Ann Farabee column: The list

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 14, 2021

By Ann Farabee

My mother made lists for everything. After her three children had grown up, she began traveling by bus with members of her church to attend a week-long camp meeting in Myrtle, Mississippi. Perhaps it had a more official title, but camp meeting is what she called it.

She stepped out of her comfort zone in going the first year, but after that she had gained the reputation of being the best bed short-sheeter in history, and became well-known among the Myrtle, Mississippi crowd, so I suppose she went annually to defend her crown.

In anticipation of the trip, she would begin months ahead of time making that list of needed items to take. The last list she made was written on a notepad she used at her third-shift job in Cannon Mills.

She would talk about it daily, get packed, wait in expectation, and be ready to go. She would be spending her time with others who loved God as much as she did. They would worship, read God’s word, pray with one another, sing songs of praise, hear preachers preach, and leave the cares of this world behind.


Once on the bus, she was at peace, because she heading to the place she had been longing to go. She always said it was the most beautiful place she had ever been, and being there was what she expected heaven to be like.

During her last trip to Myrtle, she got sick, and the group returned a day early, so she could be admitted to the hospital. A few days later, she was admitted into heaven.

It was the place she had longed for. She had left the cares of this world behind, and was worshipping around the throne of God.

Her last list? I found it in her Bible.

• Cosmetics

• Tylenol

• Pills

• Toothbrush, etc.

• Change of clothes

• Shoes

• Bedroom slippers

• socks

• P.J.s

• Housecoat

• Jacket or sweater

• Books

I smiled as I read it.

Not one thing on that list was needed.

All she needed was access to one book — the Lamb’s Book of Life — that her name had been written in when she accepted Jesus as her Savior.

If she could speak to us from heaven, I believe she would say something similar to this, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Be sure to put accepting Jesus at the top of your list. Why give your heart and life to Jesus today?  Because in Revelation 22:20, Jesus says, “Surely I come quickly.”

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or

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