As stated in my first blog, completing a task or “closing a loop” can be a huge challenge for me. Especially if I am thinking of other things while doing them. Some tasks are extra difficult due to the fact that there is time sensitivity involved. I shared in part one that opening and closing windows to help keep the house cool during the summer has two parts to it. The second part (*closing*) is normally the tricky part.
Another task I briefly mentioned in blog #1 involves doing more than one thing at a time. Example: feeding the cats. This may not seem like a multi-tasking sort of task but when you have three cats that don’t eat the same food or eat in the same location then you have got yourself a job!
For me something this “simple” will sometimes result in me leaving a can of food out by accident. It’s often the middle cat whose can I leave out for anyone to snack on. I get the first cat all set up downstairs but feeding two boys upstairs in separate rooms with separate foods is often when things go awry. I forget to loop back around to pick up the can of food for cat #2 because I am now focused on cat #3. Plus, since cat #3 is located in the laundry room, I immediately start thinking about the laundry situation and getting a load going. Once I do that, there is no memory of the can of food left out for #2 until it’s lunch time or my hubby finds it.
Persistent About Allowing Growth
Overall, multi-tasking is just not something that works for me. And, even though I have been through this struggle a million times it doesn’t improve the situation. It doesn’t matter if “on pain of death it must be done” because I can’t keep all those thoughts and feelings in some organized order in my head all at once.
I have to break this task down to feeding each animal individually. I also need to ask myself, “Have you finished the task at hand?” “Do you have any loops you need to close before moving on to the next task?”
This, of course, is easier said than done. So, I often put sticky notes up to remind me of daily open loops like washing clothes so we don’t run out! (More on that topic next time.)
Another helpful trick I have learned is pairing up a task you often forget to do with something you always remember to do. That way it will become a new habit much faster than usual.
It takes (persistent) work and a positive attitude (positivity!). If you get down on yourself, you just give yourself another thing to distract yourself with. Experiment! Try different tactics and see what works for you.
Keep on keepin’ on!
Add to the conversation! We’ll be glad you did. Is there an area in your life you’re persistent at improving? Are you striving to bring positivity along for the ride? Invite someone you know into this conversation. Everyone is welcome.
I am sure none of you can relate to this, but I just need to get this off my chest. Family relationships are a challenge!!
However, that is not where it stops. Family relationships are complicated. Why? Because when you get right down to the core feelings, we love and care for our families very much. They matter to us! What they think about us matters. What they say about us or to us matters sometimes way too much!
Isn’t it it kind of funny how we can fiercely love someone, but really not like them so much?! It often has to do with disappointment. There are certain people, like our parents, that we have this internal craving for their approval, support, and unconditional love. However, our parents aren’t perfect, they have different points of view and often don’t realize how hurtful their words can come across when they disagree with you. We get so caught up in wanting to be accepted and agreed with that if there isn’t agreement and understanding it becomes a personal injury.
We all have shortcomings. Due to our varying relational skills sometimes we can only agree with a person to a certain point and then we can’t go any farther. Then we have to find a way to choose the importance of the relationship over the importance of the topic. Sometimes that may feel impossible to do.
It is surprising to me that I can make myself patiently interact with a stranger, but if it’s family I may not be nearly as good about holding my tongue. It’s harder for me to be objective. This is not something I am proud of. Of all the people to be patient with, it’s my family I want to experience my good side more than anyone else and yet often the opposite is true. Does anyone relate to this?
When we pledge at our weddings to be faithful in good times and bad, that includes grumpy nights, and family squabbles, ingrown toenails, and dental fillings.
I guess when we are with those we know care about us, we relax or let our guard down. Maybe we don’t work as hard to connect, because we are already connected by blood or promise. In some cases it’s got mostly to do with personality differences or even where you land in the family.
The bridge on this song is the kicker in this song, too:
Ultimately, we need God’s strength to help us continue to love all our family members. With God’s strength, a bit of objectivity and a slice of humor, family gatherings can be a bit more enjoyable for everyone! Blessings to you and yours during these up and coming holidays!
Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did. And if you’d like to sample “Highs and Lows” on iTunes, click here and scroll down the list.
PS: I guess that’s the wonderful and crazy thing about love, it doesn’t always make logical sense. Actually, does it ever?!
