How the Done List Saved My Sanity & Refreshed My Faith


If you couldn’t tell from any of my previous posts, I’m one of those classic Type-A, list-writing, goal-driven, oftentimes perfectionistic girls.


I’ve written about how much this affects my life – about how it’s caused me to struggle with accepting grace, accepting my worth, and living fully, freely, wholly.


But this year, this 2017, I’ve implemented some things into my life that have helped me make grace tangible, my faith just as a part of my life as every other thing on my lists.


And the first thing is my Done List.


Many people in the world have to-do lists; whether chicken-scratched on a loose scrap of paper, dictated into Evernote, or perfectly printed in a notebook, we’re all familiar with the concept. It’s our own human way of organizing our lives, of creating little goals with checkboxes and a dose of self-motivation thrown in.


But I don’t use to-do lists. I use something called a Done List.

I’m not sure who came up with the name, whether it was me or someone else on the internet.

Here’s how it works: At the beginning of the day, I tell myself what I need to do. Accomplish some coursework, help my family, keep up with friends, cook something to eat, evening devotions, something along those lines.


And I do my best to do those things, rolling with whatever life brings me, living to meet the needs of those around me and practice spontaneity.


And when I crawl into bed at night, typically exhausted, I pull out my journal and list the things I accomplished.


I started a new module in my latest course.

I worked.

I cooked dinner.

I spent time with my mom.

I called a friend.

I began to write.

I went for a walk.

I spent time with God.


And to any random person on the street, that probably doesn’t seem like much. I didn’t take any tests, respond to my emails, exercise for an hour, write an essay, or host a party.


But instead of beating myself over what’s still to do, I can celebrate that my value isn’t found in any of those things – it’s found in what Christ has done for me.


And so these are my days, filled with an array of different things, varying from day to day, and here I learn to be okay with what’s done.


This past year was filled with a lot of this learning for me – learning to rest in the finished work of Christ. And this year, I’m learning too, to rest in Him so I can then rest in what I’ve done. No regretting what I did or didn’t do.


This Done List is my own way of making that rest tangible – that spiritual rest, and then the physical rest, too.


At the end of the day, when I’m lettering my accomplishments into my journal, I rest.


I can rest in the fact that what’s done is done.


I can rest in the fact that tomorrow’s a new day, a new one to live fully in.


And I can rest in the fact that my intrinsic value goes so much deeper than what I have or have not done.


And the Done List helps keep me aware of that, day after day, night after night. I’m learning to rest in the perfection of Christ, not in the perfection of Amanda. I’m learning to balance what I think I should be doing with the things that actually come up.


I’m learning to look to the days ahead, with goals and dreams in mind, but holding them loosely – letting God take them and shape them for the better.


That’s the Done List. Letting God take my days and mold them to what He has for them to be – and embracing the beauty of life when God changes our plans and makes them even better.


It’s about resting in Him.


And that’s exactly how I want to live.



25 Replies to “How the Done List Saved My Sanity & Refreshed My Faith”

  1. That is such a good idea. I should absolutely try that. I’m always bashing myself about how I haven’t completed everything on my to-do list. Lovely post, Amanda!


  2. This may be one of my favourites posts of yours, Amanda! I’m glad writing a Done List could be of such a help to you. I’ve done it a few times, but now you’ve inspired me to do it more regularly. Thanks for sharing with us!


  3. This is a really good idea. I do need to do lists for some things so I don’t forget to do important tasks, but so often I feel like I’ve wasted a day when I really haven’t. A done list would bring it into perspective. And I’ve also got to remember that it’s not wasting time to spend time with my family instead of doing something “productive.”


  4. I love it! I do a to-do-list almost every day and I really do love having it, but on the day’s where I don’t accomplish as much as I would like, I struggle with feeling like a failure and like I can never catch up. That’s why I like this idea 🙂


  5. This is a really good idea. God recently has been teaching me to look back, not in regret, but in amazement at what HE has done in my life. This Done List sounds like another dimension of that. I’ll give it a try.

    Great post!


    1. Thank you for sharing, Brandon! Looking back and seeing what God has done is so important and encouraging — and yes, the Done List is definitely another way of doing that.
      Thank you for stopping by my blog! I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: