Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My "To Do" List

1. Get up, get ready for work
2. Get the kids up, ready for school ... get the kids to school
3. Work (all day)
4. Take James to baseball practice
5. Get homework done for all three boys
6. Fix supper
7. Get everybody ready for bed and safely tucked in for the night
8. Collapse

My "To Do" List.

It's the same nearly everyday ... the same list, the same people on the list, the routine ... the same.

Most of the time, I find myself just trying to make it through to number 8. And, I hope and pray there are no sudden surprises between number 2 and 4. No sick kids to pick up early from school, no car trouble ... nothing that would "mess up" my to do list.

Yesterday, my niece's anesthesiologist taught me a much needed lesson. He opened my eyes to the truth in a to do list ... take off the numbers ... don't make it a list ...

My niece, Hope, was in for yet another surgery. She struggles with nausea. After nearly every surgery, she spends hours throwing up. The last 5 months have been filled with surgeries to give her ears. She was born with only buds due to her Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS). Imagine ... the amount of pain already from being cut open so many times. Then add on top of that pressure from throwing up for hours. Painful.

Yesterday, this new anesthesiologist read through Hope's chart. He found her struggle with nausea and ... he did something about it. He's been trained in acupuncture.

After Hope's surgery, this man came back into the recovery room. He stayed with her ... performing acu pressure on different points of her body. He knew ... he knew he could help. He knew the acu pressure would decrease her nausea. So, instead of moving on to his next patient, the next surgery ... he came back, performed the acu pressure and ... it worked. Hope woke up with NO nausea.

Hope woke up with a smile.

All because, this man saw Hope as more than just a number on his "to do" list. He saw her as a special little girl struggling. He used his gifts to help her. Then, he went beyond that ... he went and talked with my sister and my brother-in-law about Hope's nausea. He let them know of what could be done to help.

He made a difference. He saw each patient as a person, not a number.

Do I ever make that effort? Are there things I could do differently?

Today, I'm taking the numbers off my list ... I'm taking time to see the people I'm blessed to have on my list. I'm going to use my gifts at work ... use them to make a difference for the people I meet.

Thank you, Malik ... your care for my niece not only made her feel better ... but, it taught me something. I pray you are blessed.

What are you doing today? Do you have gifts to give? Are there numbers on your list?

Romans 12:6-8 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."


  1. It is amazing what GOD reveals to us when we remove the numbers and the rigid agenda of our routines.
    I praise HIM for placing this wonderful doctor in Hope's path and taking the nasty nausea away.
    Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

  2. Glad to know Hope made it through surgery well. I will pray for a speedy recovery.

    "take off the numbers ... don't make it a list ..."

    That's a good lesson to learn. I learned it through illness in a different way. When FigNewTon was sick, nothing got done that she wasn't capable of, which was most of nothing. After Butterfly's injury, nothing gets done that she is not capable of. The lists, our agenda, really isn't that important in the end. What impact did I have on the Kingdom of God today? That is the only important task. The only necessary thing to place on a to-do list.

    Bless you.

  3. Amen! When I used to work in a busy Orthopedic floor [for almost 10 years], I would see a lot of lonely older patients. Visited in a few seconds by the doctors, less or no family visiting...When they were in pain post-op, I knew it was not that surgical wound that hurt them more. It was a wounded heart. Bless those doctors who are not thinking of their patients as "a number" like what you said. And that's what lacks nowadays in this fast-paced system.

    Despite my own busyness, I had learned that to simply acknowledge these patients and even just a few minutes given to them, with sincerity, comforted them. I miss Ortho still [had a neck injury] because I enjoyed seeing and being a part of my patients' recovery. But I'm glad the Lord had placed me in a dark place where there are so many suffering, too. Neglected maybe and not loved? Blessings to you sister. Believing in the Lord's miraculous healing for Hope. Such a brave heart!

  4. Thank you each for sharing your words with me. Thank you for your prayers for Hope and for sharing in my joy as she recovers.

    The difference we make for God's kingdom is the most important thing ... as SugarLand puts it, "I've got more important things to do than my to do list anyway" :)

    God Bless you each,