Do more nothing - JJ Landis
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Do more nothing

do more nothing

 

Hello. My name is JJ and I am a skimmer.

 

I read newspaper headlines and captions. I flip through the Bible, occasionally (rarely) stopping to read more than a verse at a time. I read the first few entries of devotional books and then skim the rest.

 

I bookmark professional journal articles to read for work but don’t return to them. I repeatedly make lists of who and what to pray for but rarely follow through in prayer. I have pages of ideas to write about but infrequently position my butt in front of my computer to actually write.

 

I want to commune with God, dig deeper, slow down, soak in information, learn more about the world, but I convince myself I don’t have enough time. So instead of doing any one thing thoroughly, I do a lot of little things inadequately.

 

My skimming habit is robbing me. When I don’t keep a careful check on my spirit, I find the frantic pace boils inside of me until I burn out before starting anything. There’s an undercurrent of defeat knowing I won’t accomplish what I think I should, so why bother.

 

Our society’s daily barrage of information, along with all the things we’re supposed to do and be (supermom, superlibrarian, superChristian, superservant, superwife, supermodel) are traps. When I lose focus, I become weak.

 

When I jump haphazardly from one activity to the next, even if well-intentioned in all of them, I end up dodging growth and getting nowhere.

 

I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t. But when a conversation (of sorts) was started on the whiteboard in our upstairs hallway – someone, probably my eldest, wrote “Resolutions” – I listed what popped into my head that day: 1. Sleep more. 2. Read more. 3. Walk more. 4. Do more nothing. (Another family member resolved to get a horse and get out of school forever.)

 

Every day so far of 2015, as I’ve walked by that whiteboard, I have read my resolutions: sleep more, read more, walk more, do more nothing. I want to add to my list – just breathe.

 

A phrase I saw on social media a few months ago bounces around in my thoughts too: “Do less with more focus.” That is the key.

 

I am not going to be able to read everything I want to read, so I will deliberately choose a few articles and books and then digest them slowly.

 

I am not going to be able to absorb every lesson the Bible has for me just because I just bought a new study Bible last week. So instead of flipping randomly, catching nothing, I will choose one passage to study and mediate on.

 

No way can I be supermom at every turn (I realize you are finding that one oh-so-hard to believe!) or pray for six hours every day. When I stop and breathe and embrace stillness, my focus becomes keen and priorities sort themselves out.

 

I ask God to show me what to do, show me what to read, direct me toward the best, and I find freedom and peace.

4 Comments
  • Peggy Zehr
    Posted at 10:03h, 05 February Reply

    Really lovely!! I’m good at making lists. Then re-writing lists. Then typing lists. Well, I’m good at something!!! LISTS!!

  • Karen
    Posted at 06:11h, 03 February Reply

    Hi JJ! This is so true for me, too. I have so many plans…to read, to write, to cook/bake new things, to read my Bible every day, etc. This year my only resolution was to know and desire God more. I wanted to share with you a blog that I follow. We are going through the Bible one chapter a day. We started in Exodus (not sure if they did Genesis and I missed it or what) and are now on chapter 22. The blog/website is Women Living Well and the Bible study is actually on the site called Good Morning Girls. Courtney Joseph is the leader. She has a wonderful method, I think, for studying and meditating on God’s word. Check it out! I think you’ll like it. She posts the days chapter on the Facebook page Good Morning Girls and women leave comments about the reading. I have learned so much and look forward to my time with God every morning.

    • JJ Landis
      Posted at 08:39h, 03 February Reply

      Thanks Karen!

      • Ruth
        Posted at 11:07h, 28 February Reply

        I’m right there with you JJ, and I love your solution. I’m at a different stage of life than you with our youngest in college and thinking naively that I now have more spare time but volunteer work and other family activities (I restrained myself from using the word “obligation” because I babysit grandchildren and help my parents joyfully) do take up time and I find myself wasting time deciding which emails/books to read and not just doing. I’m trying to make “purposefully” my operative word.

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