It’s been a habit of mine in the last several years to make sure I get introspective every few months and figure out what struggles are taking up too much of my brain space, time, and energy. How am I letting bad habits or destructive ways of thinking rule me?
First, I sit down with paper and pen and write down my top struggles. It sounds depressing, but I promise it’s helpful. Some struggles fall into the mom category, some in marriage, some as a time manager, and so on. I make my list while making sure to not edit myself, making my struggles sound prettier.
These struggles could be:
*a way of thinking
*anger (or any behavior)
*fill in the blank ______
Last night I sat down and made my list. Here’s the unedited version. My current top struggles are as follows:
1. seeing myself as a sinner right alongside my sinning child
2. staying focused on my children when it’s time for my focus to be on them
3. phone addiction
4. keeping my body in a healthy place
5. so many demands fighting for my time
6. headaches and chronic pain
7. being a loving, selfless, and forgiving mother to my more challenging children
There you have it. The real-deal struggles of Amanda.
After writing my struggles down, I ask myself a few questions to narrow it down to the One Thing that needs my attention right now. I ask myself:
*Are any of these struggles fixable right now?
*Which one am I most desperate to change?
*What would help alleviate this problem?
After asking myself these follow-up questions, I decided that phone addiction is at the root of (or certainly isn’t helping) many of my other struggles. So I’ll take that one and make a plan to intentionally work on it with Jesus for the next couple of months.
Here’s the plan I came up with off the top of my head for prayerfully overcoming the temptation to pay more attention to my phone than my real life.
1. Keep tally of how many times I’m drawn to pick up my phone in a day. (Then don’t pick it up.)
2. Set it to silent at night always, but at certain times of the day as well.
3. Plug it in outside my bedroom at night so it isn’t the first thing I reach for in the morning.
4. Have set times I can be on social media during the day.
5. Remove certain apps from my phone, making them only accessible on the computer.
6. Check email from my computer whenever possible. When kids see us scrolling on a phone, they can’t differentiate between work and play. I’ll try to keep work to my computer.
7. As with any idol fighting for our time, turning to prayer and Scripture instead of engaging with my phone is a good place to start.
8. Decide how I want to be remembered by my family. I definitely don’t want to be remembered with a phone in hand and my face glowing with blue light.
Lastly, go make your own plan of action.
If you like making plans and lists like me, this method will delight your heart. If not, you pretty much hate me right now. But that’s okay! We all have our thing.
Maybe it’s time we all went introspective this week and discovered our One Thing.
–> How many of your top struggles matched mine?
–> Do you care to share what you’re focusing on changing right now? Scroll back up to the top and interact with us in the comments!
We’ll be praying for you!