After I had my third son, I was just a little overwhelmed. It seemed like I never had enough arms or lap to accommodate kiddos’ needs, let alone address all the household tasks. It was the late 1970s, and a friend told me about a community college class she thought would be encouraging. It was taught by two sisters (Pam Young and Peggy Jones) who called their system (and later a book) Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen to Paradise. I signed up and took the class. It was a hoot (they should have been comedians), and they had some great ideas – saying most of us suffer from allowing ourselves to get distracted – sidetracked from completing the goals we set. But, I must admit I still can get sidetracked pretty easily, especially when it comes to keeping my spiritual goals.
Often, getting sidetracked happens when I sit down in the quiet. The space around me might be still, but my mind is definitely not! All my “to do’s” will suddenly pop into my head…or a question like, “Did I leave the stove on?” and I am off on rabbit trails in my thoughts instead of waiting in the quiet to hear the still, small voice of God.
I have been working on using some tips I learned in my Life Coach Training to help me set my faith goals and focus to see them happen while keeping from becoming sidetracked:
- Ask yourself what you need to make time for spiritual growth. Then, ask again what could get in your way. Trouble shoot each “problem” so you will have no excuses. For example, if one of the challenges is “my Bible has too small print to read” then research and find a Bible with readable print.
- Decide on a best time and a best day or days to work on spiritual growth. For me, taking time early every morning is crucial or I let several days slip by without realizing it! Making some time to journal at the end of the day on ways I sensed God’s presence has also been valuable.
- Designate a “special spot” to meet with God (I have a comfy chair with a lamp in my home office) and keep your Bible, pen, journal, etc. handy there.
- Make a commitment – tell God and tell someone else you have a plan. Ask God to help you not get sidetracked, and encourage that “someone else” to ask you how it’s going.
- Reflect on what you will gain by making time to grow in your faith. It will help you when the “I don’t feel like its” or distractions hit if you have associated something pleasant and positive in the outcome!
- Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist