Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Blomdahl’

Shiny Butterflies

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Guest post by my awesome wife…enjoy!

I have what my husband calls, “Shiny Butterfly Syndrome”. I get easily distracted. A typical day for me went something like this: I’d be sitting on the couch by Eric and think “I’m really thirsty, I could use a glass of water.” I’d go to the kitchen to get the water and realize that the dishes need to be done. So I’d start to do the dishes, but the dish rag is the one from yesterday and smells a little weird so I take it to the laundry room. Then I notice that the clothes in the washer need to be put in the dryer, but the dryer is full of towels.  So I start to fold the towels when I hear a voice from the bathroom say, “Mom, I’m done”. So I go help the child and now the bathroom needs to be cleaned.  By now, I am working up a sweat and start thinking, “I’m thirsty, I could really use a glass of water.” So I get my water, go sit back down and Eric asks, “Where have you been for the last hour and a half?”  To which I reply…”Getting a glass of water.”

I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get anything done. There were many things I wanted to incorporate into my schedule, but felt I was so busy and couldn’t see how to fit it all in. I felt rushed, unbalanced and unable to give my best to all my priorities.  I have heard LIFE Co-Founder, Claude Hamilton, say, “You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.”  It hit me that maybe I need to inspect my daily actions. It was time to take an honest evaluation of what I was actually doing with my time and identify my true priorities.  It was also time to stop allowing my busyness to keep me from achieving the goals I wanted and expected.

When you are that scattered you need a system to keep you on track. There are some great books through LIFE on organizing your time, prioritizing your schedule and how to stop procrastinating. Those books are: “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephan R. Covey. The “7 Habits” book is one of my favorites because it helps you identify your core values/priorities and walks you through how to set up your schedule based on those core values.  My initial plan was to keep track of everything I did throughout the day for a whole week. That only lasted about 2 days. I quickly realized how much time I wasted by being distracted and by not having a specific plan for each day.  I also realized there were things in my schedule that were interfering with my priorities.

Once I identified my shortcomings, I could now come up with a plan to change. I took my to-do list and assigned a time slot to each item. I treated those things as an appointment I had to keep. Over time I learned to focus on one task at a time and that I could make time for what matters most to me. I also learned it was okay to say, “No” to anything that would keep me from my priorities.  At the end of the day, I felt I had invested time in each area of importance, felt more balanced and at peace knowing that I was doing what would lead me to the results I wanted and expected.

Only when you identify where you are currently at can you make the necessary changes to move toward your ultimate goal.  Your future will be a result of what you do today. Don’t get distracted by “shiny butterflies”…make today count.

God Bless

Jennifer Blomdahl

Christmas Memories

I was having a conversation recently with a new-found friend and she was sharing all the things she had to do yet before Christmas. She was getting a little frazzled because she was running out of time. Then what she shared next shocked me. She said that she just found out what Christmas was really about…the birth of Jesus. She is now in her early 30’s and this is the first she’s heard about this? Really? How can a child grow up celebrating Christmas every year and never know the true meaning behind it until she’s in her early 30’s?

It got me thinking about how many families are out there that really don’t know the true meaning, but celebrate Christmas anyway. It’s one thing to choose not to believe and, therefore, not celebrate. But are there really people out there that think it’s all about a guy in a red suit sliding down a chimney leaving presents? They really don’t know the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior?

Could it be some parents get so busy with preparing for Christmas, the baking, decorating, cleaning and the shopping, that they forget to take time to teach the reason for it and lose sight of what’s most important. It’s as if the Christmas traditions got passed on, but the meaning got lost along the way. I can’t say for sure and I’m not passing judgement, but I guess I just assumed that either you’re a believer that celebrates or you’re a non-believer and don’t.

In preparation for our Christmas celebration my daughter and I have been doing some baking and trying out some new recipes. Some turned out great and others, not so much, but we had a lot of fun and enjoyed talking about Christmases past and future things we want to do.

When I asked her to share some of her favorite memories not one of those memories had to do with a gift she received. Every memory she shared had to do with time together with family. Playing games, baking, making up plays and reminiscing with relatives.

So I started thinking about some of my favorites memories. I couldn’t remember even a handful of gifts I had received in my lifetime. Most of what I remembered was the quality time together. So if that is the case, why do so many people go into debt for Christmas? Spending so much money they end up taking the whole year to pay it off, or not even getting it paid off by the next Christmas.

Rather than getting the kids a bunch of stuff that they’re just going to forget about anyway, what we have done is give the gift of quality time and creating fun memories together. For example, ski trip with the boys and a concert with the girls (to see one of their favorite boy bands). Making homemade gifts for family and friends, and helping others in need. And of course, having birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

There was an email I had received years ago titled, “Teach The Children”. It goes through all the symbols of Christmas and the meaning behind them. So we had decided that we would include the reading of that on Christmas and place an ornament on the tree to go along with each symbol to remind us and to teach our kids what it all means. I believe the best gift we could ever give our kids is to teach them about a Savior and our Savior can give them the greatest gift of all…their salvation.

I want to encourage you to take time to think about the memories being created and the messages it sends. The memories we create with our kids will stick with them for a very long time, maybe, forever. Are we teaching them to just be busy, or are we creating memories that teach them values and focus on what’s really important?

Here is the link to the poem,“Teach the Children”

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and created some great memories.

God bless,

Jennifer Blomdahl