I need reminders. The endless craziness of running a household makes me feel like I am on a merry-go-round holding a tray of ping-pong balls. Neuroscientists confirm it is a real issue for women resulting from a powerful shift in endocrine and brain chemistry levels. Some call it "Mommy-brain."
A few days ago, I stood outside my car at the grocery store under drizzling skies with a cart bumping into me as my 3 year old climbed on it, a squirming toddler on my hip, and I was digging one-handed through my purse trying to find my keys. I dug and dug through that tiny .5 square feet of space. And still no keys. My routine is firm and I always lock my car from the outside with the key (for this very reason) and put the keys in my purse. At the point of panic, I tried the door, knowing in my gut that it was locked with my keys inside. Crazy enough, the door was not locked. A quick search found my keys... in the ignition. Mommy Brain.
I have ways of coping and still getting the important stuff done and remembered. I have my routines (obviously not followed in the above key-losing incident). I have a calendar where each appointment is written, corresponding phone numbers are on post-it notes. If it isn't on the calendar, I will forget it. I also follow a to-do calendar to get house-work done (this planner). My alarm clock jolts me out of bed to start my day. I use a timer when I bake. The buzzer on the dryer drones out an ear piecing screech to let me know I have some laundry to fold. My microwave dings until I take out the warmed food. Even my fridge beeps if I leave it open.
Reminders. Reminders. I need them or bad things happen. I forget appointments or birthdays, my house gets messy, clothes rot in the washing machine, food spoils in the fridge as the door sits open.... There are consequences for forgetting important things.
What is more important than my relationship with God? Prayer and thanksgiving are not on the top of my to-do because I forget all too often. My morning devotions get me off to a good start, but even the best of intentions need a refresher throughout the day.
I am going to try something new and daring. I have not ever done this before and I hope that some of you will join me. My desire is to be reminded throughout the day to pray and give thanks to God... before my prayers are just "help!" I am setting my watch to beep on the hour as a reminder to take a moment to remember the important things. The same as training myself to use a routine to help my life work more efficiently, I think this practice will be beneficial.
Even as I type this, I am nervous that my plan won't work. Like a New Year's Resolution that doesn't make it to February. Maybe I won't hear the beep or I'll forget by noon that I was supposed to be starting a new routine. I believe it is the Holy Spirit's still voice reassuring me now, "What harm could it bring?" More prayer, more thanksgiving, more conversation with the Living God... even if I remember only once a day to quiet my heart, this could be considered a success instead of a fail.
I desire a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father. I desire less discontent in my life. I desire more thankfulness and less stress. I desire to be free of the sin that so easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1) . Could regular, thoughtful prayer time be the answer?
Honestly, I don't know how my hourly prayer time will work. My objective is to stop what I am doing and pray, being intentional about thanking God for the blessings in my life (driving out discontent as described in One Thousand Gifts). I would also like to write down blessings throughout the day to be reminded of later. What if I am truly busy with someone else or on the phone or elbow deep in a poopy diaper or at the grocery store or watching a movie or talking to my husband.... these are excuses that will get sorted out as the day goes by. I plan to write on Drops again on this same topic next Monday and share my joys and struggles.
I would love to read your comments if you plan to take this challenge with me. While we have plenty of excuses for "mommy-brain," we also know how get the important things done. This intentional action, reminded by the beep on my watch, just might be the most important thing I do today.
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:16-18