It’s happening again. The days are getting shorter. The nights are getting cooler. The smell of fresh school supplies is in the air. That can mean only one thing—back to school. For those of you who don’t know, that means back to work for me. I work at my youngest son’s elementary school as an educational paraprofessional assisting special needs students with one-on-one support.
As we prepare to return to our school year schedule, I am looking back over the summer to assess how we spent our time. The assessment leaves me unimpressed and a little disgusted with myself. Yes, we were very busy driving T to baseball and golf. Yes, we did squeeze in J’s T-Ball and swimming lessons and vacation bible school. There were bike rides and stolen moments skipping stones at the reservoir. And let’s not forget the Cedar Point trip, the County Fair, and the Corn City Festival. But what happened to my project list? What happened to organizing my house before the next school year so I don’t waste endless minutes looking for socks ... or a bill ... or my glasses ... or whatever essential item is lost in one of my piles.
Organization—not my strong point. Not because I don’t appreciate the benefits and wisdom of organization. Not because I don’t want a clean house. Lately, I’m just tired. Tired of running and full of thoughts in a thousand directions of things I would like to do or things that need done. There are household chores, ministry needs, paperwork, bills, the kids’ activity schedules, speaking engagements to prepare for, writing deadlines, and preparing to return to work. Of course, what am I doing right now? Blogging. That’s what happens. I look at the To-Do List and quickly grow overwhelmed. I don’t know where to begin. And there’s only so much time in the day. Sometimes, I feel like I have ADD when I look at the list, because it certainly doesn’t take a lot to distract me. I grow discouraged by the size of the tasks, and often do something that isn’t even on the list, rather than choosing one of the dreaded items.
Don’t think I’m proud of my failures in this area. The bible tells us to “do all things without complaining.” Again, recently, I have fallen miserably short. I have been full of complaints about almost everything. And if I’m not complaining out loud, I’ve been doing it in my heart. My attitude can be summed up with one sentence: “I don’t wanna!” From the time I get up, I’ve been filled with the “I-don’t-wannas.” I don’t wanna get up. I don’t wanna clean the house. I don’t wanna go anywhere. You name it.
I know ... it’s disgusting. And, it’s enough. Enough wallowing in laziness and self-pity over nothing. I have nothing to complain about. I am loved by a wonderful man, well-fed (which is proven by the extra ten pounds I carry with me wherever I go), privileged to serve the Lord in a growing ministry, healthy, have healthy kids, a great church family, have a good job, great friends, a nice little house in a free country, a life filled with laughter, music, and purpose. I could go on and on. My list of things to be grateful for is endless. So, enough complaining. Enough, putting off my duties. Enough.
From now on, I have a new theme. I’m sharing these windows into my weak spots with all of you so that if I’m once again overtaken with the “I don’t wannas,” you can feel free to remind me of the new theme. Here it is:
No more I don’t wanna ...
From now on: I’m just gonna ...
Lord, please help me give up my procrastinating, my whining, my complaining, my ungratefulness. Please lift me out of the pit I’ve dug for myself. No more dwelling. No more wallowing. Help me, Lord. Help me to joyfully do what I’ve been given to do each day: “to work at everything with all my heart as unto the Lord.” Amen
So, today is a new day filled with possibilities. Everything is still waiting on my to-do list. And today is not enough time to accomplish it all. But maybe I could start with just one thing. So, here we go ... whatever it is before us, however pleasant or unpleasant the task, the answer is the same: I’m just gonna ... fill in the blank. It’s time for some transformation, some inspiration ... time to start walking and talking like a new creation. It’s time for me to stop avoiding it and get to work, to just do it.
I’m ready ... Here I go ... Just gonna do it ... Now if I could just find the Windex ...