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Posts tagged ‘timer’

If you are familiar with the Flylady, you are probably familiar with the phrase, “You can do anything for 15 minutes.” Obviously, there are limits to that. I mean, unless you’re single, you probably can’t–and wouldn’t want to–limit your shopping to 15 minutes per store. But the idea is that if you don’t think you can do something, or simply don’t want to, you can make yourself do it for 15 minutes.

That’s how it was with me this evening. I had an orthodontist appointment in the late morning, but it’s an hour’s drive away and my husband needed to go somewhere else, so he dropped me off half an hour early. So we ate breakfast, packed a lunch for my son, and didn’t clean anything before we left. I ate lunch after the appointment (before the soreness set in) and took the train & bus back home–about a two-hour trip. It was 3:00 pm when we got home. And I was tired.

So instead of tackling the dishes and the laundry and such things, I sat down in a recliner and tried to nap. When my son decided to join me (but wouldn’t sit still), I put in a nice video for him to watch, turned the volume way down, and went to bed.

I got out of bed a little before 5:00, and was feeling rather groggy. Morning sickness had been mostly nil all day, and I still didn’t notice any, but I was tired and sluggish. Then my husband got home about 10 minutes later, and brought a whole bunch of fruit that he had gotten either free or cheap on the way home. I ate one of the oranges, feeling that I needed to eat something, and almost instantly my tummy began to complain. I moved away and sat down, hoping the feeling would go away like it sometimes did, but it just got worse. So I browsed facebook and tried to ignore my stomach for an hour or so, until I just couldn’t ignore it anymore.

I’ll spare you what happened next, but once I did what I needed to do and was feeling better, I ate a granola bar and decided that happy tummy or no (I was still not feeling 100%), I needed to do some shopping or we wouldn’t be able to eat cooked cereal in the morning (I’m hoping it will be gentle on my sore teeth–the orthodontist really tightened things up this time). So off I went to the store around 7:30.

When I got home at 8:30, I was feeling better, but I was also tired and didn’t want to face the kitchen. My husband had been very busy with things related to our house, so he wasn’t able to clean up–at least he had fed Manny while I was feeling so sick, so I didn’t feel it right to complain. But I didn’t want to clean up either. It looked like about a half hour of work to get the kitchen in order.

Then I remembered the Flylady and her favorite saying: “You can do anything for 15 minutes.” Yes, I told myself, I can clean the kitchen for 15 minutes. I’ll set a timer, and whatever is left when it goes off can wait until morning. After all, if we’re just having cooked cereal with nuts and fruit, there won’t be a lot of dishes after breakfast, so adding in a few from the day before won’t be a problem. And having some clean counters and a cleared-off stove will make breakfast so much less stressful.

So I put a cup of water in the microwave, set a timer for 15 minutes, and got busy. When the water was hot, I added a tea bag and left it to steep while I worked (I like to steep my tea a long time).

In 10 minutes, I was well over half way done. I stopped washing and rinsing  to clear and wipe the counters and stove, then washed a few more. When the timer went off, I took and extra 15 seconds to rinse the soapy silverware, and then took a look around. All that was left was my pressure cooker and a frying pan, neither of which I will need first thing in the morning. Everything else was done and the counters cleared and wiped.

And my reward? A nice cup of raspberry zinger tea. Mmmm!

I was listening to Revive our Hearts yesterday, and the speaker quoted from the book The Life of Helen Keller. After describing the scene where Anne Sullivan taught Helen to eat like a civilized creature (if you’ve seen either of the “Miracle Worker” movies, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about; if not, either watch one or read the book!), Anne goes on to say something very profound:

I saw clearly that it was useless to try to teach Helen language or anything else until she learned to obey me. I thought about it a great deal, and the more I think, the more certain I am that obedience is the gateway through which knowledge, yes, and love, too, enter the mind of the child.

I don’t know how to improve on that, so I’ll just recommend that you read it again, 2 or 3 times, and let its meaning really sink in.

Yesterday I had a battle with Manny. Not near as big as Anne had with Helen, but it was something. Lately he has not wanted to eat any cereal except the chocolate-covered “Koala Crisps” (which are gluten-free and actually have nothing he is allergic to in them, which is why I buy them and give them to him occasionally). Trying to get him to eat anything else for supper is a battle. So last night I decided to try something different.

When I offered him the food, I told him clearly that he had a choice to make. He could either choose to eat cheerfully, or he could stand in the corner. He hates standing in the corner, by the way. But he chose not to eat, so by default he chose the corner. I put him there and worked nearby, watching him closely. If he turned around and looked at me, I would remind him to put his nose in the corner. Of course this made him cry again, but I persisted. I started him out at 2 minutes, then offered to let him eat. When he said no, I went 2 1/2 minutes. Then 3 minutes. Then 3 1/2. Each time I offered him the food, showing it to him, and letting him choose between eating and the corner. He tried to interject other options, like “nigh nigh” (going to bed), but I would not allow those options.

I am not sure how long it took, but we were up to 5 minutes between choices, and finally he chose to eat. He said, “Eat, eat,” so I put him in his chair, poured hemp milk on the puffed millet that I had coated with carob powder, and offered him the spoon. He ate the whole thing cheerfully, and was delighted to get some grapes afterwards!

Not only was this a great victory, but Daddy noticed later that evening that he was more compliant and less demanding. I think I have hit on something here.

The truth is, I have been very neglecting of my child training lately. But I have also neglected my walk with the Lord. In the past few weeks, I have been going through a period of revival, which always results in reformation if it is genuine. And this week the Lord convicted me that it was time to start working on my child training. I have been praying for wisdom, because Manny has some serious issues, and he’s too young to reason with, and I let some things get too far. But thanks to this victory yesterday, I am beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

But it’s a very long tunnel! At least, it feels like it! But God is my guide, and I know I will win as long as I remain with Him.