This is a song I wrote for my sister, Catherine, and her husband, FJ, for their wedding day (Catherine & FJ Abaya). At the time I had to sing it acapella because my hands still hurt so much. This made me very nervous, but after singing acapella on the cruise ship, I was determined to do it! I hoped it would be a blessings for their ceremony, as well as a chance for me to pray out loud my hope for their life together.
When it came time to record this song I was ecstatic to surprise them with me accompanying myself on the guitar.
This song underlines the importance of having God woven into your marriage, “three cords combined.” Life can provide you with joyful times but also many challenges and disappointments. Sometimes circumstances around you can get so bad that it can use up everything you’ve got! When two people who love each other are both dealing with their own difficult situations at the same time it can get really rocky. God can be that third cord to keep you strong and keep from breaking apart.
If you ever find yourself wondering who it is you are living with and even questioning whether you like them.
You are just normal!
We all unknowingly bring so much of our past experiences into our lives that we don’t always see the other for who they are but either who they remind us of or even who we wish they would be. It’s important to stop and recognize this.
We need to get our heads wrapped around the fact that we are all broken doing the best we can with the tools we were given.
It’s also important to be open to the fact that we could learn more through counseling.
Counseling has been a helpful tool we have referred to off and on throughout our marriage. It’s part of the reason we have made it this far.
I encourage you to embrace your spouse and the fact that you are both imperfect and can still learn and grown no matter how long you have been married.
Ultimately though, welcome God into your marriage every day. He can give us compassionate ears that can listen to our spouse when we really don’t want to. He can give us self control when all we want to do is scream about our own boss, or our own relational situations. It is purely by the strength of God that we can have what it takes to care for each other in the midst of our own stuff.
Seriously, let God give you what you need to be there for each other. Don’t turn your pain into a competition, where you compare who has the worst situation. Everyone’s feelings count. We normally know this but when we are hurting it’s hard to think clearly. Remember you are a team. You two are one, but you don’t need to do it alone! Praise God!!
Can you relate? What are some tips that have been helpful in your marriage?
This song was written for our God-daughter, Maria, who lives in Norway with her parents, Katie & Kjell Møgster, and three big brothers. Back in 2006, the Møgsters called us from Mali, Africa (during their missionary years) and asked us to be her God-Family. They invited us to meet them in Norway to attend Maria’s baptism. Well, of course, we said “yes!” with great enthusiasm and immediately started the process of obtaining tickets that would eventually have us arrive in Ålesund, Norway.
Now, a baptism is always a special event. But in Norway, it is a HUGE event. Many hours of preparation were put into decorating the house, setting up tables, making centerpieces, organizing name tags, and preparing group games. Oh yes, then there is the never-ending supply of food!
The morning of the baptism was spent preparing for the special baptismal worship service. The worship experience was amazing! I couldn’t understand a word of it, but the rhythm of the liturgy and prayers felt familiar, especially the Lord’s Prayer.
There was only one part of the service that was in English, the part when I got up and sang. The Møgsters had informed me that it is often a tradition for the God-parents to have one of their gifts be a poem or song. So, I happily wrote Maria a song, in the weeks before our Norwegian odyssey. The words of the chorus were projected onto the screen and I invited everyone to sing along during the last time through…which they did, in their conservative Norwegian way of doing things.
After worship, we drove back to Kjell’s mothers home with the family. Immediately, their friends and family started arriving for the festivities. There must have been about 40 people there, each with a name tag showing them where they were going to sit. We heard Norwegian songs, ate Norwegian food, played group games and learned a lot about … Norwegians!! The last visitors (who weren’t going to be sleeping at the house) finally left around 8pm that night. Finally, it was down to just the…15 of us. This included 7 children, 5 of them young elementary school boys!
The whole trip was an amazing adventure. Being immersed in another culture for 2 1/2 weeks gave me a much bigger understanding of our world. My family and I didn’t want to leave!
In June, 2011, during one of our reunions with the Møgsters, here in the States, Maria asked me to sing her song. I happily agreed. Maria was 5 at this time, so I could look her in the eyes as I sang. She would blush and turn away, but soon I found her looking at me again. It was a precious moment. Clearly she felt very special about having her own song.
I am so glad that my song touched Maria’s heart. It clearly made her feel loved and cherished.
Has anyone done something extra special in your life while growing up? Have you ever told them what it meant to you? If not, think about doing that. It would mean a lot to them.