True Confessions of the Easily Distracted and What Helps Me

I tend to either go to work on something that needs done and see six other things needing done so I flit around doing them. Meanwhile the thing I was trying to accomplish is still not done. Or I hyper focus on something and stay immersed for hours in it when other things truly need to be done. This can impact my spiritual life, physical well being, keeping up on my home, or being creative.

Art by Carmen Sutor

Focusing has been a challenge all of my life. My teacher had me spend much of third grade in a corner all by myself so I would be less distracted by other kids and quit socializing. I know I have ADD and am easily distracted. Couple that with chronic health issues that cause me to be “consistently inconsistent” because I never know from day to day or even hour to hour how I will feel is the perfect storm for distraction.

A prime example is the fact I have to take a medication 30 minutes before eating to manage my mast cell disease. I can put the water heating to be slightly warmed in microwave and in the 25 seconds decide to clear the table or check something online and 20, 30, 40 minutes and several different things later still have not taken my medicine making my meal later.

It is 4:30 in the afternoon and realize have not planned dinner again. I now go with what can thaw quickest in microwave. This happens SO many times unless on the weekend I write out a meal plan and shopping list for the week.

Another example would be when I am working on a creative project like sewing, gardening or watercolor painting and I am so immersed in the project and hyper focused I do not realize how much time has passed and can be lost in it for hours upon hours at a time.

Lists and timers are my best friends. To-do lists help me prioritize and accomplish what is needed rather than doing what is distracting me. If something is distracting if I write it on today or the next day’s list I know it won’t be forgotten and can leave it to sorta stay on task. If something is niggling at my brain and distracting me during my time in Bible reading and prayer I write it down on a tablet kept nearby. Over the years with consistent training and asking God to help me focus on Him it has gotten where need to do that much less often. I have found when have scheduled appointments or zoom meetings that my calendar app on my phone set with reminder alarms at 2 hours and again at 30 minutes before travel time help me to be ready on time.

Another way timers help me is with my various medications. One is taken four times a day 30 minutes before eating and at least 2 hours after last meal and at least 30 minutes after any other medication. If not taken this way, this medication is rendered ineffective. Lately, this has been helped by my hubby wanting to eat lunch with me so I set an alarm to take it and make myself follow through. After each dose I set a timer for 20 minutes to leave me 10 minutes to prep my breakfast or lunch. Dinner dose taken half hour before meal should be finished and I am usually in kitchen cooking. Also I have meds to take between dinner and bedtime and again at bedtime. Setting alarms on my phone has really helped me stay up on these.

Because I am easily distracted, we sit up front at church so no cute kids or movements of others to distract me from the worship team or pastor’s sermon. Because I know I am not an oral learner I take copious notes during the teaching because I retain what I write. I do the same when attending conferences or seminars whether on the Bible, gardening or any subject. Knowing my weaknesses and preparing to counter them becomes a strength.

My best weeks are the ones where I meal plan and discuss the coming week with my husband on Sunday afternoon or evening. Meal plans help me shop appropriately rather than just buy things that look interesting and either have too much of something and/or missing items to make meals. I know what is important for my husband, for us as a couple in the coming week and we often pray for God to order the coming week. These weeks work best if no mast cell reactions or flares, which can knock me down physically and give enough brain fog to add to my distraction and forgetfulness.

I have been praying for God to “teach me to number my days so I may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). For Him to enable me to use my time more wisely and prioritize what I do based on what He desires and what has eternal value. I am reminded God created me and knows every intimate detail, every minute molecule about me. Even with an ADD brain and chronic health issues I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and that He knows what all the days of my life will be like and has them written in His book long before I existed. (Psalm 139:16) Nothing I do, say or think surprises God because He is aware of it long beforehand. (Psalm 139).

So my timers and lists and praying for God to show me His priorities for the day help me to number my days and have more of a heart of wisdom. Will I continue to be easily distracted? Most likely. Will I get priorities messed up? Undoubtably! But I know my God loves me, cares for me and leads me and when I blow it, in His mercy, He is ready to forgive me when I confess my sins

Are you easily distracted? What has helped you be able to stay on task? I welcome all insights and wisdom from you, my readers so share away in the comments.

Have an amazing week!

