By Jennifer Davis Rash
Two of my nieces had their first painful dental experiences recently — they both had a tooth pulled prior to entering the orthodontics world.
It was about a week prior to their tooth-pulling appointments when they shared with me how scared they were and how they didn’t know what to expect. Of course, being the amazing aunt that I am, I knew my role was to help calm their fears. I started by sharing personal experiences and being honest that it wasn’t always a pleasant experience but that it was bearable.
I offered suggestions to help with the anxiety such as listening to their iPods while the dental work was going on so the sounds of the drills and equipment wouldn’t be so intimidating.
I also explained that I always close my eyes as soon as the dentist starts to work so I don’t see the various instruments, especially the shot.
“The shot?” my nieces — in complete unison — asked with rapidly increasing high-pitched shrills. “No one told us we had to get a shot!”
Oops, guess Aunt Jen Jen went a little too far in her explanation. I don’t think they heard another word I said after that, and I’m sure their parents were thrilled with my assistance in the matter.
I wonder if I reacted in a similar way when my mom shared the “close your eyes” trick with me more than 35 years ago. It’s funny how clearly I remember sitting in the dentist’s waiting room at 5 or 6 years old, shaking from fear. I don’t recall what I said, but I do remember vividly the calming voice of my mom comforting me and assuring me everything would be OK.
I took her advice that day and she was right. It worked, and it still works all these years later. The minute the dental chair is fully reclined and the process begins, I close my eyes and spend the time praying, thinking, planning, listening to music — anything but engaging in the activity swirling around me.
A simple act, yes, but one of countless tips and efforts of encouragement my mom has shared with me through the years — a lot of little things that have added up to make life better overall.
When I decided to focus this month’s Rashional Thoughts on Mother’s Day, I assumed I would select a turning point in my life in which my mom made a major impact and share those reflections. And while there are those highlight moments, I discovered the larger impact for me has been the consistency of my mom’s presence, encouragement, strength and love.
She has an incredible intuition and sense of knowing what to do and where to be. She gives and gives and gives in so many ways and most of the time she manages to do it without a lot of fanfare.
I’ve not yet learned how to silently and seamlessly slip in, do what needs to be done and slip out. I’m still much too loud, but I love watching my mom do her thing. And I always smile when she manages to slip something over on me.
Her quiet demeanor and sweet nature could fool those who don’t know her, but my mom’s strength is solid. She is secure in her faith and follows the two greatest commandments — love Jesus and love others — wholeheartedly.
Her love for family extends beyond our immediate members. It reaches far and wide, even beyond bloodlines. I would venture to say there’s not a sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew who wouldn’t agree.
Thank you, Mom, for consistently sharing tips to help me through life, and thank you for modeling a quiet, solid strength of faith, hope and love.
Creating time? 10 simple ideas
By Teri Lynne Underwood
Is your to-do list overwhelming?
Have you ever wished for just one more hour in the day? Or one more day in the week?
Do you wish you could create more time?
Yeah, me too. In fact, if we’re honest, I’d imagine we all do. We cannot make our days last 25 hours, but we can find simple ways to use the time we have better. I’m no organizational expert. If you were to come visit my house right now, you’d see my dining room table piled high with all the “stuff” that didn’t fit when we put our new furniture into the living room. … But I am learning to slow down, to give my time to the things that really matter. And it feels really good.
10 tips for creating time
- Plan well. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t plan your day, someone else will.” Take control of your time. For a great tool to help you in this endeavor, I recommend “Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free” by Amy Andrews.
- “Catch up time.” The truth is, I always have more tasks than time … and I’m easily distracted. In an effort to diminish the effects of this character flaw, I build catch-up time into my day. Allocate an hour each day for catching up. Here’s a hint, it’s best not to make this the hour before you go to bed. You’ll be too tired.
- Group like tasks. This is one of those tips that’s given in every organization book out there … because it works!!
- Establish your priorities for each day. I usually have about two or three priorities per day. Any more than that won’t probably get done anyway so why set myself up for disappointment.
- Start well. Begin your day by asking God what His plan for these hours is.
- Make a list … then mark off 10 percent.
- Give yourself some playtime. You are going to get on Pinterest or play Words with Friends. You enjoy it and it relaxes and even inspires you. Admit it … and build it into your routine.
- Delegate. Here’s something that just might shock you but pay close attention. You don’t have to do it all! Someone else may do it differently but just enjoy that it’s done.
- Delete. There are things you do (or feel guilty about not doing) that really don’t matter.
- GO TO BED!! Want to create more time in your day … get enough rest!! It’s not rocket science, I know, but you will be more productive and feel better if you are well-rested.
So, there you have it … my suggestions for creating time. Or maybe they are really just ideas for using the time you have better.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This blog post is an excerpt from Teri Lynne Underwood’s “permission to live well” blog at www.terilynneunderwood.com. Underwood is a member of Calvary Baptist Church, Russellville, where her husband, Scott, serves as minister of music.
A question for Christian believers:
How would Jesus look to the world if He were based on your life?
“We think we are physical beings who are also Christians … who also have a spiritual life. … That’s not what God called us to be according to His word. … We are spiritual beings who have a limited physical time on the planet … who have been called to be a living, breathing, flesh and blood embodiment of the Lord Jesus Christ as we walk around on the planet and interface with the teeming masses. … We are spiritual beings … with powerful opportunities now. … What if God loved you the way you love others?”
Bible study teacher Northpark Baptist Church, Trussville
In a sermon on the importance of simplicity and a reference to 2 Corinthians 11:3: “We have allowed the world to make us too busy, to seduce us not with great sins but with overloaded lives that have no room for a simple, sincere, pure devotion to Christ.”
Minister to students
FBC Rock Hill, S.C.
“How real are any of us if we do not share our dark days with those closest to us, if we do not claim our failures as well as our successes? Authenticity is not something you have; it is something you choose.”
“Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time”
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