I love check-lists. I like little boxes to fill in. I’m a ‘make a list and check it off one by one’ kind of girl. There’s a feeling of great success when I come to the end of the day and I’ve marked off each line of my long list of chores, tasks and duties. I have 21 items on my daily checklist that measure a successful day. Already by 6 am, if I’m on track I should have marked off 7 of the 21.

BUT, there is great danger here. Life is so much more than a list of to-dos. We can’t be fulfilled by simply checking the box. How unfortunate would it be to look back on our life and realize all we really accomplished were thousands of boxes being checked.

Life is more than folded laundry. Life is more than a wake up time and a bed time. Life is more than mopped floors. Life is more than a meal plan or a thrifty budget. Oh all of those things are wonderful … and necessary. But my love, don’t miss the LIVING while you’re living.

Today isn’t just another day to be marked off the calendar. Don’t you realize the number of times you will drive your kids to school is in fact numbered? Limited. Don’t you realize the number of times you wake up in this home is numbered? Don’t you realize the number of times you go here and do that is numbered? Don’t you see it’s all more than just a task to accomplish today – it’s a moment to treasure.

There’s an expiration date on everyone and everything around you. If we only knew that expiration date we would likely handle people with more care. If we only knew how temporary and perishable this all is today would likely look and feel a whole lot different. It’s not just a box to check. Get out of the darn box. Don’t get stuck in the list.

If we’re not intentional and fully present, our whole life becomes one big box to check. Fall in love – check. Have babies – check. Work – check. Buy crap – check. Clean my crap – check. Go on vacation – check. Work some more – check.

Wake up my friend. This day is God’s gift. It’s not a box to check. This is all you get. Make the most of this one. Whatever it is you have to do to, don’t just do it to do it, do it to experience it. Be fully present in the moment. Experience it all the way. Participate in your life. Remember why you’re doing it. What’s the blessing behind the chore?

Dishes – oh that’s because your family just ate. That’s beautiful.
Commute to work – oh that’s because they chose you for the job. Remember the day you got the call that you were hired? Yes, they still choose you. How fortunate.
That workout you’re supposed to do today – oh that’s because you’re not laying in a hospital bed. You have this body that is working and now you get to work it. What a miracle.

Ecclesiastes 9: 7-9 MSG

Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don’t skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it.

Have you let life become a series of boxes to check? Stop it. That’s nonsense. Breathe in life fully today. Be fully present. Seize life. When you’re eating, enjoy your food. When you’re driving, look at the world around you with fresh new eyes.

As you live today, remember to really live. It feels oh so good to be alive. We are so fortunate. Participate in your life. Get off the bench and get in the game.

Imagine this weekend centered around today’s scripture. Get out of the box. It’s not about the checklist. The checklist is good and it helps you achieve all you need to achieve, but what’s helping you live all you want to live?

Seize life! Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! (Definition of seize is to take hold of. That means grab your life by the horns and live it sister! And when you do, this brings God pleasure. Want to make God happy today? Then seize the day. Grab it. Own it. Live it.)

Dress festively every morning. (Won’t you wear bright colors because it’s good to be alive and you don’t mind being seen. Remember you have something to bring into this world so go ahead and be the brightest person in the room. You belong here.)

Relish life each and every day (Definition of relish is to find great joy and pleasure. To find great joy and pleasure you must intentionally look for it. Now there’s a thought. Intentionally LOOK for joy and pleasure throughout this day and the weekend. Be on a hunt for it. Keep joy and pleasure on the forefront of your mind. Seek it fully.)

Each day is God’s gift. Make the most of each one! (Won’t you enjoy it, I mean really enjoy it?)

Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! (Oh, how about we say YES to life this weekend. We know that when we say yes to life, life says yes to us.)

This is your last and only chance at it. (You get one life. Exactly one. This isn’t the dress rehearsal, it’s show time. You’ll never again wake up to March 16, 2018. You’ll never again be this young. Your boobies will never again be this perky. I mean without some surgical intervention, this is it girls. You’ll never again have this few wrinkles. This is your chance to live and love your life. Don’t waste it!)