Blessings,

Deb

Our Good Shepherd

Psalms 23 is such a familiar psalm that it is easy to recite it and move on without seeing the rich blessings of love, care, protection, and guidance our Good Shepherd provides for us. I remember in VBS the summer between second and third grade getting a prize for memorizing Psalm 23. I could recite it by rote, but did not grasp the rich meanings of it.
The Lord is MY shepherd!!! I am HIS lamb in HIS flock. He personally cares for me and each one in His flock. My shepherd is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11). Because He is our Shepherd, we shall not want. This want is not speaking of physical or material riches. Phillip Keller writes in “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”—“yet amid such hardships he can still boast ‘I shall not want… I shall not lack the expert care and management of my master.’”
Sheep will not drink if water is moving or lie down if there is any fear of danger. The shepherd finds still pools of water that quench and refresh and green pastures of refuge and safety where He watches over them. Sheep are dependent on their shepherd to find the water, nourishment, safety, care and rest they need.

Source Unknown


How tenderly our God cares for each of us as His sheep! He gives us His living water and meets our needs. We are blessed with a refuge where we can safely lie down, rest and be at peace in His presence. Our Shepherd leads us on righteous paths to grow us into conformity to His image (Romans 8:29)—to become more like Him. When we go through seemingly hopeless situations, where death seems to lurk nearby, we can have peace and comfort in His wondrous presence rather than be overcome by fear of evil.
Lord, may we, as Your precious sheep, never forget to rejoice and express gratitude to You, the One who shepherds us through all our life until we reach eternity. Thank You for being the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us, Your sheep. Enable us to recognize and remember to ever praise You for Your care, provision, protection, comfort and peace in both the green pastures and the dark valley of death. Thank You that in You we shall not want but can rest content in your perfect care.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.
~ Deb Peabody

Source Unknown

God in Our Scorched Places

And the LORD will guide you continually

and satisfy your desires in scorched places

and make your bones strong

and you shall be like a watered garden,

like a spring of water,

Whose waters do not fail.

– Isaiah 58:11 ESV

What areas of your life are scorched places, where do you feel you are unable to grow or thrive or are feeling is a complete disaster? Are you in the midst of relationship issues with a spouse or wayward child, or struggling to make ends meet or maybe your health is failing and every faltering step forward feels too hard. Or maybe you are walking through the charred barrenness overwhelmed with heartache and grief without an end to it in sight.

When in a scorched place, do you not desire God to guide you and enable you to have all you need to grow or thrive like a watered garden with an endless supply of fresh spring waters?

He promises in this passage that He is continually leading you even when in those hard scorch places. And in the midst of those hard dry disastrous places He will provide and satisfy our desires. This may happen in ways we do not expect and situations where we least expect it.

We lived in Arizona for six years and some areas of the dessert are beautiful and full of things to look at but others that are parched and scorched by heat or fire have very little to draw our attention. One redeeming quality of being in a scorched place is that there is very little to distract us from God and our need for Him. We thirst for God like a man living in a desert without water.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;

my soul thirsts for you;

my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

– Psalm 63:1 ESV

After my health tanked in late 2009, I found so many of my true heart’s desires have been provided in the heat of suffering and deserts of loneliness or great need. He has continually lead me step by step and my path has taken many unexpected turns. In the heat He refines me and teaches me to be more dependent on Him and to worship Him in the dark and dry places as well as in the well watered areas of my life. My faith has grown, as has my trust in His sovereignty, faithfulness, goodness and wisdom so much more in the seasons of disaster or in the heat of suffering.

Running to God and resting in Him I find a refuge, a perfect oasis of comfort and peace in the barren desolate scorched places.

“Nothing has more powerfully shaped me — my theology, my character, my love for God and for others — than suffering.” – Vaneetha Randall Risner Read her article here:

Hudson Taylor, the well-known missionary to China in the 1800s, has this to say,  “The deepest, most precious, and most abiding spiritual lessons, which God has been pleased to teach me were learned in consequence of enduring my various experiences of sickness. . . . I feel it would have been nothing short of a calamity to have missed the physical suffering thro which I have passed. . . . I am positive that I have sometimes met with God’s refusal to heal when I have been most in fellowship with him.

God has met me, satisfied my deepest inner longings and lead me continually in the scorched places. My well watered garden, watered by His living water, is growing fruits of the Spirit like love, joy and peace and so on as listed in Galatians 5:22-23. I pray I will ever be fruitful even in the most severe droughts of suffering or hardships. I also pray this for each of you who read this.

Scorched Places – Isaiah 58:11

My soul has dwelt in scorched places where day and without rest.

Yet, my God met me with His peace, joy and strength for each test.

My LORD continually guides me to His oasis in the scorched place

Where He ever satisfies me with the living waters of His grace.

– Deborah Peabody February 13, 2020

My husband and I at an oasis called Papago Park in Phoenix, AZ in March 2011.