I am an easily distracted person. Ask anyone close to me and they would probably agree. I would compare myself to 'Dug', the quirky, people-pleasing dog from the Disney movie 'UP'. Squirrel!
Photo Courtesy: Disney-Pixar
Like Dug, I flit about getting things done, running here, running there. I start conversations and leave them half-finished. I check things off my list, and overload my mind with thoughts about what's next.
Lately, it's been a bit worse. I've got so many things on my mind from car decisions, to the little miss, to ministry decisions, to stuff I shouldn't be stressed over (but, I am), to things I am doing--but don't have time for.
When I've got too much on my plate, I become distracted and I function horribly. I become forgetful, scattered, and frankly...a little cranky.
Today I overloaded my plate...again...and was running between swim lessons, church, Eva's CBC, and other random errands. But, I decided that I wasn't going to let this day go completely to pot. So, to redeem my 'fun-awesome-mom' status, I told the kiddos I would fill up their pool in the backyard so they could swim after lunch. But, of course I'm super busy making lunches at the same time, so I decided to set the hose in the pool and let er' rip. We all have left the hose unattended here and there right?
About an hour later, the little Mr. walked through the kitchen, looked out the back door and exclaimed, "Oh cool! It's the Amazon River outside!" Thank you Diego.
I looked out, and sure enough, the water was filled to the brim and was now running over the side of the kiddie pool and flowing swiftly down the patio toward the house. The water gushed, carrying pool toys, and balls downstream.
Distraction got me a nice little 2 ft. puddle near the back of the house and a mud pit for play later.
Sorry. I didn't take a picture. I was a little busy using a push broom to push the water away from the house while my kiddos jumped in the puddles. You understand, right?
A little extra water is pretty harmless (except for the whole conservation thing). But, sometimes distraction causes me to miss out on sweet opportunities with my wee ones, or not take advantage of a quiet moment with my hubby. Sometimes distraction means I miss the signs that a dear friend is hurting, or that I breeze past someone while tossing out a brief 'hello' instead of taking the time to truly ask how they are doing.
Sometimes distraction keeps me from spending quality time with my Savior.
I suppose that's why I feel I connect so much with Martha. She loved her savior with all her heart, and wanted so badly to serve Him. Her preparations for Him were well-intended, but she was distracted from spending time with Jesus.
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed, only one."
All it took was a gentle reminder. Jesus wasn't harsh, yet He was still able to open her eyes that the one thing she needed above all, was to spend time with Him. In her distraction, her heart was divided, but Jesus wanted her heart to settle on Him.
Lately, I've been challenged to use my kiddo's nap time as an opportunity to read my Bible, pray for my family and specific needs of others, and reflect on what it means to have an undivided heart. I really love this verse:
Teach me your way, Lord, that I may
rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God,with all my heart,
I will glorify your name forever.
Like Martha, distraction tends to create division in my own heart. The need to check things off my list means I'm often not spending time where I should be: with the Lord and with my family.
What about you? How do you take captive moments that are precious with your family?
How do you carve out time to spend with God?