Monday Mission: Don’t Try to "Get Something Done"

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Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to go a whole week (or a day) without using the phrase “get something done” to talk about your goals for the day or “couldn’t get anything done” to evaluate the day’s success.

Do you hear your own voice in those phrases?

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This mission was inspired when I heard my words coming back at me out of the mouth of my 4-year-old telling her babies, “Mommy has to get some stuff done so I can’t play with you right now,” and saying exasperatedly, “I have so many kids, and I just can’t get anything done, all the time!”


This mission isn’t about changing anything in your kitchen or home, improving your family’s (physical) health, saving time or money, or being “green.” It’s not anything Kitchen Stewardship typically focuses on, but it’s really at the heart of the mission: Family.

Kitchen Stewardship seeks to help people balance their family’s nutrition and health, care for the environment, money, and time…all through the eyes of faith.

I spend a lot of time and energy talking about “what I got done” and “I just couldn’t get anything done!” and “I have so much I want to get done.” The value of a day is literally measured in tick marks on a to-do list, as if accomplishing all my tasks for the day makes me a better person and my day a success.

Sometimes I wonder if (and worry that) my kids think my whole life’s purpose is about “getting things done.” And whether they feel that way or not…is that how I’m living?

This week, instead of measuring my success or the worth of my day by how many “things” I “got done,” I’m going to make a conscious, Herculean effort to say, “I spent such quality time with my kids today,” when someone asks, “How was your day?”

I’m going to strive to start the day with, “I have so much love I want to pour out on the world,” instead of “I have so many things I want to get done today.”

I need this mission, but I thought I’d share it with you in case anyone wants to be dragged along for the ride.

I’m Not Going to be Lazy

all 3 kids

Far too precious to be ignored…can you tell the wee one is doing his utmost to get away? He was a terror for these pictures!

Just to clarify, this isn’t my big excuse to stop cooking meals for my family and cleaning up the house. I won’t be silent on the blog this week (oh, horrors!) and I’ll certainly continue to make a to-do list.

The mission, and the paradigm shift, is to change my perspective on success.

I’m trying to consciously change my language and slightly shift my priorities in order to first take care of the little ones whose lives I am charged with, emotionally and spiritually. To love them and look them in the eye, and at the same time to clean up after them and feed them nourishing meals, thus also caring for their physical beings.

I know it can be done, even if I have to fake it when my husband comes home asking, “How was your day, honey?” and all I want to say is: “Arg! I couldn’t get anything done!”

If I can, with a smile, tell him how pleased I am that I built block towers for John to knock down and read two books with Leah, I’m halfway home to changing my own attitude through my actions.

Love – and parenting – is an act of the will.

My children will get one day older every day, 100% guaranteed.

My to-do list will not change my life whether it has four things crossed off or seven.

This week, I choose to focus on people, not things; relationships, not tasks.

Wish me luck!

And right now? I’m going to try to make use of John’s nap to…um…get…um…consider what the best us of my time for the good of my family will be today.


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19 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    I love Christ’s definition of success in the book God Calling: “Your success is the measure of My Will and Mind that you have revealed to those around you. Your success is the measure of My Will that those around you have seen worked out in your lives.”

  2. Christi says

    I think this is a mission many of us need to accept. My only child is now 16 but still there is so much to do in our household; always has been and always will be. Productive days make me feel GREAT! Non-productive days make me feel…guilty. Definitely need a shift in thinking here. :)

  3. Sharon says

    What a timely mission!

    It’s been a weekend of getting things into perspective for me. On All Saint’s day last week, a beloved priest recently retired from this parish died, just 9 months after being diagnosed with cancer. Sunday, we observed All Saints, and tears were flowing during the processional hymn of “for all the saints,” thinking of Bob. Then at evensong in the late afternoon, his body was in repose in the chapel in front of the altar where he had celebrated the eucharist so many times. Choir and congregation alike passed before the open chapel door coming and going from prayer. And then the funeral this morning was glorious.

    Sorry for the long digression… It’s all come together to remind us here of what’s important, to let the small things go, and to be thankful for all the blessings that surround us.

  4. Shannon says

    This is crazy timing. On Saturday, in the midst of telling my 3 yr old, “I just need to finish the kitchen and then I can play legos,” I realized I had been giving him the same line all day with various chores before I could play with him. I don’t want him to think he comes second or that he is not important enough to put other things on hold. Thank you for the Monday reminder! I will take the challenge!

  5. says

    I’m in….and this was WAY too timely as I was just (kinda storming) up the stairs to try (for the 4th time!) to get my little man to sleep here at my computer station, exasperated because it feels like I haven’t gotten anything done….feels like everything I do undoes itself under the control of my toddler. Anyway- thanks for the timely mission!

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing and giving us all a challenge! I also needed to hear this today. I need to take time to enjoy my kids while they are still kids!

  7. Ashlee says

    I have been reminded of this recently as well. Thanks for the post…it’s nice to know that we all have to be conscious of this and work to keep priorities straight. I found Sally Clarkson’s ‘Mission of Motherhood’ to be very encouraging and inspiring on this topic.

  8. says

    Oh, I needed to read that Monday Mission today. I feel like I can breath a big sigh of relief as my kiddos are asleep and I’m heading to work on my to do list. I love your statement that “I have so much love to give the world today” rather than so much to do on my to do lists. Thank you!

  9. says

    Love this, Katie. I have been in a flurry during this election season. While I have done a lot w/ my kids and husband, it has been exhausting. I, too, have been trying to enjoy, listen and “be” with them, and w/ the Lord more.

    Bless you and thanks for sharing.

  10. says

    “I have so much love I want to pour out on the world today!” – this resonates so strongly for me. It’s why I named my blog “loveolution”. I believe love is a revolution.

    I think we all get caught up in the tasks of running a household, but it is so important to remember that without our loving families there would be no purpose in any of that. People are more important than things or tasks or chores.

    I guarantee that by changing your perspective you will also feel less stressed out by the work you have. Giving joy brings joy.

    God bless you on this mission.

  11. says

    I LOVE this post!! There are some days I feel like I have so much to do (especially with the countdown on for my baby to arrive!) but lately, I’ve been trying not to pressure myself and to get as much done as I can while also enjoying my day. It has been such a stress reliever to do things this way instead of the crazy rushed way I used to. Thanks for reminding us about the most important things in life.

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