Fill Your Cup: Resting When the To-Do List Isn’t Complete

{Special Note: This is part 1 of a 4-part series about filling our cups – sneak peeks of the upcoming topics are at the end of this article!}

I tend to go, go, go, always productive, rarely stopping long enough to take a breath. But a few months ago, I got sick. My body was ridden with flu, and miserable aches shot through every inch of me. Showering became so strenuous that I napped for hours after. Fitful sleep overtook me as my body tried to shiver the fever away. For five solid days, I was down, my mind too exhausted to read, write, or speak. Silence filled my time, causing me to live inside my mind.

Then, my fever broke. Chills slowly subsided. And I noticed. The birds chirping. The glorious orange sky as the sun sank lower and lower, bidding us goodnight. Dishes clanking in the kitchen while I lay quietly.


As my strength renewed, my children’s faltered. They took their days on the porch, sleeping and laying.

Friends and relatives sent their love, telling us how sorry they were that we were so sick.

But I wasn’t sorry. Not one tiny bit.

I never would have given myself five days off, but those five days were the best kind of gift.

Snuggles, soup, coloring books, stillness, tea… they filled our alert moments. And our physical strength wasn’t the only thing being renewed. Our spirits were restored as well.

The sick days reminded me that, even when I’m not the one doing, life goes on. The 5 days made me realize that slow, savoring, is the way I want to go through life.

So this summer, I’ve been slowing enough to catch fireflies and chase sunsets. The neighborhood kids hop on their bikes to join my daughters and me as we ride together, determined to discover the best vantage point for witnessing the brilliance. We find a grassy spot and watch, the ants crawling onto our legs. Cold water from a public faucet drips down our faces and quenches our thirst. The wild berries we’d never noticed before stain our hands purple.


There are still chores. The laundry doesn’t stop piling up. The business finances don’t take care of themselves. Kids bicker, the schedule overflows, I have a long way to go. We all do.

And when I became sick, my to-do list was still a mile long. But it was there – in the midst of the undone – that rest occurred.

Because if we wait until every item on the to-do list is crossed off, the kitchen sparkling clean, and every sock matched neatly in the drawer – if we wait for life to be perfect and neat before we rest and embrace the moment, we’ll spend our entire life waiting. Never embracing. Always rushing, exhausted, on fumes.

And friend, my house is not perfect. But cleaning it up doesn’t feel like such a terrible chore when I know that a good sunset-chasing bike ride is waiting as soon as I’m finished even if I’m not finished.

I’d love to hear: What fills your cup?


Tidy Up Friends, learning to live in a state of rest has been a challenge for me. I’m very task-oriented so I’ve needed to spend time contemplating how to incorporate rest into my home. I’ve also read books that have helped me tremendously.

This topic deserves some time so I’m writing a 4-part series about filling our cups. I’ve been mulling over these ideas for months now and I can hardly wait to share with you what I’m learning! I pray you will be blessed and filled up by implementing the words you read.

Here’s a sneak peak of topics that I’ll be sharing each Monday morning for the next few weeks (I’ll add links once the posts are live, so pin this article for future reference!):

Part 1 (Today’s Post): Fill Your Cup: Resting When the To-Do List Isn’t Complete
Part 2 (For the Homeschool Moms): 5 Books that Will Help You Slow Down, Savor Your Kids, and Rediscover Your Love of Homeschooling
Part 3 (For Every Woman): 8 Books that Will Help You Break Free from a Too-Busy Schedule
Part 4 (Now Live!): How to Care for Yourself Without Being Selfish

Don’t forget to share in the comments about what fills your cup – let’s all encourage & inspire each other!


  1. […] I am currently writing a series about filling our cups. Because when we run on fumes, then our homes, our children, our relationships, our jobs… […]

  2. […] Note: This is part 3 of a 4-part series about filling our cups – read part 1 here and part 2 […]

  3. […] we need to refuel. This is the final article of a 4-part series about how to do just that – read part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 […]

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