A Day of Finishing

Have you ever had one of those days when there is absolutely nothing you have to do? No appointments, nowhere you have to be, no one counting on you for anything? I never realized until today how much I hate those days.

Except for the sheer bliss of sleeping in, letting my body take in as much rest as it needs, the sense of freedom at having no commitments pressing down on me quickly sours into captivity as I draft a THINGS TO DO LIST for today. Seriously, how can nothing to do morph into a list of 19 things that come to mind in an instant, in a seemingly effortless exercise of writing down things needing to be done or “should-ing” to be done? Now I’m annoyed and overwhelmed, defeated before I even begin to move into the day that now feels impossible, heavy and oppressive. A daily discipline of time with the Lord and core strengthening exercises takes the edge off, but in the end I am declaring this to be A Day of Finishing – making a point and intentional commitment to do only those things on my list that can be categorized under finishing what I already started.

  1. Return the carry-on suitcase I bought as a Christmas gift for Josh at Kohl’s – he told me 2 weeks ago that he doesn’t need one.
  2. Put in the new furnace filter I bought in early Nov. when the note on my calendar told me the filter was due to be changed.
  3. Finish and publish the blog post I started two days ago.
  4. Unpack and put away the contents of 4 boxes of office supplies and coaching files from my desk & file cabinet sold before my Aug. 1st move. Seriously, those boxes have been sitting on the bench in my study area for 4 months now? The truth is I don’t want to do this any more today than I did in August – better organized in the uniform size boxes than sprawled out on my bed needing a spot to go to since my new work station has no drawers. Even on my short list of things to finish today, this one is definitely at the bottom. I just don’t want to figure out where to put this stuff.
  5. Take the memory stick from my camera to CVS and print pictures of me and the girls to send to Irene, my precious sponsored child at St. Mary Kevin Orphanage in Kampala, Uganda. In her last letter, Irene asked me to bring my 24-year old daughters, Ashley & Marissa, to Uganda on my next visit, saying, “I would love to see them with my naked eyes”. Dismissing that idea, I was waiting until Thanksgiving week when I would be with the girls to take some pictures – now I’ve got them (on my camera), but I have to print a few to send to Irene to add to the album I started for her a few years back.
  6. Okay, you probably guessed this was coming next – I need to write a letter to Irene once I have the pictures to enclose. I put off responding to her letter & term progress report because I knew I wouldn’t be seeing my daughters until this past week to snap some new pictures to send her. Could I not have written back immediately to this little girl who calls me mommy susie, who writes “If I look up in the sky I see the star shining and I stay very strong when you are not here.”? I am ashamed at how careless I was with Irene’s little heart filled with such a big love, and I will write her today with or without pictures to enclose. And as I have been praying about returning to Uganda over Easter, I will ask my daughters to pray about God’s desire for them to go with me in April so Irene can meet them with her naked eyes.
  7. Fill out Confidential Female Hormone Evaluation Medical History form to consider/pursue Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. At the Oct. 23rd Mahwah Family Fun Run & 5K, I met up with and talked to staff from Millers Pharmacy about a tendency to feel like I’m crashing if I go more than 2 hrs. without eating – even though my blood sugar levels are normal year after year on annual physicals. I had never heard of detailed hormone evaluation or “custom” hormone replacement therapy, but two days later I was on the phone with a Pharmacologist in the Compounding Division at Millers. I’ve had the hormone evaluation medical history forms she sent me for a month now – today I will fill them out.

So as I ready myself for a Day of Finishing, and look to the Word to bolster me, I can’t get Paul’s words in Philippians 1:6 out of my head – “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

I am a new creation in Christ, fueled by His abundant grace to leave past failures in the past. In that sufficiency, I kick off my Day of Finishing with a kitchen stool to reach and lift the clock hanging above the kitchen window off the wall and set it back one hour. Daylight Savings Time ended 3 weeks ago, but today as I set back the lone clock I didn’t bother to change then, I am reminded that I serve a God of Second Chances who each and every day sets back the hands of time to redeem me.

How about you? Do you have some unfinished business to attend to before moving headlong into the Christmas season?