Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The "OK List"

Is there anyone else out there who struggles with "works-based-okayness"? Seriously, I've been wrangling with my personal "OK list" for the last few days.

Maybe I'm just recovering from being out of town recently. Maybe I'm just one of those over-achiever first-borns who needs to get over my perfectionism. Or maybe it's something else that I'll discuss in a minute.

Before I get too analytical, let's define our terms before I get too confus(ed)(ing).

First off, what is an "OK list"?

An "OK List" is basically the kissing cousin of the "To Do List", but worse. While the "To Do List" mainly concerns itself with chores and itinerary, the "OK List" deals with contentment and identity.

To illustrate the difference, let's look at my lists for this afternoon.

To Do:

Vacuum floor (put large apple peels in trash first)

Laundry (switch loads and gather stray clothing articles from floor, chair, living room, bathroom,
kids' room etc. Remove unmentionables from public view)

Dishes (put away, load dishwasher. Praise God for dishwasher.)

Dinner (I only have leftover ham and frozen fish as substantial protein options tonight... plan
to go to Aldi tomorrow)

Reading Lesson with Elijah (Hopefully he'll wake up before Selah so I don't have to put it off
to juggle all three kids' snacks and diaper changes at once. So happy 'Lijah likes
the lessons.Remember to research home schooling this spring)

If Going to Library, locate books. (Remember to check the crack between the guest bed and wall as
Jason discovered many books there last time)

Get kids to bed (Caleb's bottle, teeth brushing, water break, potty time, diapers, song, prayer,
verse, story)


Exercise (You don't want to get fat... and you haven't run for real in like 2 or 3 weeks. Maybe you
should start watching what you eat too. You eat a lot. Health is good. Feel guilty if you
don't exercise.)

Read Bible (Don't forget to actually think about what you read. Lose points if you can't remember
what you've read.)

Vacuum Living Room (Clean space, clear mind)

Write (You haven't done that in a while either. Real writers write. Get those books published! Earn
respect. You are a writer, right?)

Be a good wife (Practice what you preach, kid.)

Be a good mom (Or at least give kids fresh air, good food, and exercise time. Bonus points for
reading to them. Lose points for letting them watch TV.)

Pretty silly, isn't it? Do I honestly think the wellness of the world depends upon the size of my waist and condition of my carpets? Isn't that such a puny view of the universal Big Picture?

And yet, I constantly have to fight against valuing myself and functioning according to the second list.

This morning, I worried about whether I'd have time to do a workout video before taking the kids to the park. Then I felt guilty because in order for the kids to keep "out of my way," I'd have to turn the computer on for them to watch. Then again, could I really justify exercising my body before stimulating my spirit?

Thankfully, God didn't let me stew in my own fretfulness. While the kids happily played in their room, I felt peaceful enough to sit down and put my feet up for a little while. I took counsel with my soul, knowing I didn't have to prove myself by cleaning the whole house or working out.

I know this. I really do. I just forget the truth so quickly. The truth that I'm already okay because God loves me. Because God likes me. Because God.

I picked up my Bible and read through a few verses listed in my women's bible study book (the ones from 3 weeks ago that I hadn't quite gotten to yet). And there, in Colossians 3:12 was a reminder of my true source of okay-ness, my true identity:

"So, as those who have been chosen of God, Holy, and beloved..."




Not "really good at being good," or "accomplished," or "slender," or "living in a perfectly clean house." None of the adjectives listed have anything to do with my own efforts or cleverness.

Oh, and a couple verses later, Paul writes, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."

Let us indeed. And only with His power and reminding.

Got to go - Lijah's reading lesson is in 30 minutes. But if he naps through it,I think I'll still be more than A-OK.

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