Do You Multi-Task on Purpose?

Multi-Task on Purpose // jessconnell.com

We women tend to be multi-taskers. 

We try to squeeze as much as we can into a given moment. On any given day, a mom can be seen:
  • carrying the groceries in (loaded down like a donkey),
  • calling instructions to the kids over our shoulder,
  • using the tiniest sliver of our index finger (otherwise weighed down with groceries) to open the gate,
  • kicking the gate closed with our feet,
  • already mentally planning which steps need to be done in which order, in order to have dinner prepared in less than 20 minutes, so we can nurse the baby when he wakes up in 25 minutes.

But sometimes there’s a tendency to think that we have to have silence and solitude in order to meditate or enter into spiritual truth in a deep way.  That the schedule has to be cleared in order to intake spiritual “food”.

Have you found yourself believing, like I have, that if you could just get away from daily demands, THEN you'd have time to retreat and find rest for the soul?

But one of the things I’ve come to know over the course of my time as a mom is this: silence and solitude and beautiful and rare… but a peaceful heart and calm spirit can happen in any setting, at any time.

silence and solitude and beautiful and rare…
but a peaceful heart and calm spirit
can happen in any setting, at any time.”
~Jess Connell

HOW TO MULTI-TASK for SPIRITUAL GROWTH:

It’s as easy as this. As often as possible, combine one item from list A with one item from list B:

 

In a nutshell, use those times where the mind is free to fill it up with things that are meaty and spiritual and encouraging.  Don’t let the time fritter away and go to waste.  That’s not to say every moment has to be filled with noise.  Moments of just letting my mind be at rest, and nestling into solitude, can be healing and helpful.

But our minds are not naturally bent toward godliness. If we perpetually give our minds nothing on which to focus, we will easily drift into:

  • negativity– replaying hurtful conversations, or replaying hurt and criticism and reviewing failures.
  • self-focus—  mentally jotting down a list of things we “never” get or “always” have to do, replaying compliments and reviewing “successes”, or
  • busybodying about others– reviewing things they did (or didn’t) say, things they did (or didn’t) do, thinking of things they should (or shouldn’t) say, things they should (or shouldn’t) do.

Instead, we can click on the audioBible or head to YouTube (or a sermon app) and turn on a sermon by Chandler, MacArthur, Piper, Chan, Harris, Keller, Platt… we have, at our fingertips, such a large number of excellent Bible preachers!

PURPOSEFULLY MULTI-TASK!

Let me encourage you to try it– or do it more often: Give your mind something on which to focus during tasks when your hands or body are busy doing something otherwise mindless.
 
Please hear my heart:
DON'T LET THIS BE A POINT OF LEGALISM OR GUILT FOR YOU.
By all means, take time to enjoy the silence nursing your new baby… or if the kids have been at it all day, enjoy the solitude and relaxation of a hot, quiet bath.
But in moments when your mind craves something to do, or would tend toward self-focus or busybodying about other people, my encouragement for you is to give your mind something to do– combine list A with list B and let God renew your heart, mind, and soul as you go about your daily activities.

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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4 Responses

  1. Lou Ann says:

    Very good and very balanced. Thank you!

  2. Kondwani says:

    I run the 5km to and from work. It is actually the quickest transport at certain times of day, and it gives me time to pray, worship, meditate on Scripture and relax (whereas if I were driving or on a busy bus, I would find these things harder – although I know some people do find driving a helpful time). (Also, I would not make the time to deliberately exercise, whereas this way it takes no longer than the commute time would take anyway – so I find it easier to take care of my physical as well as spiritual health by doing this). With the children, when we are running around outside, now they are a tiny bit bigger and don’t need my 100% focus all the time, I also can pray and consider Scripture. I find reading just a verse or two (sometimes together with the children) before leaving the house helps set that up – otherwise, I agree, it is too easy to let thoughts slip into worry or negativity. I think many of us can find ways to enjoy spiritual food throughout the day. Yes, perhaps the long hours of fruitful digging into the Bible with a pile of commentaries to hand may be a bit of a memory, but God is gracious to us in this season of life!

  3. Jennifer S. says:

    Yes. This is something I try to do. I once asked an older woman who had been a busy farm wife (let’s not kid ourselves, even at 70 she’s probably more active than me) how she fit in time for prayer when her children were all little. She pointed to her kitchen sink and said, “I’ve done a lot of praying right there.” As a young mother, that was important for me to hear. We don’t always have to have “pristine” circumstances for spiritual growth.

  1. June 26, 2015

    […] talked before about multi-tasking as a mom. As a blogger, one of the ways I am able to grow is by listening to podcasts (like Michael […]

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