living the “get-to” life …

We sat on his front porch talking about this-and-that while relishing Saturday’s break in temperature. The wind kindly caressed our conversation. It was a beautiful gift—the weather and the fellowship.

I haven’t always been good at my relishing, especially when life is crowded. There are times in my day (many moments of prolonged dreaming), when I consider what it would be like to continually hold moments like Saturday’s pause. To slow life’s pace and live God’s grace as it arrives.

Have you ever wanted to just stop at that place, jump into a peace-scene and linger there without constraint? Strip away all the must-dos and, instead, tarry in the get-tos? Me too. And here is what I’m realizing about my life.

The get-tos are becoming more habitual; the must-dos less demanding. This is my time to pause. There are ample opportunities to do so.

I get to linger on front porches.

I get to take long walks and make new friends.

I get to study the feeding habits of our neighborhood herons.

I get to watch my children learn the stuff I don’t remember learning in the 6th and 7th grade.

I get to take my time at the grocery, searching out bargains and counting on familiar faces.

I get to read the newspaper.

I get to spend uninterrupted time in prayer.

I get to order my days rather than having my days order me.

The list is endless. It’s not that these get-tos haven’t been mine all along. It’s just that I’m more willing to entreat them. Make room for them. Insist on them.

This is my life. No more fantasizing about what I might do should life slow down. Life did slow down. Life is slowing down. And I am winding down. Not because I must-do, but rather because I get-to.

Oh how sweet the pace of a get-to life! I’m not sure we can rush this one, friends … force the get-to life. It’s been evolving in me over these past few years. I don’t have a clever plan for rushing you to your get-to. Perhaps just thinking about it today might create a little space in your heart for its arrival.


My heart is with you. You know that, right? You are one of my get-tos, and it is always my hope that these ramblings inside of my head might resonate with one inside of yours. That God would continue to use my inconsistent and unscheduled pen to bring a little peace to your day. A must-do or a get-to. I don’t know how I rank on your list, but either way, I am exceedingly grateful that you’re here.

Thank you for stopping by and sitting on my front porch for a while. May God’s goodness and grace be evident to you as you marshal through your must dos, all the while reminding you of the privilege of your get-tos. As always …

Peace for the journey,

Porch Photo Credit: Susan Hood Photography

26 Responses to living the “get-to” life …

  1. oh it resonates alright. It’s a good place to be Elaine. I am so happy you are sitting on the porch and enjoying! From my own journey… don’t be too surprised if you need to pull this very blog out in future days and remind yourself again. 🙂

    • I couldn’t agree more, Sonja. That being said, there’s been a shift in my spirit that exceeds temporal busyness/demands. I’m changing, and I’m inclined to think this is a good and natural part of the growing up process.

  2. You’re definitely a “get to” in my life! I thank God for the gift He has given you to express truths in such a beautiful way! I am so often moved to ponder…to wrestle…to “rest in” after reading and soaking up whatever our Father has set on the table (through your thoughts and expressions) as daily bread. I am grateful that He has connected us a new “get to” this year! Love you, Friend!

  3. Elaine, it’s been so long since I’ve stopped by for a visit to your always welcoming and lovely “front porch.” Your words are as vibrant and life-giving as always. I hope you are well in this season of your life. May God continue to bless you abundantly.

    • Oh KelliGirl, seeing you here warms my heart today. And yes, I am well, a God kind of well. My days aren’t without struggles, but I continue to wrestle them out with the Spirit’s help. Thank you for stopping by and saying hello. It means the world to me.

  4. wifeforthejourney:

    Lately I have found myself burdened by the “must-dos” of life…..certinaly not the place the Lord would have me be. Duty and Obligation drives so much of what we do in life – but there is often less joy in life’s mandatory moments. This is a struggle I have had for a long time, the must-do over and above the get-to; I know it affects my attitude.

    Thank you for reminding me that there really are a lot more positives in my life than just doing what I “have to do.” I pray the Lord will help me return to a place of thankful living, so that I will focus less on life as something I have to just grind out. The picture of the rockers on the front porch look great; thanks for the invitation to sit and ponder what matters most.

