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Your Daily Unplug #5: If You Leave it, They will Come

October 15, 2018


My good friend shared a tip she used this summer to make sure she got around to the bible study she was determined to do each day.  She would leave her bible, open to the book she was studying, and the study guide alongside it.  Whenever she had 5 or 10 minutes (between feeding four kids, switching the laundry, or taking the dog out), she would pause by her open book, read some scripture, and jot down a few lines in the study guide.


Genius!, I thought.  Of course, like a good bible study girl, my goal is always to get up before the kids, and ready my bible and pray before the day gets completely underway.  But everyone knows that doesn't always happen.  The alarm goes off and I just can't seem to roll myself out from under the warmth of the covers, or a little person gets up earlier than expected, putting all hopes of peaceful study time aside.


But, when I heard my friend talking about how she made sure her bible study happened everyday, a lightbulb went on.  Of course!  This is what we do all day with social media, or with news stories.  We have 5 or10 minutes and we fill those moments catching up with the rest of the world.  But what if we turned our focus to more uplifting things, like becoming more kind and patient, or even learning more about our world?  What could we "leave" out that would lead us to bettering ourselves?



{I love that Hattie photobombed this picture.  She always has to be in the middle of things.} 


Here is a perfect example of how leaving something out lead to learning.  Camden and I made all of his "popcorn"(sight) words the day before and I almost cleaned up the letters, but decided if I left them out, he may return to them.  I left them there overnight, even though they were taking up space on our coffee table.  When he got up, instead of immediately asking for screen time, he got busy showing his dad all the words we had made (including boo, poo, and poop--hey, gotta appeal to a five year old boy's sense of humor).  I was very proud of him.  And I know this cool little learning session probably would not have happened if the letters had not been so readily accessible.





When I "leave" art supplies lying around, artists seem to come out of the woodwork!  Carson has always been a terrific artist, but life--football, friends, school--seems to get in the way sometimes, and he forgets to stop and enjoy drawing and coloring like he used to.  So, I leave out the basket of drawing utensils, and he gets creative.  It absolutely made my day to see my big guy drawing and coloring, an activity I know makes him feel good about himself, and recharges his batteries.



And, did you know slugs have four noses?  This is just one of the fascinating things we have learned from Nat Geo Kids.  We love the magazine, but truth be told, it is almost impossible to get my kids to just pick the magazine up and read it.  But when I "leave" the magazine lying on the island, open to a really interesting page, they seem to migrate right to it, and before they know it, they've read a few pages.  


In our media obsessed world, have we forgotten the simple pleasures of tactile activities?  We play word games on our phones, read books on a kindle, and now there's even a coloring app that allows us to color in photos after uploading them.  Yes, this all very cool and liberating, but what happened to engaging with a real live human to play a game, interacting with a librarian as you try to hunt down a copy of your book club's latest pick, tackling a puzzle with your family, or discussing this bizarre world we live in where something as nasty as a slug was created with not one, not two, not three, but four noses!  Mild blown.  Glad I had someone to talk to about that one.


So, here is your challenge this fine Monday.  Rediscover something you enjoy doing--reading, walking in nature, playing a game with friends, kicking a soccer ball, playing catch...and do it WITHOUT technology.  I am the first to grab my phone to listen to a podcast when I am walking my dog, but I am always amazed at the problems I work through, the writing topics I come up with, and the clarity I receive when I go out for a walk without the drone of my phone in my ears.

Unplugged #5


Rediscover a love long lost,

Draw, read, walk with just your thoughts.

Unplug for a moment, rest your mind

You may be surprised of the peace you'll find.


 If you missed them...

Unplugged #1 Look UP instead of OUT.

Unplugged #2 Make a phone call.

Unplugged #3 Real time is best, virtual won't last.

Unplugged #4 Tell it like it is.


And I will leave you with one more example of the magic that happens when we take technology out of the equation...



This was a day back in January of 2018 when the kids got out of school early for inclement weather.  I happened to be at Target when I got the call that they were coming home early, and knowing that our house tends to be the hangout, I wanted to be prepared to keep these boys off the Xbox.  So, I grabbed two puzzles and a box of brownies.  Armed and ready, I welcomed them in, telling them they could earn a brownie by putting just one piece of the puzzle in.  Guess what?  Those boys earned their brownies and kept right on putting piece by piece in the puzzle until it was complete.  They talked about school, told silly jokes, and generally just goofed off.  No screens required.  And we can do it too.  We can take the screen out of the equation and see where creativity and laughter and real live face to face conversation takes us.  It just takes a bit of foresight, and sometimes even a leap of faith.


 You can do it.



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List maker, note taker, avid reader, and strong mom.


I'm married to my college sweetheart and we have three amazing kids, all of them boys.  We also have one furry child, a golden retriever rescue dog.


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