My help comes from the Lord

I woke up this morning with a looong TO DO list rambling through my head. I hadn’t even opened my eyes before the TO DO munchkins started squeeling for my attention. My TO DO list had so many items on it that I had to separate them into categories with sub-categories.

TO DO for our adoption
TO DO around the house
TO DO in running errands
TO DO for kids
TO DO for JJ
TO DO for P31
TO DO for Radio
TO DO for speaking events
TO DO for book proposal

The bad thing is that I didn’t have them all written down. They were doing the TO DO dance in my head like little children begging for breakfast at my bedside. It was not a good way to wake up and start a new week. I didn’t want to give in to their whining so I decided to ignore them until they could talk to me in a calm and peaceful voice (which would require a good cup of coffee and some Jesus time).

So, instead of jumping out of bed in a flurry and writing down my list with sub-lists, I decided to turn over and start a new conversation with someone who would talk to me in a calm and pleasant voice.

“Good morning Jesus. How are you today?” I whispered. Then I laid there and smiled as His sweet peace came over me.

Why don’t I do this every morning?! I thought.

It was such a different way to start my morning, talking to Jesus before my eyes even opened. Instead of praying for His help to get it all done, I soaked up the gift of being able to talk to my Lord. I took my anxious heart and tenderly placed my hope in Him. I tried to hear His thoughts before I tackled mine. Of course, I acknowledged that there was no way I could get all my TO DOs done but I knew He’d be ok with that, and if He’d be ok with it, then I could be ok with it.

Well, I’ve had my coffee and my Jesus now. And though I did have to get out of bed eventually, I am continuing to rest in Him even as I do laundry, clean house, cook breakfast and lunch, make calls, check emails, and plan our week. But instead of praying for help, today I am reminding my self of where my help comes from.

Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

I would love to hear how you manage your TO DO list! Please do tell.

PS. JJ should get the results on his biopsy early this week. I’ll post something as soon as we hear back. Also, I added the recipe’s to my July 4th post if you were one of the friends asking for them.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I’m with you, Renee. I can get nothing done without my Jesus time each morning!

    Being the over-zealous organizer that I am, I’ve designed a customized “To Do” sheet that has all my categories already listed. It seems to make my life a lot easier – well, the planning part. Getting the stuff all checked of is a whole ‘nother story. But a girl can sure try! 🙂

  2. Hey, Renee! I’ll continue to keep JJ and your family in my prayers. I understand how you feel…my husband and I have been down that path–just a different body part 🙂

    What I have found very helpful is a prayer journal by Debbie Williams at http://www.hillcountryministries.org.
    Beth Moore mentioned this daily prayer journal on her blog, so I gave it a try. This book is the best tool for journaling my prayers that I have ever used! I tend to lose notebooks–no matter how cute they are! I have used this one almost daily since February!!!Having my prayers and thoughts together is the best way I can jumpstart my day. After spending that time with God, I don’t worry as much about the other stuff–it will eventually get done! Just let me know a day or two in advance if you’re coming over to my house!!!I’ll make sure that the clean clothes are put away :).
    Blessings,
    Susan

  3. Renee,
    I say, “Holy Spirit help me and guide me this day!” Then I need to remain listening and attentive and OBEY as He leads! It’s amazing how many things get done and organized when I turn it over to the Lord!
    Blessings!

  4. Renee: Oh, how I needed to hear, read and speak out Psalm 121 today! Thanks for bringing those words to my attention today.

    My prayers are with you!

    Kelly

  5. Hi, Renee! Praying for you and your many tasks ahead of you! May HE bless all that you put your hand and heart to!

    “Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.” Deut. 15:10

    I am thankful He made me a morning person. My early morning quiet time is something I crave and need. His Word ministers His love and truth to my heart. He sets my priorities for the day. Can’t do it without Him!

    It’s amazing how it seems He gives us more time in each day when we begin it with Him and give our time and hearts generously to Him! 🙂

    Hugs,
    Sharon

  6. I love that Psalm and what a great way to start the day.

    It’s almost 5:00 and I haven’t started my to do list. (Unless you count making it to work on time and they tell me what to do and when!) At the moment I’m trying to decide on pick up on the way somewhere or saving the money and browning the meat for tacos….

    I’m not sure what I’ll accomplish tonight. But I think I have a new resolve when the alarm goes off in the morning, “Good morning Jesus . . . .”

    Have a great evening. I’m still praying.

  7. Renee,

    I never use to have a set time that I would call my God time. I would somehow work it into my day. God really got my heart when my husband move out in April. It was as if he sent me a huge email that said “why am I not first in your life”. He was right! I was treating him like leftovers. So I thought about how we go through a preparation every time we go to church. I didn’t understand why all that was the way it was. Now I know that it is so that I can receive his word without the “to do muchkins” in my head.
    So now I have my routine and the first thing is God and the second is coffee. 🙂 The boys are old enough to fend for themselves for breakfast.
    Thanks for the reminder and I will coutinue to for for JJ.
    Blessings,
    Diane

  8. I am not much at “to do” list…I need to be. I find myself more and more at the end of the day remembering something I forgot to do!

    Still praying for JJ and your adoption process!

    In His Graces~Pamela

  9. This Psalm has come to be one of my favourites. It was the one the Lord spoke to me on March 18th when I registered for “She Speaks”. It will forever be written across my life.

