To-Doism Part One

I noticed something when I sat down and read a number of y'all's posts recently, and this something upset me a bit.  It made me upset because I do the same thing, and it is now considered normal to see this still-unnamed-quality everywhere we turn. It destroys our weeks and robs our joy. It lies and waits in places we don't expect and creeps up on us so slowly that we don't recognize it. 

You're probably worried now. I am too! 

What I see in many of the good-girls/blogger-chicks/any-young-adult-that-cares-about-life is this: to-doism. (A word that I made up for the occasion.) 

/to-doism/ (pronounced to-do-is-m) 1. the act of keeping one's eyes focused on a schedule so that one misses out on the joys of life. 2. trying to get everything done in a timely manner. 3. commonly called stress. 

To-doism sneaks up on us. It takes us by surprise, because it first appears necessary and good. After all, we have to get everything done, so why not plan the day to make sure it all fits? Schedules and lists and calculations help, right? Tasks, Bible time, cleaning, school, prayer, family. Good things. Good ideas. But it lacks something.

Yes. Getting everything done is good. And for some people, a busy schedule won't lead to to-doism. But for me and my sensitive, gentle, perfectionist spirit, a lifestyle of schedules and never-ending tasks leads to to-doism. And it isn't pretty.

To-doism leads to stretched, tired, stressed, inadequate feelings that scream rest and work at the same time and leads us towards neither.  To-doism puts all of the emphasis on ourselves and what we can and cannot do. It gives merit and punishment, but never grace. It over-exaggerates and makes everything more dramatic. It focuses on the temporary, day-to-day things instead of heavenly joys. It keeps our eyes on our feet while a beautiful sunset fans out ahead.

We have a to-doist friend in the Bible that I want to sit with today, and her name is Martha. Let's read Luke 10:38-42:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" “Martha, Martha” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Who here connects with Martha? I have a feeling that many of us do. We just want to serve Jesus, make sure that the homework gets finished, and keep on top of the ever-demanding list of wonderful things in our life. We're always busy, and even when we're not, we know that we should be doing something. Don't get us wrong, we do these things all for the glory of God! We love Him and want to give Him a wonderful, well-prepared gift. 

But the trouble comes when, in the preparing of this gift, we forget who we're giving it to. We get distracted and weighed down, and we can't understand why because we're doing everything right. Right? 

But what if, just imagine this with me, what if there is something better than giving Jesus the very best, well-prepared gift imaginable? What if there is something better than making dinner for Jesus? What if Jesus invites us to a life that does contain work and lots of it, but which is also seated at His feet in rest? What if He emphasizes relationship more than workmanship? 

Oh, how wonderful that sounds! And the best part is: such a life is possible. Jesus does desire us more than the gifts that we have to offer. A life of rest at Jesus' feet can happen, and just because I LOVE this part of the story, I will read it again: 

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:40-42

Jesus is the One. 

Jesus is better. In fact, Jesus is Best! And right here, right now, wherever you are with whatever you haven't checked off of your to-do list yet, Jesus invites you to sit at His feet and center yourselves around the One thing truly needed: Him.

Inhale His presence and exhale love. Rest today in His enoughness, even if you didn't get everything done yet, even if a mountain of homework and a dirty space reminds you of the list of things demanding attention. Choose to believe that you really only need One thing, and He gives Himself to you this very day!

You see, He invites you to a relationship not centered on workmanship but based off of love. Jesus loves you, and it has nothing to do with you and your abilities, and everything to do with Him and His grace! Oh what joy!

Friends, next time to-doism threatens to steal our joy, may we kick it in the derriere because we have our eyes and heart focused on the One, Jesus! And then we can begin to truly live.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

So let's sit. Sit at Jesus' feet and He will be enough for us and our busy schedules and restless minds. Oh, however hard it is, we must learn the simple act of sitting! Part Two will explore the practical ways of resting at Jesus' feet with a Martha-schedule in front of us, so you don't want out miss out on that as we continue to explore how to combat this ever-growing problem of to-doism!

Comment below if you struggle with to-doism. Also, I really want to know how you rest at Jesus' feet! Your answer might make it into my next post, so join in on the conversation!

Princess Hannah 
Hannah P


  1. Hehe, I would bet that if you read my blog, I'm one of the blogger-chicks that very obviously is a to-doist. xD Oops.

    I'm always trying to get/stay organized, and gosh, it's exhausting! I spent the majority of today on school-related stuff. And yeah, it needed to get done. But you're right- to-doism totally sucks out all of the happiness and enjoyment of life.

    Let's not be Marthas. Let's be Marys. : )

    Can't wait to see your next post!
    Grace Anne // http://totallygraced.blogspot.com/

    1. Thank you for the comment and the reminder to read your blog! I commented on your most recent post and will be sure to read all upcoming ones!

      Yes! Let's be Marthas!

  2. THIS IS SO GOOD. Just what I've been needing! Thanks for sharing Hannah<3 So many people need to hear this.

    1. I am so glad to point you in the direction of Jesus' feet!

  3. This is so encouraging! Thanks for letting Christ use you in this way!

    1. Aw, Lauren, thank you very much for the comment that displayed so much wisdom! Yes, it is Christ, not I, although that is very difficult for me.

  4. I have a different problem. I keep making schedules, but I never seem to be able to stick to them. I'm not very organized.
    I'm looking forward to reading the part two!

    1. Hmmm... That is the other end of the spectrum, something that I have also given some time to thinking about. I might do another post about procrastination and healthy organization to follow up this two-parter!

      Thanks for the perspective that you gave!