Home > Faith is Hard > Ice Cream, Dogs and To-do Lists…

Ice Cream, Dogs and To-do Lists…

A few days ago, my Father-in-Law was telling me about a book he is reading discussing how to be a more creative writer. One of the most profound exercises that the book talks about is a discipline of writing your thoughts (whatever is on your mind at the time) on 3 pages everyday. No more and no less; doesn’t matter what it is. Sounds easy right?

Here is some of my first writings:

So I am supposed to write whatever comes to mind right now so that I can be a more ‘creative writer.’ So… I like Ice Cream, but only with Chocolate Syrup. Some people try to put other things on it and that just doesn’t work for me. It’s the best in the morning for breakfast! Plus, there is a dog that is currently licking my toes right now as I write. I am not going to lie, but it feels really good. I like when she does that, but I always push her away so others don’t think I have some weird fetish. How does snow look like that? I mean, when you look up close, it really does look like a paper cut-out. What am I going to do today? Everyone always makes to-do list, which I do if I want to actually get things done. However, I try not to make one because then I am not disappointed by the things I didn’t get accomplished. How do they make paper, really? Do they just have a machine that cuts tree trucks really, really thin? I want to climb a mountain. I wish I wasn’t writing this right now, but I am trying to make myself better at something. Two guys walked into a bar, which is funny because the second should have saw it coming. Haha, it gets me every time. I think it’s funny that I have to think about what I am thinking about. Ironic. Speaking of Iron, Cassie’s iron is low. I think she should just chew on some metal. What am I going to to do today? I think…oh wait, I already thought about that. Is it against the rules to think of things twice in one writing? … So I just read what I wrote, and I am failing to see the creativity. One page down…”


Just recently, my wife has begun nesting as she nears the end of her pregnancy. One of the main things she is doing is “Making a Plan!” She’s so cute because she is always the ‘plan-maker’. She knows exactly what she wants and how she is going to accomplish everything to obtain that. And if her plan doesn’t work out then you might as well go to bed and start all over tomorrow.

Now me on the other hand, the only plan I ever had was “how am I going to convince my mom that I am sick today so I don’t have to go to school.” Other than that, ‘plans’ have never been my thing. How lucky is my wife that she married me!

But the creative writing exercise proves something to me and also poses an interesting question regarding this ‘lack of planning.’ First, welcome to the wonderful mind of Curtis. Every one of those things are exactly what I am thinking at the time of writing. There are times that I find myself focusing on something so random and meaningless that I am almost embarrassed for myself. For example the other night, while we were watching Chuck (a house-hold favorite), I found myself completely engaged in what hair-products Morgan might use to get the perfect curvature for his Fo-hawk. Some call it ‘scattered-brain,’ others call it ‘A.D.D.’ But whatever it is, it’s entertaining yet a challenge at times. And I am sure that we can all relate, except for my wife. (If you are a planner, like her, read her blog. Well…she doesn’t have one right now because it’s not part of her plan.)

But while thinking of Ice Cream, Dogs and To-do lists, I have to ask myself, “How on earth does God put up with me?”

My wife and I have had to learn (and continue to learn) how to appease each other’s differences in this area. In fact, she has become more laid-back since being married to me (my evil little plan). Slowly, I am rubbing off on her. But for me, when she starts giving me lists of things to do during the day, I have to make a HUGE effort to “remember and execute.” And focusing in on those simple of tasks is EXHAUSTING:

1. Make the bed
2. Clean the kitchen
3. Set out the chicken for dinner tonight

Maybe some time, I will share with you the “Honey, would you go to the grocery store for me” excursions.

So how does God do it? With creativity. Within the perplexities of meaningless randomness, I find myself actually saying these things to my Father. The conversation that goes on in my head about Ice Cream, Dogs and To-do lists are actually stories that I am sharing with God and He is sharing with me. And He is actively involved every time. After all, He made us in His image, therefore I inherited this from Him.

He, too, is curious as to how white and black are not colors, they are simply absent of each other. He, too, is laughing because of two talking muffins in an oven. He, too, wonders what it would be like to have eyes in the back of you head. He, too, is exhausted after trying to focus for more than 10 min. He, too, wonders that if you sit quietly can you hear bacteria on your body talking. He, too, runs around the house when no one is home pretending He is a secret-agent…oops!

Sometimes we weep and sometimes we laugh. But during all those moments, God is there and heavily involved. Oh, how great is it that we have a God who is intimate with us, always. Cheers!

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