I’m a list maker. A planner. In fact, my family knows only too well: if it’s not on my list it ain’t gonna get done.
I won’t name any names, (ahem. husband. daughter.) but my propensity for planning can be annoying. They know I like to plan and have my list and they mock me. Seriously.
But lists and plans give me structure. They are my track to run on, my goals for the day, week, month, year.
I make lists for everything. To-do lists, shopping lists, daily lists, prayer lists, blogging lists, scripture lists, life lists, goal lists.
My lists define me so don’t mess with my lists! Heaven help me if I leave my shopping list at home. Likely I’ll forget the main thing I went to the store for in the first place! I even write down things that are obvious, things you simply can’t forget. Like ‘do laundry’ or ‘pay bills’.
I know, pitiful. But there’s just something so concrete about writing it down.
And the payoff, the big thrill?
Crossing something off my list.
Yes! Mission accomplished. Done. Finished. You can’t haunt me anymore-Boom!
I finished knitting a sweater for my grandson this week. It was supposed to be a Christmas present and it’s been on my list since September. I worked on it, I really did but it was a challenging pattern and a new technique for me (intarsia, for you fellow knitting nerds) and because it was hard, I kept making mistakes. Kept having to rip it out and start over. So, it took forever.
It was overwhelming and in the midst of holidays, the tyranny of the urgent and just living day to day, I totally missed my Christmas deadline.
It loomed. An uncrossed out item on my list, haunting me big time.
I was determined to finish it by Easter. It’s April, for heaven’s sake. Not many more sweater days left in Atlanta before the oppressive summer heat moves in.
Ok, so I missed Easter but I really needed to finish it before Franny and Matt and the kiddos left for tour this week to much colder climes and Eli would have the chance to actually wear it. So with laundry piling up, bills unpaid, email unchecked, Easter decorations to put away, I spent 6 1/2 hours finishing it.
YouTube became my BFF as I had to refresh my memory of how to put the front, back and 2 sleeves together. How to make invisible seams, pick up stitches at the neckline, attach raglan sleeves, etc. But worth every moment, every dropped stitch, every mistake and do-over to see Eli’s face light up when I showed it to him.
Oh, and get this, I had never tried it on him just prayed and held my breath hoping the pattern would be true to size and actually fit. And it did! Phew.
Isn’t he adorable????
Few things happen in my life unless is God is handing me a lesson, an illustration, a deeper way of knowing Him and this story is no exception.
Where is God in all of this?
I’m by nature a goal-setter, a dreamer, (a list maker). I see it first. Some say, I’ll believe it when I see it. Me? I’ll see it when I believe it.
I saw that sweater on my grandson the first time I saw the pattern online and I knew I had to make it.
What are you seeing?
But seeing doesn’t make it so, you have to make it happen. Take steps. Make a list:)
The list will help you break it down into bite-sized chunks. Not scary, those little chunks. Not overwhelming. Totally do-able.
Are you willing to invest time? Knitting, like life, like anything worth creating, takes time. It can get boring, row after row the same. But after awhile, you begin to see how each row connects with the row before, building and growing and the dream begins to emerge.
And suddenly you have something. The dream is taking shape. Something real is happening and you’ve made progress.
Then, you hit a wall. You make a mistake and don’t notice it right away. Several rows later, something’s not right, the count is off and it’s slightly crooked. Decision time. Do I leave the mistake and have a crooked sweater or rip it out and start over? One dropped stitch can ruin everything.
Rip. It. Out.
Go back to the beginning.
Make it right.
Give your best.
Suck it up.
Repent? Maybe, you decide.
Now, get back to work. Look at your list. Embrace the challenge and learn new skills. Embrace the boredom and one day, you’ll have something. Maybe the novel that lives in your head will actually live on the page. The advanced degree you’ve always wanted will be in your hands. The children you’re raising will be heading into fruitful, God-honoring lives. The business dream becomes reality. The weight has come off, one agonizing pound at a time.
You’ll have something beautiful, something handmade, something you worked hard to accomplish.
And best of all?
You get to cross it off your list! Boom!
And, dream another, new dream.
No lack of dreams in the world, just people who are afraid to dream them.
Don’t be one of them. Believe it and you will see it. Pinky-swear.
So, what do you see? What’s on your list? What’s holding you back? I’d love to encourage you and pray for you!