How to Avoid Distractions and Live Out Your God-Given Purpose

How to Avoid Distractions and Live Out Your God-Given Purpose

How to Avoid Distractions and Live Out Your God-Given Purpose

When it comes down to it, clutter is a distraction.

As I walk around my house, trying to get ready to host a group of five of my favorite women for three days, I can feel annoyance with myself starting to rise.

Here are some thoughts that come to mind:

“Why do I have all these half-done projects lying around?”

“Why didn’t I finish unloading the dishwasher? Now I have to unload it before I load it.” (Because the dryer buzzer had gone off.)

“Why did I leave the pile of bills on the table instead of paying them?” (I wasn’t sure where the money was going to come from for an unexpected auto repair.)

“I wish I could finish half of what I start. Why is my normally mostly-put-together home suddenly way more out of control than normal?”

And then I think about my past week:

  • One of our grown children is in a career crisis.
  • Our contractor is two months behind on completing our renovation.
  • I’m stuck on a part of the book I’m writing and can’t seem to focus.
  • My husband is going through some significant health issues.

Clutter was only a symptom of a distracted mind.

When my heart is heavy, sad, or frustrated, my go-to move is to either let distractions take over my life, or to create distraction so I don’t have to pay attention to painful things.

In their new book, Shiny Things, Amanda Bacon and Anne-Renee Gumley talk about the areas of distraction—not when it comes to our homes, but to our families.

Moms have particular challenges regarding distractions when raising their children. When my kids were small, I remember being pulled in so many different directions. I didn’t always know what my priorities should be.

So as a mom, how do you focus on the important things?

Stop being a slave to your schedule.

Just because someone asks you do to something, doesn’t mean it has earned the right to be on your calendar. Learn to value your time like never before. When I was single, my only obligation was to myself. But when I became a mom, for some reason, I thought I should be able to do everything I had done before and still be able to raise tiny humans.

Understand your limitations.

I know when I’m over-tired, I self-distract with food and stupid TV. There is nothing wrong with watching the “Holiday Armadillo” episode of Friends (again), but when I know I’m using it as distraction because I’ve stayed up too late (again), it’s time to realize I can’t run with the same energy that I could if I didn’t have kids.

Find meaning in what matters.

When I’m neck deep in distraction, oftentimes it’s because I’m looking for “hits”—something that gets me approval from outside sources. When that happens, I realize I’m at a stage in marriage or parenting that’s hard, where the rewards are few. I feel not only unappreciated, but downright unlovable.

In those situations, it’s important to remind myself:

  • This is a season.
  • I’m doing hard work that does not have immediate rewards.
  • God sees my efforts, even when no one else does.

We’re all prone to chase shiny things, whatever that looks like in each stage of life.

Recognizing the reasons we are drawn to distractions helps us to focus on the purpose God created us for, especially as parents. Then we can give the best of ourselves to what matters most — loving God and our families.

Giveaway!

The generous people over at Harvest House want to give our readers Amanda Bacon and Anne-Renee Gumley’s book, Shiny Things. Five people will win a copy and 1 grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy ofShiny Things
  • Rustic Felt Letter Board 10×10
  • A Notebook Journal
  • 18 Colored Felt Pens

 Enter to win by commenting below. Are distractions keeping you from your highest priority? What shiny things are distracting you right now?

 

Podcast Eps 283: How Women Can Apply Wisdom from Proverbs to their Lives with Liz Curtis Higgs

Podcast Eps 283: How Women Can Apply Wisdom from Proverbs to their Lives with Liz Curtis Higgs

Author and Speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs, joins Kathi on the podcast this week to discuss how to gain wisdom from one of our favorite books of the Bible, Proverbs. Liz just published a book full of the rich promises and direction found in Proverbs that can help our hearts on a daily basis. Kathi shares an excerpt of the book where Liz gives us an action step that takes JUST ONE MINUTE (every application takes only 60 seconds!).

Listen in to this sweet and powerful episode from two women that love the Lord and His word. You will be uplifted and inspired today.

WIN!

Win a copy of Liz’s new book, 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path.  Three people will be chosen to win their own copy. Answer the question in the comments section below to enter to win. What is an unexpected place or situation where you have been given hope?

*Open to US residents only. Contest ends on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.

Meet Our Guest

Liz Curtis Higgs

Liz Curtis Higgs

Author and Speaker

Liz Curtis Higgs has one goal: to help women embrace the grace of God with joy and abandon. Her messages are biblical, encouraging, down-to-earth, and profoundly funny, helping sisters and seekers experience the depth of God’s love. Higgs is the author of more than 30 books with 4.6 million copies in print, including her nonfiction bestsellers Bad Girls of the Bible, The Girl’s Still Got It, The Women of Christmas and The Women of Easter. She has spoken at 1,700 women’s conferences in all 50 states and 14 countries. A former radio personality, Higgs has appeared on more than 700 media outlets including NPR, “Focus on the Family,” “Life Today,” PBS and A&E. She is happily married to Bill Higgs and they share their life together in a 19th century farmhouse in Louisville, Kentucky.

A conversation with Pam Ferrel about HOPE, Plus an awesome giveaway!

A conversation with Pam Ferrel about HOPE, Plus an awesome giveaway!

Hi friends! Yesterday I got to sit down with Author Pam Farrel and talk about Hope. We all need hope in a world where it’s sometimes very difficult to see the good. I admitted to you in yesterday’s post and in our conversation that I haven’t been a fan of the adult coloring trend. Here more about that and get a pick me in the video below.

 

 

What I really want you to know about is the awesome giveaway we are doing. I am giving away 5 of Pam’s new book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, plus a super fun Quiet Time pack filled with all of my favorite things to have with me when I am doing quiet time with the Lord including:

• Discovering Hope in the Psalms
• This beautiful Study Bible for Women
• A set of colored pencils for exploring God through creativity
• My favorite cup for hot and cold drinks Hydro Flask
• My very favorite pen, the Uniball Air Micro
• An assortment of teas (to keep those creative juices flowing).

Enter below!!

 

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In Which We Spur Each Other On for Organizing

In Which We Spur Each Other On for Organizing


4 Quick Start Organizing Eval StepsThe Challenge 2014 is underway and it brings even more goals to accomplish. But how do we make organizing work?  Here are Four Quick Start Evaluation Steps to make any organizing goal more manageable:

1. Find two friends (at least) to do the project with you. It doesn’t matter if they’re phone friends, Internet buddies, or face-to-face girlfriends you meet with at Starbucks down the street. Find someone to keep you accountable.

2. Pick a room—any room to start the purge. I would pick the room that’s giving you the most stress and start there. You’ll feel better when some of the pressure is taken off.

3. Evaluate your plan. This is where people often give up.  If something doesn’t work, they will scrap the whole idea. You decide what steps you’re going to take each day. Then after trying it, see if that is a good goal.  Feel free to change it, but just keep your focus on trying to organize areas of your life.

4. Be flexible. The intention of The 2014 Things Challenge  is not to add stress, but to make your life simpler by removing the clutter from your life and helping you stay organized. Just do something, intentionally, every day. If you can be flexible in the day to day goals, you will learn to be flexible when things come up that you cannot control.  And in this way, we are no longer jut purging clutter from our homes, but also the clutter of disappointment or anxiety if something doesn’t go perfectly in our life.  Because let’s be real.  Life on earth is not perfect. But we do have a perfect God that will help us get through it!