Friday, January 28, 2011

To Do Lists and God

There’s a quote from Gilmore Girls that has sprung to mind every couple days this month. Lorelai Gilmore is opening an inn, which I’m guessing is even more stressful in real life than it appeared on TV. Referencing her to-do list, she says, “Hey, do you know that if the entire population of China walked by, the line would never end because of the rate of population increase? That’s my list – every Chinese person in the world.”

I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed recently. Like my to-do list rivaled the Chinese population. Until now, I’ve always been like, “Okay, it’s been a rough week, but McKenna wasn’t feeling well and there was family in town … next week should be better.” Or, I might have said, “Yikes! Schedule overload. Time to find something to cut.”

But here’s the thing – there’s nothing left to cut. This is just life for a while, and I’ve got to figure out how to “roll with it” better than I have. I’m not what you’d call a flexible person. (The type of people who arrange their spices in alpha order and make daily to-do lists rarely are. But if you need cumin and you need it fast, I’m your girl.)

So what do you do?

There’s no returning my kids (wouldn’t want to) and writing … well, it’s what I do. It’s the work God gave me. Morally speaking, to give it up feels akin to abandoning the family God blessed me with. It would be disobedient, turning my back on my calling.

Like I usually do, I blubbered all my frustrations to my husband. He’s my fix-it guy. If anyone could see something I could cut, he could.

But instead he gave me something better. He brought up the scripture in Acts, where Ananias questions God’s choice of Paul as a speaker for the kingdom. Acts 9:15-16 says, “But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

Ben laid out all the evidence that writing is what God has asked me to do, and guided me toward the solution that there might be suffering involved in answering that call.

It’s funny, I always thought of “suffering for your call” in a more physical way. Like being imprisoned or being tortured. Not having time to write because I’m sitting around playing with these two doesn’t feel like it should qualify:

But not getting to do what I want when I want to do it is a form of “dying to self,” which is always a struggle.

Ben said to me, “You’ll just have to get done what you can and trust God that it’ll be enough.”

I read a devotional yesterday that talked about Abel’s offering to God, and that it was pleasing because of Abel’s faith. (Heb 11:4). I think that’s what I need to be more mindful of. That my writing is an offering. And one of the ways I do it by faith is to say to God, “I didn’t have time for much of it today, I only wrote 100 words, but here they are. Do with them as you please.”

Stephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her only talents are reading, writing, and drinking coffee, so career options were somewhat limited. Fortunately, she discovered a passion for young adult novels a few years ago and has been writing them ever since. Stephanie is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and is currently working on other young adult projects. To check out her blog and read samples of her books, check out and


Caylie said...

Love this post. I'm seventeen, and between school, friends, family, church, and lots of theatre (not to mention running), I can totally relate to being overwhelmed! It's so easy to forget why we do what we do in the first place.
This post was inspiring! God's word is the best place to turn!

Stephanie Morrill said...

Caylie, that's definitely a big list of commitments!

And that's what I'm working on too, keeping my focus on why I'm doing what I do.

Stephanie said...

I love that you used a gilmore girl's quote at the beginning of your post. I love that show.

Sometimes God puts a lot on us. But he won't give us anymore than we can bear. He will pull us through :D

Tonya said...

great post! I'm like you organizer and unflexible! This has given me a lot to think about. I have an illness that takes most of my energy to do things, I guess thats a form of suffering. I have to make decisions on what is best for my body and that is hard because I want to do everything

You're kids are adorable!