’ll see).
  5. Time passes more slowly.

I had a to-do list because I wanted to be in control of my day. While it’s important to be responsible and plan, it’s also wise to pray and ask God to help us prioritize.

Book Update

The Wait is Over!

Thanks so much to my faithful followers who have continued to read and share this blog! I created this blog to be a joy for me and for my audience, but it was becoming a burden. Between my novel writing, my part-time job at a publishing company, and chores (yay for adulting!), my blog couldn’t really get the attention that it deserved.

While on my hiatus, I’ve learned to make time for God, to “go deep,” and to invite God into my plans. A couple of weeks ago, we had an awesome prayer night at our young adult ministry. It was dedicated to making time for God. As a creative, I spent most of the night playing with clay, drawing pictures, and writing psalms. I had a blast! However, it reminded me that God is in control, and that even rest is necessary for me to be successful. I’m an achiever, and I have my to-do list, but maybe I need to add “rest” and “going for a walk” and “coloring” to my daily tasks!

I’ve also been listening to a great podcast called Write from the Deep, by Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young. They are both novelists who have helped me find the core message of what God wants to write through me. In a nutshell, my message is: God is faithful even when all has failed me. That is my testimony, and that is what I hope to convey in my writing of YA dystopian, which involves creating societies where chaos is the only thing that’s constant. Even in a dystopia (the opposite of a utopia), God is in control.

During this time, I also finished my novel, joined a critique group, and have been waiting to see next steps for publication. My friends gave me wonderful feedback, and my writer friend recommended that I join a critique group to meet other writers in my genre. So far, I’ve met a couple of people who write my genre, and I’m looking forward to connecting with them and seeing their work!

Along with that, I’m going to start building up my newsletter! I honestly didn’t know what to do as a novelist, but I’m going to start writing short stories. I may also advertise novels in my genre that I enjoy, depending on what I find. To get book updates and all things fiction, click here to join my newsletter!

Finally, I’ve considered publishing a non-fiction book, since I already seem to know how to talk about topics such as marriage and anxiety. However, I have to do research, not just for the book, but about how that affects me as a novelist. I’m more about showing my readers how to have healthy marriages or how to overcome anxiety, than I am about telling my readers what to do. Maybe after writing a topic on my blog, I can write a short story about it. Sound good?

Thanks again to all of my faithful followers who have checked up on me the last couple of weeks. Since I’m able to schedule posts in advance (thank you, WordPress!), I’ve gotten a running start, and have published a month’s worth of posts in advance. You’ll be seeing new content about marriage, anxiety, and what God is teaching me.

Comment below if you have any exciting updates to share!