My To-Do List Notebook: A Quiet-Time Essential

photo by jclement
Here's something I've found especially helpful, not only throughout the day but also as I tackle my daily quiet time of prayer, reading and reflection: Keep a to-do list nearby.

I'm not sure why I never considered this before. It never fails that, right when you're ready to settle in and spend some time praying, that you remember: I need to pick up some more tomatoes from the grocery. I need to check and see if the laundry is done. I should do some research on printer ink and look up some books from the library. I usually am tempted to get up and do "just this one thing--real quick." Before you know it, you slip into one thing, then another, then another, and the day dwindles.

Now, with my to-do list perched alongside of me, when those sorts of thoughts inevitably stream along, I just write them down, knowing they won't get forgotten but I'll get to them later.. Interestingly enough, right when I started doing this was when I was reading Let God Talk To You. In it, she encourages the same practice to which I gave myself a big high-five for intuition--that I'm not alone in realizing the simplicity yet effectiveness of this simple solution.

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  1. Carmen- I love all your practical ideas. I recently started a "cleaning" checklist for things I need to do weekly, bi weekly and monthly. I have learned I am such a visual person. I need to SEE what/when things need to be feels less overwhelming if I can say, "Yes, the house looks messy BUT at least the coffee maker is cleaned and the baseboards have been vacuumed. :)"

    Great idea!

    I also wanted to talk to you about "cooking." Don't let it get you down! You are doing a GREAT JOB! I am so proud of you! :) Don't get caught up in feeling like you have to be cooking lamb chops and all these crazy spices every night! Sometimes, chicken on the grill and a can of green beans on "nice" dishes feels just as fancy as homemade lasagna and a huge salad with fresh bread and candles. You get the point. :)

    Just don't lose sight of the fact that sometimes, being a good homemaker is 50% atmosphere and effort. A warm meal on good dishes goes a long way no matter if it's chef boyardee or beef bourguinon. :)

    Have you seen Julie & Julia? Its cute- I think you'd like it!

  2. Ah, my dearest, Holly! You are such a ray of sunshine for my little heart :) Thank you so much for the encouragement and the advice about using ambiance to my benefit! I actually just read a blog entry where the woman talked about "It doesn't have to be perfect to bless other people." Basically the idea that "good enough" is better than nothing at all and to be careful about getting too down on yourself. I do struggle with that sometimes though... My ambitions are so much bigger than my abilities at this point! But I am trying to remember to take it one step at a time.

    Oh, and I did see Julie and Julia and loved it. Although I have no intentions of making Beef Bourguignon anytime soon!!

    You are the best!

  3. I came across your blog and found this entry really helpful! Thanks!

  4. That's great to hear, Kathleen! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know :)


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