    Love you,


    • I have Runner Mom (aka Susan Hood) to thank for that photograph. She took it when she was shooting photos for my first book. I’ve always like the idea of front porches/rockers. Of course, our heron is an easy shoot! Love doing life here with you.

  5. You are definitely tops on my get-to list, friend! The times Bill and I get to (actually, it’s love to) spend with you and your Billy are precious to us…that’s a peace-scene I wish we could experience more frequently. 🙂

    Love you dearly…

  6. Oh, you are definitely a ”get-to” for me!! I love to ”get to” read your blog posts! They always ”get to” my heart and help me see God’s workings more clearly!

    Love you my faithful friend!

    • And I hope you know how warmly I feel about our you and the friendship we share, Marilyn. This blogging adventure has been a long, enduring ride and we’ve mostly done it together. How cool!

  7. You gave me such a sweet peace just by reading this post. I get to do alot of things lately and am so grateful for each thing.

  8. I really, really need to plaster this post on my body and read it every day. I’m not good at making time for the ‘get to’ things in life. I feel like I never slow down and I rush from one thing to the next. I passed an old gentleman sitting in a swing in his yard one day recently and thought, “I wish I could feel ok with sitting in a swing and simply enjoying an afternoon of relaxation.” I fall victim to the captivity of activity on an almost daily basis. I am the only one who can change it, yet I have not to date. I am going to try to begin making those changes today. Ugh!!

    • It’s taken me a long while, Leah. You have a lot on your plate right now, and God is using the “busy” in your life to accomplish great things for the kingdom. Along the way and as you go, I pray you have moments of grace when/where you can simply rest.

  9. My husband has really led me well in this area. He’s taken the time to show me how to delegate more, enable the kids less, not be all things to all people, and wow, has it made a difference. I really believe what you’ve written here is a missing nugget in today’s Christian living. There’s something to simplicity but it’s often complicated to find your way there. Hoping this will start others on that journey.

    • I’ve been on the treadmill for a long time now. I guess I’m just at the point where I’m ready to slow down. This move has been a golden opportunity to simplify and rethink our life goals.

  10. Love this whole way of thinking and approaching life, Elaine. It’s one I need to adopt more often. Am going to try to keep this “get to” way of living in mind from now on. Wonder what I’ll “get to” do in the coming days?! 🙂

  11. Elaine, I want to get to the “get-to’s” I think we need to snatch them while we can, not wait for retirement or some vague time in the future. Thank you for reminding me that we can have these here and now, and it is a decision we can make for ourselves. A concious choice!

  12. I’m not sure when the “get-to” stage of my life dawned on me…I think it was always there. Even when it seemed every minute was full, there was a “get-to” element waiting to be experienced and appreciated…. (Does that make any sense?) I DEFINTELY have many “get-to” moments to experience. Some I still must create; others are just handed to me.

    Enjoy ALL of yours today, Elaine ♥

  13. At my stage in life I am beginning to realize that the ‘get-tos’ are a matter of attitude. Although I have to work in order to pay bills, I lean more to the attitude of I get to go to work and be used in ways of God’s choosing for the day. I get to spend time with my grand-girls every Thursday, I get to wash my car, clean the house, fix the toilet, replace a garbage disposal, take out the trash or swim, play and read. I get to get out of bed each day and bless the life I have been given because God chose to wake me up today – I am Grateful for all of the ‘get-tos’ in my days! And, I am grateful for the cyber friends that have blessed my life with attitude boosting posted just like this one, Elaine!!!

  14. Oh how I would cherish some time with you in one of those rockers!! I awoke suddenly this morning, 30 minutes before my normal wake up time. I heard very bolding “God wants time with you”. Then I thought of your post and how I needed to catch up. Typically I have my quiet time after I have gotten ready and everyone has left the house. Today, I read my scripture in about 6 different version and then came here. My “must do’s” seem to be suffocating me. I long to just linger in what I can “get to”, embrace and praise my God in each moment of each day. My failures and my sins have weighed heavy on me in this season of my life. Topped with the overwhelming grief of losing my father, I can hardly breathe some days. But again as I have learned from days past, my strength and peace comes from Him and friends like you who write God’s leading. I am praising God for you this morning Elaine. Praising God for your talent to write and praising Him for allowing me to meet you those many years ago. Thank you friend. You so encourage me into my Saviors arms.


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