Are You Living Life Through Your Rearview Mirror or To-do List?

Rearview mirror jorge-caetano-733575-unsplash

Most of us take on traits from our parents—some good, some not so good. My sweet mama was a nostalgic person. I inherited that characteristic from her. The Lord often uses my romanticized lense of life to emote through my writing. So, while on the one hand, it’s a good thing—on the other, it can prevent me from enjoying the moment.

I’m too busy living in the past.

While I love reminiscing the past, I’m a planner, also like my mom. I thrive with lists and goals. Often it seems these two sides of my personality are at odds with each other. I know it was that way with my mom because she spoke to me about it. We’ll get to that in a little while. For now, let’s just say, I witnessed a metamorphosis take place with my mom. It started when she became a grandma.

My plans about the future kept me from the blessings of now.

Mom was always sort of a neat freak when I was growing up. She had a dining room with a mirrored wall. When my kids were small, I remember fretting over them getting their messy little fingers all over her glass. When mom left the room, I hurried to grab the Windex. She walked in as I was cleaning and to my surprise scolded me for “wiping away her grandchildren’s fingerprints!” This coming from the woman who wouldn’t leave the house if her bed was unmade? By the way, those fingerprints stayed on her glass for months.

I also noticed that my “planner” mom became more flexible. She still kept her to-do list but would clear her schedule in a heartbeat for anything that concerned her grandkids, me, or anyone she loved.

One day when we got all three of my kids down for a nap, my sweet mom insisted that I take a nap, too. I laughed and said, “I never remember you taking a nap. You were always busy, busy. Seriously, mom, I don’t have time for a nap.”

Mom sighed. “But I should have taken a nap.” She went on to tell me how she regretted either living life through her rearview mirror or her to-do list while missing God’s blessed gifts of the present. She quoted Bil Keane,

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”

“It’s a trap of the devil to keep us dissatisfied with our current station in life,” she said.

One of Satan’s goals is to keep us from the present. He wants us to live through our rearview mirrors either by making us long for the good ole’ days, or reminding us of our past mistakes.

Does this ever happen to you?

It was only a few years later when my mom was diagnosed with her first brain tumor. The next ten years of her life was spent in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals. But mom took it all in stride. Now, she was still extremely sentimental and loved her lists, but she had found peace with Jesus and with herself to live in the moment, be flexible, and spontaneous.

How did she do it? Well, she would simply say JESUS. And yes, it certainly was Jesus. Her knowledge of Jesus and His Word made all the difference.

The Bible became like air to her.

Mom still had a tendency to slip into “planner/worry” mode, or “rearview mirror” mode. She had memorized a few verses to get herself back on course. But it was more than just throwing a Scripture at a situation.

She had learned to know God and trust His character from Scripture.

“I’ve proved Him faithful time and time again,” she’d say.

God’s Word wasn’t just a mantra.

Reading the Bible was listening to her Father.

Here are a few of her favorite Scriptures the Father would, as she put it, “whisper in her ear” to keep her living in the present.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34

 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
   he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Psalm 23

I think most of us have found ourselves missing the blessings of the present. God only gives us this moment. We aren’t promised tomorrow. But we do have the promises of His Word to keep us centered on Him.

I love this from Priscilla Shirer:

“God is the God of right now. He calls us not to be regretful over yesterday or worried about tomorrow. he wants us focusing on what He is saying to us and putting in front of us today. The enemy’s voice will focus on the past and the future; the voice of our God will focus on today and point us confidently toward the future.

Want to know God’s will for you?

Well, what has put before you today?

Do it.” 

How about you? Do you have a few favorite verses to keep your mind on today?  

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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16 thoughts on “Are You Living Life Through Your Rearview Mirror or To-do List?”

  1. It’s difficult to type with tears in your eyes. What a beautiful lesson from wonderful memories ma’am. God’s blessings for the courage to share these with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It is such a tremendous gift to our hearts and minds when we can simply rest in God’s present moment. It is all we’re guaranteed, after all. No sin in planning, no rules against nostalgia, but still, Beckie, you are spot on with your life lesson here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely post. Both of my parents are in Heaven now. I miss them very much. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think, “I look just like Mama.” or “My smile looks like Daddy’s smile.” Precious memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beckie, I LOVE this post, and I think it’s my favorite one that you’ve ever written! It’s simply beautiful! What a lovely transformation to see your own mother continuing to grow in Christ, learn valuable lessons through being a grandmother, and pass them onto you for future generations. This would be a wonderful post to share again on Mother’s Day. But I don’t think I can wait that long, so I’ll share it next week on a The Silver Lining Ministry page. How I wish I’d had a mother who had nurtured me like yours. But, the silver lining of Perfect Jesus nurturing me; means I can continue to nurture my daughter in Christ. And one day, she will be able to nurture her own children. This really blessed me! Love you! 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Angela, Well, what an honor to have this post on The Silver Lining Ministry page. My prayer is that it blesses someone the way your sweet comment blessed me, today! You are right, it would be a great Mother’s Day post.
      Love and prayers back to you, sweet sister! ❤


  5. Amen-Amein ❤ ❤ GOD BLESS YOU!! ❤ ❤

    ❤ ❤ Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua LOVES You ALL ❤ ❤

    Thanks so much Sweet Sister in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua BECKIE!! GOD BLESS YOU Sister Beckie and Your Family and Friends❤

    Praise Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua – Hallelujah and Maranatha!!

    GOD BLESS ALL my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and my Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ-Messiah Jesus-Yeshua and my Devout Jewish Sisters and Brothers and Your Families and Friends!!

    I am Pro-Israel-Yisrael / Pro-Christian and Jewish People who STAND with the Holy Land of Israel-Yisrael and our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America / Pro-Zionism / PRO-LIFE!!

    Please Pray for Israel-Yisrael / Christian Nation United States of America, and our Christian Earth Everyday “Pray Without Ceasing.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV )!!

    ( Psalms 33:12 KJV ) “Blessed is the Nation whose GOD is the LORD; and the People whom HE hath Chosen for HIS Own Inheritance.”!!

    Our ONE True GOD’S LOVE 💕💜 is ETERNAL THROUGH HIS SON Christ-MESSIAH Jesus-Yeshua for Today and Everyday Forevermore!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Christ-MESSIAH Jesus-Yeshua, because HE LOVED 💜💕 EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think often I forget about all the goodness that Jesus has done and is doing every second in my life, Personally I have felt overwhelmed at times, having 9 grandchildren and another on the way, feeling like I can’t do much for them, but I know I have to step back and say HOLD ON SECOND!!! GOD IS IN CONTROL>………. and I just have to remember the blessing of life he is sharing with me every day with these beautiful children..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dorothy, God uses grandparents in mighty ways. My kids learned a great deal from my sweet mom. One of my sons is now a pastor 🙂
      You are so right, God is in control.
      Keep shining His light of love to those 9 children!
      Thanks for sharing and God Bless ❤


  7. This is the 2nd post I’ve read today about seeking God first and relying on Him moment by moment. Wonder if God’s trying to tell me something!


  8. Sherry, I love when the Lord brings confirmation to a lesson. He’s so personal! Friend, He’s speaking to me about the issue of relying on Him in the moment which is why I wrote this.
    Praying we both grow closer to Him as we listen to His teachings.
    God Bless you and yours and thank you for sharing.


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