Nicole Watt was feeling ground down by the drudgery of everyday life until the Holy Spirit convicted her to celebrate the wins rather than dwell on what she hadn’t gotten done.


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Today’s Ta-Da list:

  • Made candles
  • Read books and watched a movie with the boys
  • Sent off an article for editing and responded well to another editor

Through weary eyes, I drop the words down on paper like little anchors into a sea of a long and seemingly unproductive day. It’s called my “Ta-Da List,” an idea given to me by God in the early years of trying to be a better homemaker.

I was separated from my husband, and had three children at home, one an infant. Overwhelmed and struggling with heavy responsibilities, I walked precariously between honouring my situation, feeling sorry for myself, and making excuses for the mess. I knew God was still calling me to be a wife and mother of excellence, so when a friend lovingly challenged me to watch over the affairs of my home, Proverbs 31:27 style, I accepted.

My To-Do list never seems to get done no matter how hard I try.

Each morning, I wrote a long To-Do List of laws with very little grace or prayer. Maybe you have a similar list? The one that never seems to get done no matter how hard you try. Or, perhaps, you’ve given up trying because getting your house in order seems impossible. “And who cares anyway?” says apathy striking the staggering heart. God allowed me to get to the point of collapse where I finally cried out to Him for help. What He showed me about looking after my home was a Kairos moment.

In Exodus 33:15 -17 Moses says to God, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here…” Watching over the affairs of my home was far deeper than a self-initiated checklist. My greatest responsibility was watching for His presence, going where He goes and doing what pleases Him.

“How about a Ta-Da List?” offered the Holy Spirit one late night, His love gently washing over the self-inflicted wounds of my soul as I again bemoaned the unfinished list. He impressed upon me to write down all that had been accomplished that day. Sort of like a To-Do List, but in reverse.

The Holy Spirit’s love gently washing over the self-inflicted wounds of my soul as I again bemoaned the unfinished list.

With his help, achievements I would not have considered significant fell onto the page like bread, illuminating a path I had not even known I was walking. Rather than a list of tasks to do, I saw a family of hearts I had stewarded - including mine. And many small moments to celebrate I had missed. I also began to understand why those activities were important to me - and him – and I saw his presence in each one.

  • Made candles – Be a light bearer of Christ for my family. Bring his love, hope, and truth into every situation.
  • Cuddled on the couch with the boys/read books and watched a movie – build relationships through unconditional love while stoking imagination and conversation.
  • Working with editors – pursue passions and face fears while maintaining respectful communication.

I also became aware of what didn’t make The Ta-Da List even though it had long been on my list of To-Do’s: A pitch for a large magazine. As I pondered this, a lesser-known local publication came to mind where I sensed his leading. I contacted the editor, and my pitch was accepted. Though not a Christian, she was inspired by what I had written. To God be the glory.

I finish the last etching in today’s Ta-Da List, like a sculptor creating a work of art, and see His fingerprints raising through the workman’s dust. My heart rings with joy at his presence and his pleasure.