Accomplishments

So, what did you accomplish today?  Well – that depends. What kind of day was it?

A good day. In the past, this is how I would describe a “good day”. The day flew by. It was relatively smooth and easy; it went mostly as planned. I was able to check several items off my to-do list. I could look back at the day as the sun was sinking in the western sky and see visible accomplishments.

Three loads of laundry done. Check. Sink empty. Check. Healthy homemade bread baked, sliced, and in the freezer. Check. Kids bathed and in bed. Check. Sitting by my hubby with a good book in hand. Check.

Ahhh.  Life can look really good. I can bask in the peace and often mindless bliss.

Perhaps a peak into what I might have described as a “bad day”.  The day seemed to just drag, or maybe to drag me. I found myself too often back peddling, reeling in the ‘you can’t be serious!’ moments. Not a thing got marked off my list and several items were added to it. When dusk arrived, I would stagger to a chair and wonder what in the world had happened.

Breakfast attempted and spilled by a ‘helpful’ child. Check. Argument between brothers over who wore the red t-shirt before wash-day (and thus should be the one to fold it). Check. A peaceful walk through the woods turned to drama by a sudden, harsh fall over the hidden root and a skinned, bleeding shin to prove it. Check. Mommy exhausted and not wanting to even run the dishwater in the sink. Check.

Ughh.  Life can look really exhausting.  I can put my face in my hands and hope tomorrow is not a repeat of today; I can pray for the chance to get at least one thing on ‘my’ list done.

Or, as night falls, I can choose to reflect – with true thoughtful contemplation. I can move from the “You can’t be serious!” frustration to a purposeful look for something “good” in that tiring, seemingly unproductive day. I can reflect on what, indeed, was truly “accomplished” even though nothing, I repeat nothing, was crossed off the ever growing to-do list.

Whether we realize it or not, whether the day seemed to be a ‘good’ day or a ‘bad’ day, the things on our infamous to-do lists are not the only things that can be claimed as genuine “accomplishments”.  In fact, I have come to realize that there are certain things that are actually ranked as a higher “accomplishment” then the temporary to-dos of this life.

Each day presents me with many opportunities to achieve advances in my own character development.  If I look for and learn from those opportunities, I am accomplishing something of real value, for I am becoming the person I was created to be, someone more like my Father. Patient. Kind. Loving. Giving. Generous. Focused more on people than tasks.

As I reflect on a day, I ask myself how I responded to the unexpected.  In what ways was my character stretched? What do I need to work on? I’ve definitely got room to grow. Always room to grow. But the general trajectory of my character development should be in an upwards direction. You know, maybe if I write down on my current ‘to-do’ list an inventory of character traits I’d like to posses, someday I’ll be able to cross a few of those off as something I’ve obtained.  Now that will be a real accomplishment!

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