If you’ve been around this place for any length of time, you know that I’m a list girl. I like my schedule, my plans, my lists. I’ve got a to-do list going each day, and more planners than I can fill.
The thing about lists, though, is that sometimes they move from organizing your day to ruling your heart.
I’ve been the wife who barks orders, trying to get everyone into the car on time. I’ve been the mom who loses it when the water cup spills, again, because it means that my plan gets thrown off. I’ve been the woman who lives by a list of things she has to do, leaving no room for freedom or fun.
It’s possible that the most used phrase in our home has sometimes been, “I can’t do ________, because I have to do this!” Spoken by yours truly. Often.
Have you ever felt that way? Like there were so many things that you needed to do that there was no time left for anything or anyone else?
It’s debilitating. All of a sudden that To-Do List leaves you feeling more trapped than organized. You’re a slave to all that has to be done, your attitude takes a nose dive, and your family suffers. And you do too.
Can I tell you something? Something I just recently realized?
Friends, we don’t have to live as a slave to our have-to‘s.
A few months ago, I did a podcast with Kat Lee to talk about my eBook Undivided Mom. We were talking about why I wrote the book, and one of the things I mentioned was that in looking back at my childhood, I realized that all I ever wanted to be was a mom. And now? Now I get to do that! I get to realize my lifelong dream of motherhood. And in the middle of dishes and diapers and discipline, I try my best to remember that these are not things I have to do, this is the life I get to do.
It’s a one word swap. Taking out “have”, and replacing it with “get”. But it makes all the difference for me.
I don’t just have to get these chores done, I get to teach my daughter what it means to be responsible and keep a clean home.
I don’t just have to run errands today, I get to get out of the house, help my kids practice being in public (goodness knows we need the practice!), and buy things with the money that God has blessed us with.
I don’t just have to cook dinner, I get to spend time creating something that feeds and fills my family.
I don’t just have to put the baby to sleep, I get to sit in the rocker, relax, and snuggle with my boy.
Changing just one word can change our whole day.
By changing one word, our perspective shifts. We begin to see our daily activities as a blessing instead of a mundane routine. We start to realize how much we’ve been given instead of feeling like we are giving up everything.
I’m not great at this, by any means. But I’m starting to practice changing just that one word, and praying for a shift in my attitude when things are starting to get messy.
I recorded that podcast before Nathan was born, before the blood clot passed through my heart and threatened my life. Now, that one change in word means so much more. I don’t just have to take care of my family, I get to. It is a blessing just to be here, with them, no matter what’s in front of us. At any moment of the day, this could all change. Today, I will be grateful for the life I get to lead.
Having a rough day? Got a few too many things you have to do? Try changing just one word.
Kayse Pratt serves Christian women as a writer + designer, creating home + life management resources that help those women plan their days around what matters most. She’s created the most unique planner on the market, helped over 400 women create custom home management plans, and works with hundreds of women each month inside her membership, teaching them how to plan their days around what matters most. When she’s not designing printables or writing essays, you’ll find Kayse homeschooling her kids, reading a cheesy novel with a giant cup of tea in hand, or watching an old show from the 90’s with her husband, who is her very best friend.