Oh, The Days of Do


This blog post is number 5 on my to do list today.  Friday is my day “off” and I usually do a little work, a little errand running, a little writing, and a lot of latte drinking.  In the last two hours I’ve completed a work assignment, taken my sewing machine to the doctor, banked, gassed and now I’m latte’d up for #5.  I won’t tell you how many things are on the list, but lets just say the number rhymes with “zen” but is fundamentally other than.

I’m in a bit of a mood today.  I’m pretty sure that listening to Tracy Chapman all the way out to Essex and back put me here. When I was in middle school I did a lot of VH1 watching and Fast Car would suck me into some other world that I knew nothing about but suspected meant something.  Instead of discussing the obvious social issues she sang about, my friends and I had lengthy discussions about Tracy’s gender, as I guess it wasn’t entirely clear to us from name, voice, or video.

Anyway, now that I actually have some context and life experience to know what she is singing about, I get all riled up over Talkin’ Bout a Revolution.  I’ll quote some lines here in case you aren’t a dork like me and know all these depressing lyrics. Yes, I said “dork,” and now have earned the title.

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines

Sitting around waiting for a promotion.

I got to thinking about my visceral reaction to these hard words and I think I know where the tension comes from.  While I have a long list of things to do, I am often not doing what matters most to me.  And that’s just the truth.  I wrote briefly in my introductory post about one of the things that is most life-giving to me, that is justice for the weak and oppressed.  Whatever that means, it’s important to me.  I sometimes fear that I will get to the end of my life and gasp at how my pie chart is divided.  My to-do list has a way of edging out the important stuff, the really lasting stuff.

If you are reading this blog you are probably a mom. And if you are a mom you are probably busy. And if you are busy you are probably no stranger to the art of prioritizing.  Think about it, what are the few things that you want most out of life?  What are the things that you want most for your kids?  What would change in your life if each day you first did the things that mattered most to you, the things that are truly life-giving?  My lifelong to-do list is much shorter than my daily list.  I suspect these are the things that I will care about most if I get a chance to look back over a long life.  Here it is..

To Do:
1.  Love and know God more
2.  Love and know my husband more
3.  Learn to be compassionate, generous, and open-handed in all areas of my life

4.  Teach my children to be compassionate, generous and open-handed

I hope that my children learn from me how to care for others.  I hope they learn early that people are important and things are not.  I want to be the one to teach them that, not by my words alone but by my to-do list.  Emulation is a much easier lesson the textbook.

Uh oh, I feel a qualifying statement coming on, forgive me this insecure indulgence.  The day to day stuff is important.  Household duties, earning money, shopping, leisure, whatever.  It all contributes to the passion you have for your kids, your mate, your life.  It’s a necessary cog in the wheel, it shouldn’t be neglected or despised.


  1. This blog post is great. The things you wrote in your list are things I strive for everyday.. I too want my kids to know the importance of helping others and giving back. Tomorrow they will get that chance as we go and help pack meals for kids that don’t get meals. Thank you for sharing from the heart.


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