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Distraction Fractions

I see it everywhere I go and I too often bear the marks too, practice the way of life...the distracted way of life.  We all have to manage a lot at some point and in some ways.  The frying pan of life has so many different ingredients to compete with and boil down, to simmer out.  Sometimes its hard to know when an ingredient is one too many and when it is time to skim the surface and pull it out, discard.
I have had those moments when I see the hurt on others' faces  mirroring my own distractions back to me.
I remember once my oldest girl telling me, "You are always doing dishes." Inside I wanted to say, "Oh baby, if you could only help me with this task I would not be here so long."  But I got her point. Sometimes Dawn, hot water, and baked on tomato sauce can wait.   Sometimes lines have to be drawn.  Margins created. Blank life-space.  (And I am now leaving more dishes on the counter  for later, I'm learning slowly that things can wait) 
Before all of these tasks - phone calls, assignments, meals to cook, pans to scrape, laundry to fold, bills to pay, errands to run, hair to rinse, diapers to change, text messages, lessons to dash off to, church functions, whatever it is - all run rapidly together creating a cataclysm of an empty- full life.
How often am I empty-full because of distraction?
How often aren't we all?
Full of so many things to make me feel useful, yet empty of meaningful human connection, thought, rest, or joy.
Young children are good gauges for this.
They let you know.
My Madelyn is my sensitive little middle one. She interrupted me with a rough sketch of crayon green, magenta, macaroni yellow, sky blue and her favorite scarlet Red scribbled in a haphazard rainbow.
"Oh Madelyn, thank you. " I quickly accepted and put it down beside me to finish what it was I was doing (not that important) and I saw her face fall, quietly.
I knew I was at the point of letting distraction overtake and make me miss a moment. So i snapped out of my reverie and said, "Madelyn, what is this? A rainbow?"
She smiled and her blue eyes lit behind those brown bigger-than- her- face owlish glasses,
 "It's sunset beach, mama." She whispered.
(We are going there at the beginning of fall and her heart can't wait.)
"Oh Madelyn its beautiful." I spoke to her and watched a small smile creep quietly across her tiny face.
Then I went back to what I was doing.
I have to confess that letting go of distractions is difficult.  We seem to have to have them.  In order to feel useful or accomplished. Or whatever.

But the most mature thing I can do really is put them within boundaries so that I can submerge myself in relational life.

The other day we were discussing fractions around the table and my silly still a kid-rhyming mind automatically linked the two together: Distraction Fractions.
I turned that phrase over a few times in my mind. I pictured a big silky cheese cake with generous pieces. And then I pictured all of the pieces cut again and again, leaving just graham cracker crumbs.
Don't all my unnecessary distractions create fractions?
How often (even though I had wonderful parents) did I dance in front of a dad who was watching sports center and want him to notice me and my fresh from the playroom closet outfit?
How often did I feel better after my mom dropped her garden hose and trowel and took turns riding on my Barbie bike with me down our street?
How often do I experience frustration when I'm trying to have a meaningful conversation with someone who is distracted by an iPhone or having me repeat every other sentence because they can't pull themselves away for a few moments to listen?
How often am I too the culprit? The distraction captive?
Distractions create fractioned life.
Think back to a very busy distraction packed segment of your much can you really remember or is it really a blur?

Too many distractions slice up a whole life and leave you empty-full with pieces too fissured and too thin to be truly enjoyed, remembered, or shared. A whole-hearted life can't be hacked away and divided up by too many simply will cease to exist and get lost in the haze of haste.

I've thought for awhile now about the unhurried nature of God. Always.  His lengthy patience, His purposeful meetings with others as He walked on earth and His singular focus. His refusal to get lost in a sea of distractions.

Distractions make fractions
in concentration
in driving (all to often and literally)
in relationships
in time and always running late or rushed
in learning
in all of life...
We hear the admonitions routinely, "No texting, while driving."  And we all know what can happen. How many times does my life or day crash around me because I'm driving down the highway missing the sign posts of my family because I'm simply distracted?  We think we can do it all; however, there is simply no way.  It's something God never asked of us to do.  He just wants us to do this one life He called us to well.  And that is quite enough to navigate.

What can I clear off my life counter and discard that I might actually sink my teeth into the meat of this day and remember it next week? 
I don't want to ever miss out on this face 


  1. This reminds me of the post I shared this week about teaching & how God taught me to really see my students & treasure them! It's so much easier to focus on what needs to be done. Thanks for letting me know that I'm not alone in being distracted :) I'm visiting from Coffee for Your Heart. Blessings!

    1. I agree about viewing your students as treasures and little important people...and that says so much more about you when they are not your kids. If thats how we could all view children :) very Charlotte Mason of you, Renee :)

  2. ah, the distracted life. that sure is our default mode, isn't it, with everybody and everything wantiing a piece of us ...

    and He continues to whisper, 'peace, be still ...'

    Summer, I appreciate you.

    1. Yes, He does...It reminds me of the phrase to Martha..worried over many things. Thanks for the kind words Linda

  3. I love your little one in her glasses! Dishes can wait . . . I would have a tough time with that too but it's true how much we miss when we're distracted. Love how you are pushing those aside to make space for what really matters!

    1. Thanks Valerie...I know her big brown glasses are still new 'ish' and i catch myself just watching them magnify her eyes as they slip down her tiny nose. I can't help but smile. I definitely need to make more space for less, for people. Some practical tangible ways that work for me are : not having cable, having an email/ computer/ phone sabbath on Sundays, and honestly I declined my husband's offer for a smart phone (one day maybe - and when i need the gps i wish i had one, but i do like the fact that i cannot access things 24/7) I know that would not work for most people, those things just seem to work for me.
      Also someone aptly called me a 'cricket always hopping to whatever someone needs' and I was thankful. She actually has been a wonderful friend to me because she will tell me "no" when I say "yes" because she knows I have too many things on my plate. We need people that do care about and treasure our life and time, so that we aren't wrung out and used up. I need people that say, "You've done enough, Somer" in my life. We all do. Thank you for your words Valerie (i always enjoy reading your words weekly)


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