Blessed Interruptions

To-do list revised

I intended to tackle an aggressive agenda Monday. I felt I needed to. A winter storm kept the children home Friday, making the prior week a rather short work week, and the pressure was mounting to complete several tasks.

Plans were laid out Sunday night, a neat little assembly line of “to-dos.” In my mind, each project would be dispatched with amazing efficiency and barely restrained joy. By the time Dave and the kids arrived home, my mile-long list would all be checked off. Then after a wonderful, nutritious meal (fully prepared from scratch, of course!), we could enjoy a raucous game of Aggravation or UNO.

What a beautiful picture! What a setup for failure!

My day dawned productive … at least for a full minute after waking. Then I started getting a clue that everything wasn’t going to go exactly as planned. First, school was delayed 2 hours. Like a good mother, I tiptoed in to my sons’ room to turn off their alarm, holding my breath for fear I would wake them.

A cup of tea in hand, my work day began … with me nodding off. An hour and a half later, Winnie the Pooh’s voice floated into the living room—signaling Rachel was awake. Unfortunately, she presented me with a messy present. Clean up included washing sheets and a bath. I opted for showering with Rach to “kill two birds with one stone,” so to speak. This ended up not being a good idea; while shampooing my hair, she fell out of the tub!

Thank God, an older brother was home, heard my call, and picked her up. There were no serious injuries, but she was shaken up and required Mommy’s arms for awhile.

Meanwhile, school had been cancelled—for a second day!

By now, I could tell my day was rapidly getting away from me. Lunch preparations ensued without one word having been typed.

Following, a quick “I don’t have time” game with my 10 year old, it was off to a wisdom teeth consult for my 16 year old and an impromptu meeting to get Rachel’s communication device functioning properly.

We arrived back home just in time to prepare the evening meal. That’s the point at which I made the wisest decision of the day: I resolved to embrace the opportunities that presented themselves in the remaining hours instead of seeing them as interruptions, to focus on the blessings calling my name instead of ignoring them.

Although my post was delayed, no book writing or editing performed or queries prepared, and no bookwork accomplished, the last half of my day proved to be much more meaningful.

I spent precious time with my daughter exploring her trial communication device, enjoyable moments with my sons in a Speed Stack tournament, and a rare 20 minutes walking with my oldest. Investing in their lives brought a greater degree of satisfaction then any amount of work could and will produce a far greater return in the end.

In today’s jam-packed culture, filled with external and internal expectations, laying aside schedules is not easy. But God created us for relationships, with Him and others. When we fill our days with too many “to-do’s,” we miss out on the rich reward of life as the Creator intended. Sometimes it’s just a matter of throwing away the agenda and opening ourselves up to those blessed interruptions.

“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘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 away from her.’ ” (Luke 10:40–42, NIV)

How about you? Do you often set yourself up for failure? Like Martha, have you had difficulty choosing “what is better”? How have you cultivated flexibility and relationship building into your days?

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

6 comments on “Blessed Interruptions
  1. Julie says:

    What are my “many things?” I agree with you–my “many things” are all those things that promote task over relationships–both relationships with others and relationship with God. It’s so hard to sort it out, though, when you’re a busy mama and things have to be done. So I pray over each one as I fold their laundry. I bring the little ones up to the counter to stir the soup. I breathe the word (working on memorizing Colossians this year) as I go about completing menial chores. And I ask for grace that I may not separate worship from work–it is all for Him and through Him and to Him (even snow days!–smile). Blessings on you today, my friend!

  2. sixgoodfigs says:

    Julie, I loved your crossed out list! I have always focussed way too much on my own list, and have seen interruptions as irritation. The Lord is dealing with me! Slowly I am responding to those prompts more often, and choosing to build relationships rather than tick off lists. Trying to stop and really listen. Say ‘yes’ more often to the ‘Mum, can you…’ questions. I fail often. But continue to pursue being less of a Martha! Blessings to you for tomorrow as you put the Lord and people first. 🙂

  3. Katie says:

    Such a good post! I am learning to focus on people rather than tasks. How can I build relationship in the midst of the “doing”? And I’m finding that when I seek the blessings, everything changes.

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