September 23, 2017

Let’s Consider a New “To-Do” List This Holiday Week


Feed them: soul, heart and belly

Thanksgiving is upon us, so I’ve made my list and I’m checking it twice:

Mashed Potatoes (the Make Ahead recipe),  Cider Baked Turkey (purchase the juice), Butterhorn Rolls (for Gratitude Rolls),  Pumpkin Bars, and I must remember to cut out the card stock for the Leaves of Thanks tradition.

There are so many things to do as I rush to ready ourselves for our grand feast: a feast to feed the tummies of so many of our loved ones. Yet as I rush, shop, clean, cook, bake, and referee, sometimes I forget to just breathe, and savor the moments we are creating.

While I want to feed tummies, more importantly, my desire is to feed souls.

Will you join me in re-evaluating the check list and prioritizing the essentials for your weekend?

I’ve scribbled my new “To-Do” List.

Feed Gratitude.
As I nurture this quality, joy thrives.

Feed Flexibility
Our best laid plans may not happen. Guests will be late. Food may get cold, but in the scheme of things, it’s nothing.

Feed Patience (Lots of Patience)
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18

Feed Laughter There’s nothing better than cultivating an atmosphere of deep belly laughing after a satisfying meal.

Feed Contentment
With all the Black Friday Sales, it’s difficult to remember the balance of “need vs. want.”

Feed Compassion
Even though Old Aunt Sue has shared the same story for the fifteenth time, make her feel as if it is the first.

Feed Encouragement.
We’re fragile. A blessed word makes hearts soar.

Feed Forgiveness.
This is the year. Lay it at His feet. Let our Lord carry the burden. Extend forgiveness. Experience freedom.

As I savor the moments of family time this weekend, my “To Do” List reminds me: 

Feed Them.

So will you join me? Let’s slow down and remember to feed their soul, their heart, their imagination, their creativity, and of course, their tummy.

When the turkey is gone, and the mashed potatoes are cold, all that is left are the shared moments and memories of doing Life together, and I want to make the most of them, don’t you?

What could be added to your new “To Do” List?

I decided to do a spontaneous Periscope video on this topic, so come watch the live video (follow me on Periscope at beautyandbedlam). Yes, I’m still in my PJ’s at noon with only left over make up. It’s the beauty of having all the college kids home. 🙂


  1. Great post. So true. LOVE the necklace. Where did you buy it?


    Jen Reply:

    Oh bummer, I meant to put that at the bottom. This post was inspired by my sweet friend’s design – Lisa Leonard (


  2. Great list! Especially about Aunt Sue. I’m sure I’m guilty of repeating myself!


  3. I absolutely adore this post. This is the kind of attitude we need to prepare ourselves with as we venture into the holiday season. Thank you for sharing. Love your website, too!


  4. Ruth Ann Hendricks says:

    This was just beautiful! Thank you so much.


    Jen Reply:

    You are so welcome! Have a blessed weekend. 🙂


  5. I am impressed with your post as I am expecting just reinventing our usual “to do” list. This is thought provoking as I bet all of us have forgotten to appreciate these traits in us and in other folks.


    Jen Reply:

    Thank you so much.I need the reminder for myself as well. 🙂


  6. Love this post! I clicked on the link and went to Lisa’s website but was unable to find that specific necklace.


    Jen Reply:

    Thanks Amy – such a bummer she doesn’t have it stocked right now. I know she rotates things and with the holidays, it’s so busy. Hopefully, you’ll find something else you love. I love her things.


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