    I’m a “list girl” all the way! Mainly because if I didn’t write it down – I’d forget it! After writing down all that needs to be accomplished…or what I ‘think’ needs to be accomplished – I give it to God. I know He gives me enough hours in my day to complete all that He requires of me, so I pray that He will help me do things in His order to stay in His will and even pray for the interuptions that He will allow before they happen, so that I “don’t get my shirt in a knot”!

    Trusting you accomplished all He desired today.
    Love & prayers,
    Joy
    PS. Thanks for your messages today. You continue to be a blessing! Hugs!

  10. Renee,
    I feel as if you wrote this post for ME!! That “to do” dance is constant in my head. Lately I have found myself not getting anything done at all and it has left me feeling a bit down. My quiet time with Jesus has been rushed and interrupted with the kids home for summer break.

    I love Psalm 121! It is such an encouragement to me especially verse 3–

    “He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber”

    My God is watching over little ol’ me ALL the time–he never sleeps–so very cool!!

    Still praying for JJ and you as you await his test results. And thank you for visiting my blog and leaving words of encouragement.

    Blessings from PA
    Kim

  11. I needed that today! Thank you.

  12. Hi Renee,
    I will be praying as you await results for JJ’s biopsy. I also will be praying for you as you work on the TO DO list. I know how overwhelming that can be. I am a list maker, because I like to cross it off when I accomplish it. It gives me satisfaction. If my list is extensive I try to realistically look at my day and figure out what I can handle each day, and then make lists for each day. It helps as I get older because I sometimes forget what I am supposed to be doing. The worst is when I can’t remember where I put my list! 🙂 I’ll be praying that all comes together for you.

    Blessings,
    Pearls

    P.S. What is this with the ‘book proposal’? Are you going to be writing a book too?! 🙂

  13. Sometimes the way I cope w/ my To Do lists is avoid them! Isn’t that terrible..to just want to sleep it off. I am a procrastinator..always have been. Now, I am not consummed w/ procrastinating, but I do tend to let things slide a bit. I feel like if the laundry and dishes are caught up, I’m good. But you know, I procrastinate w/ time with my Jesus and that is so horrible. He still loves me and I will strive daily to be w/ Him.

  14. I stopped making them. Bad idea, I suppose, but honestly I’m a different person after 4 kids and a very “non-listing” kind of husband. What’s a woman to do?!

    Jesus is the key. He’s not always been the key I’ve turned in the morning, but I am learning to tend to my sacred before I tend to my other. Thanks for sharing, and if you get a chance, come visit me on my blog. I’m doing a series on “living our consecrated deserts.”

    peace~elaine

  15. Renee,

    It was a blessing to me to get to spend some real time with you today in your office. Each time we do that (although it’s not near enough or long enough!), I leave feeling better. The Jesus you begin with in the morning shines in you during the day and He was shining for me today! So thank you:)

    I love you to pieces!
    Melissa

  16. Cindy W says:

    I use a steno pad- nothing fancy, but if I don’t write it down and put it on that list, it’s gone from my mind.

    Thanks Runner Mom, I’ll be checking out that journal.

    UPDATE: I have asked for prayers in the recipe blog as my 11 year old son was baptized on the fourth of July, I felt the need for prayers as my role shifted from a shepard to a mentor for him. We’ve spent the last 2 night in the Bible. He’s been taking notes and it’s been WONDERFUL.

  17. Hi Renee,
    I just want you to know that you have been such an encouragement to me. I don’t have sisters in the Lord I can share myself with, but you do it so naturally. Though I am not married, no responsibilities but myself, reading your blog is refreshing, it’s like meeting a friend at starbucks for a cup of cappucino and catching up. You encourage my soul, the way you’re truthful, so real, but in the way you are as a wife and mother, which I pray to be one day. Be encouraged and continue bathing in His Presence, He has so much for you.

    God Bless you.

  18. You are exactly right, if you dont spend time with the Lord each day – your to-do list will take over and your attitude will be terrible. I guess the best idea is to spend time in prayer and study and the things on the to-do list will be much easier to get done.

  19. Such a great post Renee!

    Can’t wait to have lunch together tomorrow. Do you have any of that brownie goo that you made on the 4th?

    Boy did that look YUM!!!

  20. I do need to be a better list maker though. My memory has let me down too many times!

    However, when I do take a to-do list to Him, I love how He somehow increases my time and I am able to get more done. It is like a “mini-miracle”! He also provides peace for me about the things that don’t get done. In general I am so much better off when I lay the list at His feet before I attempt it on my own!! Now if only I can remember that…

    I am praying for your family as you await the results of the biopsy. I am sure the wait isn’t easy but God is working in this too!!

    Love and Prayers,
    Kelley

  21. What a precious reminder, so full of hope and inspiration…thank you for sharing your heart. The verses you shared really spoke to me.

  22. Renee – oh how I needed this today! My kids are the “best” at waking me up whining for breakfast. “I’m hungry…please please can we eat breakfast now???”

    This is an especially busy week for me too and I’m feeling quite overwhelmed. Tomorrow is a new day. Thank You Jesus for that!

    I have been thinking of JJ and am praying for you!

    God bless!

    Jami

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