August 24, 2011

Unload Your Brain!

I feel scattered these days.  Summer's waving it's good-byes in cool morning breezes and the nearing of Labor Day.  School will soon begin, routines will reign (which is actually music to this type-A Soul), Sunday School and Homeschooling Group will resume, and the leaves will begin their annual transformation, blanketing the hills in the warm tones of autumn.  Typing this list reminds me how excited I am for the transition!  But what's got me scattered is that between now and the beginning of October, I have three separate trips to take, I'm teaching 6 weeks at our weekly homeschooling group, the house will get dirty, need to be cleaned, and then dirty again, same with the laundry.  Oh, and there are relationships that I'd like to nurture and develop both within our family and with friends.

How quickly I can get overwhelmed when I don't breathe ... mentally.

And I forget to let my brain breathe.

Then I settle into patterns of worry and fear.

Didn't Jesus say something about tomorrow having enough concerns of its own and to focus on the day at hand?  Oh yes, He did.

All of those things that crowd our minds and threaten to undo us are real.  In my case, the trips will happen, I will teach the classes, the house will get dirty and cleaned (even if it's only the swiffer and disinfecting wipes version), the laundry will get done (because my family appreciates clean underwear), school lessons will be completed.

But the Savior reminds us to look at today.  I don't need to worry about how everything will work out this fall, September, next week,

or even tomorrow.

Today I need to look at the people and tasks before me and take care of those things that must be done today.

Breathe.          Pray.          Be still and know that I am God.

Then what?  We all still have things to do within our realms of calling.  It is unlikely that in your quiet time God will give you a specific to-do list for the day; at least this has never happened to me!  But God does give us space to cast our concerns on Him and gives us wisdom by His Spirit throughout the day.  For example:

Has a friend come to mind?  Prioritize giving that person a call today or tomorrow. 
Preparing for a big event or the school year?  Break it down into parts and spread out tasks over the days you have between now and the event or first day of school. 
Do you have some travel coming up?  Hang a piece of paper somewhere or start a list on your phone so you can jot down things you want to remember to take as you think of them.

We need to unload our brains!  (Don't tell, but I even keep a piece of paper handy during my quiet times to jot down things that come to mind; once they're out of my mind but recorded somewhere, I can refocus on what's before me.  I'm one distracted lady.)

I've been working on unloading my brain by talking with God about my concerns (rather than clinging to them) and writing important things on pieces of paper.  Because, quite frankly, we finite folks cannot reliably keep it all in our heads.

We aren't meant to.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Will you join me in doing some "brain dumping" today?  I pray that it's a blessing to you and brings peace to your heart and mind as you anticipate the beauty and busy of the coming fall!


  1. Hi Heather,

    The one piece of advice I wish I'd had earlier in the three-small-children phase was this: buy extra underwear. I used to cry upon opening my drawer to no clean underwear until someone said, "Why don't you just buy more underwear?" So there's your brain dump for today! No, er, pun intended. No potty-talk intended either. Really.

    Lydia :) (Thanks for the birthday card!)

  2. Lydia, thanks for the laugh before bed! Your friend who suggested that is wise.

    Hope you had a happy bday. :)