Don’t Forget to Check This Box on Your “To Do” List!

I have a confession.

I’m addicted to lists…shopping lists, chore lists, prayer lists, you name ‘em, I love ‘em


If my lists had feelings I’d kiss them every morning!

If my kids had a dollar for every time they heard me say, “Live by the list; die by the list,” we wouldn’t be worrying about how to pay for college.

In fact, I love checking off my little boxes so much that I’ve been known to add things I’ve already done to the list just to have more checked off boxes at the end of the day.


In the midst of cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, laundry and the other daily, repetitive activities of my life a list reminds me that I actually DO get things accomplished.

However, there’s one thing that my lists can never do for me. There’s one area that my lists sometimes causes me to fall woefully short. There’s one pitfall that my lists too often tempt me to fall into headlong.

My lists can never make a heart connection with those I love the most. My lists can’t comfort, encourage, console, rejoice, and enter the world of my husband and children.

My lists will never lead my loved ones closer to Christ.

My worst nights are the nights that my head hits the pillow and as I review the day I realize that I never made heart connections with my family. I never took the time to really hear their hearts. I never slowed down enough to transition from activity to connectivity.

I hate those nights.

So, how in the midst of busyness and lists and “to-do’s” can we slow down, focus, and engage our hearts and minds by connecting with our loved ones? Should we ignore the mess, forget the dust, just move the piles and focus on relationships?

I think there’s a better way!

My most meaningful times of heart-connection with my children have been as we worked together. Standing together at the kitchen sink, my kids have opened up their hearts as their hands were occupied.

While organizing closets I’ve discovered their dreams.

While making meals I’ve heard about their heartaches.

While folding laundry they’ve shared their secrets.

There’s just something about working together, engaging our hands together, that opens the doors of communication and allows me to understand and enter my children’s lives. Their busy hands allow their words to flow easily and knowing that I’m fully there and fully engaged with them, frees them to communicate clearly.

When I’m worried about the list…I’m distracted from their hearts.

When I’m focused on their hearts…the list gets done without me even noticing.

One focus builds, encourages, and unites; the other focus discourages, ignores, and causes relationships to disintegrate.

Perhaps, I should just make “heart connection” one of my tiny “to do” boxes 

Whatever it takes, generate time to make a heart connection. The time you spend investing in and uniting with your children’s hearts will reap long-term and soul-strengthening investments.

I think today’s the day I change my mantra…

Now, I’ll “Live by the list; Love by the list!”

Happy listing and loving…




More Resources that discuss this topic:

From Megan: An A-Z Guide for Character Healthy Homeschooling