Before I go to sleep each night, I have great intentions for the next day.
I tell myself, "Tomorrow, you'll wake up early. You'll go and work out. Then you'll come back, take your time making a leisurely healthy breakfast, and read your devotion. Then you'll get ready and look your absolute best," (i.e. no frizzy hair) "and go to work. And when you get to work, you'll be a shining example of someone who loves Jesus and loves everyone. All day long. And you won't eat any of the cookies that are meant for new residents. Then you'll come back home, teach your music lessons with joy, eat a healthy dinner, work on some writing, and get to bed early."
FINIS, The End.
And I turn out the light, fully intending to be that version of myself in the morning.
The alarm goes off at the early hour I set it for, Bernie and Gilbert stay snuggled into my side, and I think, "Ok. Maaaaybe just another half hour."
And of course, I eventually get out of bed with juuuuust enough time to get a shower, corral my hair into...something...take Bernie out, drain a cup of coffee fast enough to give me heartburn, and get to work on time.
And then the coworker who is really, really hard to get along with makes me violent and I realize that I'm muttering under my breath while I pound out return emails on my computer. And since this season is kind of slow in the apartment leasing world, nobody comes in to eat the cookies, so I find myself eating the cookies for them. You know. Waste not and want not.
I actually do enjoy teaching music lessons, so that goes just fine. But then I sit on the couch after they're over eating leftover pizza and watching "The Voice" (is it just me or is Christina Aguilera sliiiiightly more likable this season?) and I stumble into bed and start my list of intentions all over again.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who does this. And I'm single, so if I had to add a husband and children into the mix, there's no telling how chaotic my nightly list of betterments might become.
These daily failings can make us feel so discouraged, and it's comforting to me that even Paul felt out of control and disappointed in himself a lot of the time - "For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." (Romans 7:15, ESV)
I feel you, brother.
I'm human, so I know that there's no way that I'm going to go through every day with perfection.
But I can keep trying. I can keep pushing towards the goal. I can keep praying, keep repenting, keep talking to God and knowing that He gets it. He created me. He knows more about me than I do, and He knows just what I'm capable of.
He knows my heart.
List or no list.