Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A Different Kind of List

An expert in the law came to Jesus and asked Him what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus simply told him to obey the commandments. "Which ones?" the man asked.

He was looking for a list.

The holidays have come and gone. It's a new year.  The stress of the hustle and bustle is over. We breathe a big sigh of relief. Anxiety has turned to peace. Worry gives way to excitement for a new and fresh start.

Why can't we just leave it at that?

Instead. This.

We've made a list. We've checked it twice. If we do it we won't be naughty. We'll be nice.

We'll be spiritual. We'll be approved. We'll be holy.

We'll be ((((((((((((((((((((fill in the blank)))))))))))))))))))))).

I'm choosing to live another way this year. Some women are making me tired just reading about all the things they're committing to do in 2014. Not to mention, husbands to love, children to nurture, jobs to go to, service at church. Woman! I need a nap!

You see, I don't think that Jesus would want us wearing ourselves ragged to please Him. This is the Son of God who says, "My yoke is easy. My burden is light." 

Back to the beginning of the post. Jesus answered this teacher by affirming these words:

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"   
I believe there's a pathway to peace in this coming new year. I am purposing to live differently. It was for freedom that Christ has set me free and darn it! I'm going to start living free.

Here are a few things I'm going to do, sooner, rather than later. I'm not telling you that you need to jump on my bandwagon, because I will never lay a yoke on you that's not yours. Read them over and if one or two resonate with you, join me. If not, eat the hay and spit out the sticks.

  • I will spend the first part of my day in quiet time with the Lord with my Bible and ONE study/devotional book.
  • I will be an active leader in the Scripture Memory Community I started on Facebook a few years ago. Nothing is more important than hiding God's Word in my heart. I am powerless against a very real enemy of my soul without the Sword of the Spirit overflowing from my heart and out of my mouth. A real community of friends has been forming there over the years. We pray for each other, praise together, and connect in a real way while renewing our minds around God's Word. I wouldn't miss these women for the world.
  • I will once again review my Facebook friends and those I follow on Twitter. I will not friend to be friended, or follow to be followed. To say nothing about the overload of information to be taken in every minute of every hour of every day. Do I really need to know? Do I really want to know? Is what I'm reading building me up or tearing me down? The Bible says to guard your heart, because out of it flow the issues of life. What am I letting into my heart? Does it consistently make me angry and prone to argue or does it build me up?
  • I will never commit to a schedule of posting on my blog. I will only write and post when God has given me words that He has anointed to go forth. Anything else is a struggle to perform. 
  • I will follow, friend, and read only a few blog posts that really speak to my heart in a godly manner. There are thousands, millions, of wonderful bloggers out there. I love you girls, but I can't read you all. I can't comment on every post that I read. The writing is great. The ideas are good, but I will not let cyberspace and the blogosphere be my full time job. If I don't gain any followers or even lose some because of this, so be it.
  • I won't be a news junkie. I won't let the news make me anxious about the world around me. The Lord is my Shepherd and my Provider and my Protector. There is no lack in His economy. No recession or depression. I have His great and precious promises. I live in this world, but I am not of it. I live as a Kingdom of God citizen and by golly, things are different in God's Kingdom!
  • I will not be a false Christ to anyone. This means that I won't allow myself to be the answer to everyone's problems. Only Christ can do that. This one is particularly difficult for me. I genuinely want to make everything okay for everybody, even if it is to my detriment. If I allow myself, I will worry over you endlessly, try to come up with a solution to your problem, even try to BE the solution to your problem. Six times out of seven, on any given day of the week, someone close to me has a problem. On the last day of last year, I promised myself, and Jesus, that I would now let Him be Christ. I am not. I will help if it's within my power to help. I will give counsel as the Holy Spirit leads. I will listen, and I will pray for you with all of my heart. I will then point you straight to Jesus Himself. Anything more than that has found me anxious, feeling like I can't take a breath. No more!
  • I will serve and give in the places that God lays on my heart. Not out of compulsion, not because someone thinks I should, and not ever out of duty. 
  • I will live fully, laugh out loud often, and love deeply. 
  • I will let it be okay to spend afternoons reading good books and taking naps.  
  • I will love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind; and I will love my neighbor as myself.
Because the One Whose yolk is easy and Whose burden is light, said that the entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.



  1. It sounds like you'll still have room to breathe (or nap). God bless, Donna. I'm always glad I've stopped by.

  2. Oh, Amen and Amen! My life is so very limited in what I can do and such a stark contrast to the busy days I had before. But the last few months, even the things I do in this recliner have started to overwhelm a bit. I also made this promise to myself this year, to cull down and prioritize. Not because the other things aren't good, but because they aren't all mine to do. And God is ok with that; in fact, He's the one leading the charge for less in my heart right now, I just know it. Thank you for this nod to what was already so heavy on my mind. It's time to act. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  3. Love this. Was exactly what I needed to hear after my maniacal brain dump the other night.

  4. Fantastic, Donna! I am a list maker-- both the "to do" list but also blessings lists. And I absolutely love yours.

    Several of mine are similar for 2014. Giving it all to Jesus and letting Him do work through me!

    Thanks so much for linking up with #EverydayJesus. So hope to see you back there this week :-) Much love to you.