Moms can win the battle over distraction when we recognize our habits and become intentional about our choices. Fight the shiny distractions in your life!
Meet the Authors!
Amanda Bacon lives in North Carolina with her husband, Jeremy, and their eight children. She works for Proverbs 31 Ministries and loves encouraging women with biblical truth and authenticity. When she isn’t driving carpool or feeding people, you can find her writing, reading, or wandering outdoors.
Anne-Renee Gumley and her husband, Andrew, live in Alaska, with their two children and a bunny. Her days are a messy mix of work, motherhood, and ministry, with time reserved for bike rides, breakfast foods, and bonfires. She loves words—especially the mom related ones.
So Many Shiny Things… So Little Time
What are shiny things? Amanda and Anne-Renee talk about this metaphor for anything that grabs our attention to pull away from the important things.
While “shiny things” can mean something different for each of us, we have to choose the better things for our family.
Distraction can have a reach that is so much bigger than technology. Anything that pulls us away from our focus can be:
Distraction is Whatever Keeps Us From Doing What We Know We Should Be Doing
“Distraction: Whenever we choose the lesser over the lasting.”
There are many reasons why we choose lesser things – why we choose to escape instead of confront. These lesser things can also keep us from following Christ.
Amanda and Anne-Renee challenge us to ask ourselves these questions:
- What is He leading me toward?
- What am I allowing to get in the way?
“If we’re not talking to the God of the universe, we don’t address the yuck of the heart.” -Amanda
Admitting Distraction Does Not Mean Condemnation
We all struggle to do the right thing, and taking time for ourselves is not wrong, please don’t hear that message here.
But only we can decide what is personally distracting. In a poll taken in their Facebook group, they found that organizing was a distraction for some (what?!), or even the desire to get outside instead of housework.
The point it, not all of our distractions look the same.
Distraction by good things can keep us from the God-things.
Listing our priorities is easy. Acting on them is not always the same. We can easily profess what we believe, but our actions tell a different story.
The Distraction and Dopamine Effect
Do you struggle to finish what you start? Me, too. It’s difficult to push past the shiny things and distraction in order to finish something that requires more focus. (Writer problems!!!)
Getting down to the science of it all, Anne-Renee talks about the effects of conditioned responses in our brains. The more often we reward ourselves with shiny things that feel good, the more dopamine hormones we receive. If we can fight doing what’s easy and convenience more often and get the important things done, there is a much longer-lasting reward.
One thing we can do is limit the time we’re on our phones.
Amanda, mother of 8 children, describes exactly what her day looks like with and without her phone, the amount of stuff she’s been able to accomplish since changing her tech rules, and how differently she feels about herself.
Toward the end of the episode, Amanda gives simple solution to keep track of what we’re doing… you may be doing it already!
Click the image to get Shiny Things!
As moms we know the magnetic pull to steer away from what’s important and choose what feels irresistible in the moment. In Shiny Things, Amanda Bacon and Anne-Renee Gumley bring to light the distractions moms face every day. Honoring God and loving our families are our highest priority, but sometimes we need help keeping them there. For all of us who find ourselves caught in the cycle of distraction but are looking for a way out, Shiny Things can help.