I have a love-hate relationship with lists. Lists are loveable when they take tasks off of my mind and store them conveniently for a later time.
But lists become loathesome when they stare back at me with taunts of “Look at all you have left to do. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk.”
When it comes to pursuing hobbies, making memories with my children, reading spiritually-enriching books, staying in touch with friends, etc… I’ve learned that lists are counter-productive for me.
I need a visual that tells me what I have accomplished rather than what I failed to accomplish.
Enter the newly-crafted, find-a-use-for-all-those-busted-watches-and-trinkets, “Redeeming Tree”.
It’s a blank canvas for me to fill as I set aside time to delight in the gifts God has given me. Each Sunday is a new start. When I paint with my daughter, up goes the artist’s palette. If I try a new recipe, the food basket ornament gets hung.
It’s a way to incentivize myself to spend my time wisely instead of losing too many precious moments to the Instagram/Facebook vortex (which is so tempting for me). Instead of pinning another project, this reminds me to dust off my glue gun and actually do one.
It’s also visible evidence of whether or not I’m leaving “margins” in my life. Rest is biblical. Planning for the future is a godly habit. If I’m don’t purposefully carve out time in my schedule to refrain from duties and obligations then imbalance and fatigue creep in. Moments turn into lifetimes whether time is frittered or invested. I want to invest my moments.
My little “Redeeming Tree” helps me focus my time and energy on my Redeemer. When I see it I think, “Which God-honoring activities can I fit in this week?”
I love how Psalm 90:12 reads in the NLT,
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
When I pillow my head at night I want to rest knowing I did my best, by God’s grace and in His strength , to live out Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV),
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
What helps you to invest your time wisely? Are you a list person, or would a visual aid like this serve you better?