When You Have a Chronic Illness List . . . Your Accomplishments?

When you live with a chronic illness list the tasks you have done for the day to stay motivated. But what is the real list of things we should be doing?

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2).

I’m a checklist kind of person. Each night I write a wish list of things to accomplish the next day: Go to the post office. Stop at the bank. Get gas. Pay a bill. Make dinner. Call a sick friend. Start work on a devotional.

Getting started in the morning is difficult. My first accomplishment is getting out of bed. Often, I need my daily checklist to motivate me. I put on my glasses and grab my list of jobs from my night stand. That piece of paper becomes my wake-up call. Like a drill sergeant shouting, “Get out of that bed, soldier! Time to get moving. Up and at ‘em. Move! Move! Move!”

I don’t exactly snap to attention. Slowly, I begin working my way through the list. Sometimes I wind up doing something not on my list, like yesterday. Our dog scratched his ears, signaling the time to clean them. I added it to the list. Just so I could check it off.

My daily plans help me feel like I’ve accomplished something, validating the effort I put forth doing routine chores. Could I be so deliberate in following His Word as I am with tending to earthly responsibilities? What if I compiled a heavenly to-do list? To seek “things above.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 provides my list. Be patient and kind. Protect, trust, hope, and persevere. Do not be rude, self-seeking, proud, boastful, jealous, or easily angered. Quite a list! Written on paper. Etched in my mind. I begin my day with great intentions.

The review at the end of my day:

  • Trust God for energy to do the errands and for His leading to draft a devotional — check.
  • Refrain from being self-seeking while waiting in the line at the bank — uh-oh. I got impatient.
  • Show kindness by calling a sick friend — check.
  • Resist the temptation to feel jealous of others — oops! I felt envious: our balance in the savings reminded me we couldn’t take a summer vacation.
  • Persevere through the day to complete my earthly tasks — check.

Once again, I add something to the list:
Ask God’s forgiveness for my impatience and jealousy — check.

Prayer: Dear Father, Help me focus my attention on things above more than on the demands of the day. I trust You to show me how to live this day for others and for Your kingdom. Looking for opportunities to share love and the gospel.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs. http://theblogfrog.com/1505794

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Do you keep lists? What passage in scripture do you use as your heavenly to-do list?

Need some motivational music to tackle your list? Here is a short video with 3 motivational songs that may get you moving. If you cannot see the video in your email, click the title of the devotional to go to the web site to watch.