Following His Direction

The Lie of the To-Do List

January 28, 2017

Did you ever find yourself in an ugly place feeling angry and you didn’t know how you got there or worse, how to get out? I’ve been the church girl (aka the good girl) all my life. At an early age, I made a “to do” list like it was a grocery list and began to check off the things I thought I should do – to live the good girl life.

As a young adult I thought this check-list life would help me go far. I married “Mr. Right.” You know him, he lived with both parents growing up, his family attended church every Sunday and went to Disneyland for family vacations.

We got married, because he asked me.

Well, there truly was more to it than that. But right now, many years later I can’t recall what that was.

After two beautiful children, we got divorced.

There truly was more to it than that. But right now, many years later I can’t recall what it was.

Raising two tiny girls by myself, I woke up to sadness. Life was not pretty or sparkly or anything in between.

For a very long time I blamed myself. I should have done something or been someone different. If I just tried harder, worked harder I’d one day be free from the capital D anchor around my neck. I was an impatient driver, short with store clerks and angry towards anything I viewed as unfair. My hurting heart propelled a feeling of hopelessness.

One daughter learned that a to-do list was her purpose in life.

Do more, be more and someday you’ll be happy.

Heartbreak caused me to give up on myself and finally let God in.  He drew me close and showed me my attempts at finding happiness by doing and being more were for nothing.

God had something better planned. He replaced my brokenness with beauty and I began to see beauty all around me.

There are so many things I am now grateful for and I speak this gratefulness out loud as often as I remember to. My perspective has changed because I realize God doesn’t expect a good girl with a plan.

He expects a girl who looks to Him for everything.

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.  Deuteronomy 4:29

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6 Comments

  • Reply Tanya January 28, 2017 at 6:10 am

    So much truth. I am still learning to stop trying to check things off my list and instead, give everything to God. Great post, Nancy!

    • Reply ngladwin60 January 28, 2017 at 6:34 am

      I’m so grateful for a loving God who teaches with love and compassion!

  • Reply Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros January 28, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Thank you for opening your heart this way. <3 I'm so glad God is using you to shine light into the world. Once in awhile, I get caught in the trap of the to-do list. This reminds me that we don't have to have it together as long as we're giving it to Him. Beautiful post. <3

  • Reply ngladwin60 January 28, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Thank you for your encouraging words – always heart felt and strong!

  • Reply RebeccaLynn February 6, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Wonderful reminders, Nancy!

    • Reply Nancy February 6, 2017 at 8:38 am

      RebeccaLynn, thanks for stopping by!

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