What’s On Your ‘Real’ To-Do List?

Dan and I are camping at one of the mountain lakes in our area this week. One of the loveliest things about camping is this: it affords the opportunity to put away to-do lists.


Kayaking on Lava Lake against the backdrop of South Sister

It allows us to relax and sit long in camping chairs thinking about everything and thinking about nothing, gawking at nature, and enjoying all those delicious summertime foods.

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you’re aware of my fondness for list-making—things to do, groceries to buy, books to read, adventures to take.

These lists are on my phone, so I guess you could even say I have a list of all my lists.

I recently came across a piece titled, “The Real To-Do List.” It included items such as: sing, smile at strangers, keep learning, hope, laugh.

Which inspired me to think about the items that would be on my Real To-Do List. Things like, do random acts of kindness. Kiss my husband … often. Live gratefully in the present. Dream big, pray big. Practice hospitality. Create. Take risks. Love more. Be a haven. Get outdoors.

If I had a To-Do List for this week of camping, it would look something like this:

  • Sleep in
  • Chat with my husband about nothing important
  • Enjoy these friends, laugh at their stories (some of which may be true)
  • Walk the lake’s edge
  • Eat ice cream
  • Wonder at all the tall trees
  • Paddle the lake
  • Sip hot tea while gazing into an evening campfire

There is this thought from one of the ancient psalms:

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. — Psalm 90:12

What if you drafted a To-Do List for your life, a list that would help you spend your days wisely? What would it look like? I’d love to know what’s on your list.

I’ll leave you with this thought from poet Mary Oliver:

Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.


What are you homesick for?


How much value should we place on relationships?


  1. My list off the top of my head.
    Stop listening to the news.
    Love my wife like I never could before.
    Walk or hike everyday.
    Go on Trips to see what’s out there.
    Go camping.
    Go fishing.
    Go Kayaking.
    Get healthy.

  2. Love this….a “real” to do list…. One that matters!
    Mine would be pretty simple. I would pray that others see Him in me. Then I would know I am covering all the bases that I am on this earth for!

    • Well said, Patti: “Covering all the bases that I am on this earth for” is such a good one, because we only have this time on earth to live our purpose.

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