Compulsive compilers of lists


how to pray?

Rebekah, the compulsive compiler of lists

My teenage daughter gave me the grocery list yesterday — with just one item.

Rebekah and my wife are passionate about lists. I am passionate about losing lists.

how do I pray?

Rebekah’s discipler in list compiling, my wife, Dianna

My wife grew up in a household where her mother put up stickies on cabinet doors, on walls, on regular doors, on the refrigerator. There were reminders to leave your shoes outside, turn off lights, take vitamins. When we got married, I threw these out when Dianna started posting them up. Tacky stickies.

Don’t get me wrong. I have my agenda with lists of things to do. But the loose papers? I lose them. Usually I go to the store (yes, I buy the groceries) reciting the 8 – 9 essential items and buy the things that strike my fancy. Haha! What a strategy! More often than not, I forget 5 – 6 of the essential items. Nevertheless, I’m stubbornly opposed to lists.

Michael Ashcraft

Me, the list-hater. I guess you could say I’m often listless. No, I’m not a cowboy, but I do steal people’s hats for pictures when I can.

Which is why I looked at the list yesterday and asked Rebekah, “Why?” Why a list with only one item. Seriously?

I lost the list and remembered to buy the item: canned refried beans. Hooray!

There is only one important list: my prayer journal. (Chances are, you’re in it because I pray for my followers by name — though I need to update it! If you want me to pray for you, just comment at the end of this post, and I’ll make sure you enter the list.)

Forgetting groceries is annoying. But forgetting to pray is a question of Heaven and Hell. So I don’t want to miss anyone or anything.

Which demonstrates a point: Do we pay more attention to our grocery lists or our prayer lists?

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59 responses to “Compulsive compilers of lists

  1. yourothermotherhere

    I will always take all the prayers and blessing I can get!

  2. James M Berry

    I appreciate your prayers, especially for provision.

  3. You can add the saints in Rosenberg/Houston Tx to your list!

  4. Mr Mustard Seed Budget: Reading your blog is convicting like the house dog with her sad begging eyes, “when will we go out for a walk?” JM of SM

  5. I am certainly guilty of this. I spend so much time organizing my lists and updating my lists and finding items on my lists I don’t accomplish half of my list:)

    • Hahahaha.
      The revelation came to me when I was ticking off completed tasks as a missionary in Guatemala. I would always have a gratifying sensation of accomplishing something. But after a few years, I noticed that completing tasks on my list didn’t correspond to making the church grow. I have learned to do less and pray more! Hope this helps!

  6. I need lists… for a foggy memory, but the prayer list, is definitely the most important

  7. I am a list maker but the problem with my list making is I always lose them or leave them at home, then I call home to get the list read to me over the phone. My husband now answers with the list in his hand ready to read because he knows why I am calling. I enjoy enjoyed this post!

  8. You have a very understanding and loving family to allow you to post this blog!!! πŸ™‚ I have a feeling you might be eating those refried beans by your lonesome, Cowboy. πŸ™‚ Cute post.

  9. Thank you for your faithfulness to pray for us! πŸ™‚ When I start making lists, it usually is a sign that I’m starting to stress out about stuff! haha! God bless you!!

  10. Your prayers are very much appreciated!!!

  11. I pay more attention to prayer list! My grocery list is important in a way, If I go shopping without my list I always overspend! Your prayers are appreciated!!
    Blessings. πŸ™‚

  12. I live by lists. Without them I’m lost!
    Regarding prayer: instead of adding me to your prayer list, would you add Levi Lee, his wife and family (five kids)? They moved to Krin Krin, Nicaragua earlier this year. It is a very dark place. God has granted them favor with the locals. I’d like to see them retain that favor. Their hope is to build an orphanage there. Right now they’re working on safe drinking water, though.

  13. Your prayers for us would be muchly appreciated. We’re missionaries in Sosua, Dominican Republic. Thanks. BTW, I love lists and then I don’t end up following them….but the prayer list, that’s a must. πŸ™‚

  14. haha. I love lists when going to the store because I am a “get in and get it done” guy at the grocery store. I prefer going shopping with a plan of attack while my wife likes to walk up and down every single isle grabbing whatever looks good. It makes for an interesting trip when we go together but I try not to be too stubborn to my ways. I will say that going with a list and only getting those items always makes for a cheaper trip if we are on a budget. Great post though. And I am very thankful for your prayers. You have such compassion. Thanks and God bless. πŸ™‚

  15. I’m a list maker and it drives my husband crazy! πŸ™‚ My grandmother always had a prayer list. She would carry it around with her, and add complete strangers names to it. At night, I could hear her unfolding her list and praying for each person on it. Thank you for reminding me of that wonderful memory of her.

  16. I lose list too, but usually I am the one that made them. This was a great way to remind us to pray. Thanks for the post and the prayers.

  17. so true!it’s a wake up call for me.nice post!

  18. It seems like every time I go to the grocery store there is someones forgotten list laying around, (usually in the produce section) it makes me think, how important was this list to begin with?! I’m so glad I’m not on that list!
    Prayer can be like that too, forgotten. Do I, tell someone I’m going to pray for them while we are in conversation? And then I make a mental list with their name on it, then I walk away, and forget this list. Shame on me….I’ve learned to do it (pray) right then, no matter where I am!
    I’m not a paper & pencil list maker! The only time I do make a list is when I send my dear husband to the store for me. Can you believe he has actually forgotten things on this list I’ve sent with him. Kent, still brings the list back home with the items with just 1 thing missing. I will double check my list and make sure I wrote, “milk” and sure enough it’s there ON THE LIST, BUT NOT ON MY COUNTER! How’s this happen?! Big sigh……I love my husband…

    Oh, btw, I asked Kent yesterday (BEFORE we both read this post) if he has ever made a comment on your blog yet and he said, “no!” (Introvert) Kent read this post last night and started to chuckle and then read your paragraph to me out loud about commenting on this post! Perfect timing! It might take Kent awhile to comment so if his name could jump on your “list” that would be great! (FYI kent never comments on my (his wife’s!) own blog postings!)

    • Hahahahaha! So THAT’S where my grocery list was left!! In YOUR produce department!!

      Re: Kent’s omitting items from the list. I DO THAT TOO! One more reason to NOT take lists! I have found that the only way a list works is if I bring a pen too and I cross out items as I put them into the cart. Then I can see what I am missing. But since bringing a pen is ANOTHER thing to remember to bring, I am lost. It is easier for me to abandon the project altogether. Tell Clark Kent that I will pray for him at the grocery store!

  19. Think of the grocery list as a set of goals instead of a list: it has been found that if we write out our daily/weekly etc goals we are more likely to get them done!

  20. Barry Slafkes

    When I see chips on the list and I look at the size of the one who put it on the list, that person goes higher up on my prayer list!!!

  21. When someone asks my husband (missionary/evangelist) to pray for them, he stops what he’s doing and prays. If he is in the ‘big box’ store, grocery store or in line shaking hands. He says he never wants to forget something so very important!

    I have had some say to me that it embarrassed them a little while standing in the check out line at the grocery store. His answer, “I will never be ashamed to ask my Father for healing or other needs. He loves to things like that for His children!”

  22. Well, my guess is you don’t lose your prayer list. That you lose your grocery list clearly makes a grocery list unimportant. πŸ™‚

    Cheers to you! πŸ™‚

  23. Yes, please, I want to be on your prayer list!

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