When I Need a Gentle Reminder: A Revisit to my To-Be List

What I thought would happen this morning:  A quiet house.  A productive day.  
What actually happened this morning:  A surprise snow day. Following a long weekend.
God gently reminded me that we’ve been down this road before, He and I.  And as I lay in bed this morning trying to get my head on straight, I felt that Holy nudge to re-read an old post about this very thing.  
Amazing…I wrote these words exactly three years ago today.  Maybe it’s just for me.  Or maybe you could use a gentle reminder, too.

Original Run Date: January 21, 2011. 


It’s another snow day here in the fine city of Louisville, Kentucky. And that means three things:

1. Kentuckians are very afraid to drive on any amount of snow. Very, very afraid.

2. Our school make-up days will now extend into the summer (which is entirely too short as it stands, in my opinion. Seriously—since when did the entire month of August cease to be part of summer? And now, we will begin eating away at June, too? *sigh* ).

3. My To-Do list is totally shot, again.

Do 2 loads of laundry
Pick up clothes from the dry cleaners
Go to Target
Change the sheets on two of the beds
Mop kitchen floor
Return phone calls

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE me a good snow day. I cherish having my kids home. I like to bake homemade chocolate chip granola bars. I like to make a big ‘ole pot of something hot. I have been known to stay in jammies all day. I get all-nostalgic, remembering as a child playing in four-foot snow drifts, and thawing out in front of the heating vent with a cup of hot chocolate.

But running a household of five takes a certain amount of organization and self-discipline. Snow days don’t really scream “Let’s have a day of organization and self-discipline!” do they.

I know, I know. I’ve been a mother long enough to realize I need to go-with-the-flow on days like today. But honestly, something about setting aside all I have to do (again) generates a bit of anxiety within me. The slightest hint of frustration. Blowing it all off for the sake of another snow day means tomorrow’s chores instantly multiply. And I already feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all I need to do today. Know what I’m saying?

“God is far more interested in what you are 
than in what you do.”
 ~Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life

So, this morning as I lay in bed, watching the sun peek over the trees, listening to the stirrings of children emerging from their warm beds, I think about everything I intended to do today that won’t happen. And in my pre-caffeinated anxiety, I hear the undeniable whisper of God.

“Instead of a To-Do List, how about we create a To-BE list?”

Be gentle: with children who spill dry cereal on the carpet, forget to make their beds and fail to brush their teeth.

Be patient: when absolutely no one moves as quickly as you want them to.

Be kind: to everyone, always.

Be present: to a little boy who wants to share with you every detail of the dragon he fought and conquered on level nine of his Wii game.

Be fun: with the little girl who is asking you to play doll-house, again. With the kids who are begging you to put on your coat and boots and sled with them down the hill.

Be a peacemaker: when you hear sarcastic tones and angry responses behind closed doors

Be merciful: if you are going to err today, let it be on the side of mercy.

Be self-controlled: Pause before you respond, before you react.

Be pure in heart: Let the motivation for everything you do today be the extension of My love to your children and your husband.

Be full of faith: I know exactly where you are today. I created the snow. I created your children. I saw this day before it ever came to be. And I have lovingly and graciously equipped you to DO and to BE all I called you to DO and BE.

The Scoop on Balance is a blog comprised of posts from my former blogs God Speaks Today and The Amazing Adventures of Fitness Friday Girl. If you see references to these blogs, don't be confused. Also, if by chance you come across a dead link, would you please e-mail me or leave a comment and let me know? Thank you!


  1. Good thoughts to read again! I have a huge to-do list, but am taking time to read, snuggle with one who is home with an injury, and bake her favorite muffins :) (But still hoping to sneak in some food prep and vacuuming!) Have a great snow day…it is so very blasted cold here :(
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  2. Mark Allman says:

    Great list Sandy. We should let our to do list be driven by our to be list always. Snowing here too. Enjoy your snow day.

  3. Dawn Ourada says:

    I just read this today (Wednesday) as I had my to-do list written out and as school got called off at the last minute. It is a perfect read for me. Thank you for the list of “Be” ‘s.

    PS – I started following your blog after I read your post about Mean Kids. IT WAS AWESOME. Please don’t let those negative comments make any dent in the positive words you have given so many of us that didn’t quite know what to say when our child has to deal with the Mean Kid.

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Dawn. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Why is it that we (I) dwell on the 5% criticism instead? (BTW, welcome to my blog. I’m so glad you are here.) :)

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