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photography: beth | a collection of small moments |

With a new awareness, both painful and humorous, I begin to understand why the saints were rarely married women. I am convinced it has nothing inherently to do, as I once supposed, with chastity or children. It has to do primarily with distractions. The bearing, rearing, feeding and educating of children; the running of a house with its thousand details; human relationships with their myriad pulls–woman’s normal occupations in general run counter to creative life, or contemplative life, or saintly life. The problem is not merely one of Woman and Career, Woman and the Home, Woman and Independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea


As the day rushes in, how do you counter the myriad of distractions?
How do you hold on to joy?


Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. Proverbs 31:25

17 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/28/2010 12:45 pm

    Joy comes from practicing gratitude continually. Thank you God for dirty dishes – we had food to eat. Thank you God for dirty clothes – that we had clothing at all. Thank you God for the noisy home – that our children are healthy!
    Gina, you have created a beautiful blog. Thank you.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

    • 01/28/2010 1:17 pm

      You’re so very right, Tonya. And sometimes saying thank you for those things is purely an act of will.

  2. 01/28/2010 2:42 pm

    I’m with Tonya…I find that by constantly acknowledging my blessings and giving thanks for them…by looking for and finding God in the details…by also being very mindful of my interactions with all beings and myself…I stay grounded, connected, and can smile this moment!

    • 01/29/2010 4:15 pm

      interestingly…after I wrote the above, I went on to have one of the most challenging days I’ve had in a while. I’m actually grateful that I had a chance to remember by writing out what I do to stay grounded and joyful because I needed it to be fresh on my mind today…and throughout and especially at the end of the day after remembering what I wrote…how could I not smile;)

  3. 01/28/2010 4:07 pm

    Over the years I have thought about this a lot. The thing that works for me too is also what Tonya says. I look around and begin with the basics. Mentally noting my gratitude for the warmth the sun brings through my window, the food we do have to eat, and for being blessed with such a wonderful family, even though they drive me nutts sometimes, I am still grateful. Of course, there are the breaking points, as I think are in everyone’s lives, especially that of a stay at home homeschooling mother, when, I have to walk away. If I can remove myself to a quiet place, so I can mentally focus on gratitude, instead of the chaos in front of me, that is helpful too.


  4. 01/28/2010 4:48 pm

    I think that what helps me the most is to remember that the thing in front of me–the crying child, the dinner to be cooked, the laundry to be folded–is in fact not a distraction at all, but rather my present, my life, and a subject fully deserving of my presence and mindfulness. Anything can become a subject of meditation or prayer if I am willing and able to center myself and focus on the task at hand. I have actually found mothering to be much more grounding than I ever anticipated, because it forces me to be more present. Suddenly, career and all the trappings of the external world are what feel to me to be the distractions. It is all in your perspective, I guess!

    This is an interesting project, Gina. I’m enjoying it!

  5. 01/28/2010 6:12 pm

    Some days I’m not successful. I don’t hold on to joy.

    But I find when I sit in my rocker, listen to music, seek a hug from one I love, or look through the lens of my camera, all of the nonsense rushes away…at least for a moment.

    These little things are gifts. And I need to be mindful of that.

  6. 01/28/2010 7:41 pm

    this is lovely…. gina… your solstice letters are so moving! thank you!

    my best days are those that begin and end with a list. a list of whatever may come to mind, of what i want to accomplish, what i want to create…what i am most grateful for… a list of my simple blessings….
    i find the act of writing things down to be very powerful…. and uplifting….

    again, thank you for this… xxo, kim

  7. 01/29/2010 12:01 am

    I agree with the commenter who said that the distractions ARE the joy–especially in parenting.

  8. 01/29/2010 5:41 am

    thank you ever so much for including my photo! this is a lovely blog!

  9. 01/29/2010 8:28 pm

    I think that remembering who I am, that I am here for a reason, and to never take for granted the life that I have been given. Looking at my children, and my husband, and my surroundings with gratitude is the way that I always find my joy. And remembering that I chose this, no matter what life looks like in this moment, I chose to be here.

  10. 01/29/2010 9:03 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful blog & entry. I really appreciate this!

  11. 01/30/2010 2:40 pm

    Beautiful and true. Being able to feel the quiet amid distractions is hard, but so rewarding, All your posts are lovely.

  12. 01/30/2010 6:29 pm

    I really like what Tonya said, like there is a silver lining to every task. Some days though, it is really hard. And finding the balance within the family to get everyone’s needs met, at the same time, can, on some days, be nearly impossible. But this is a great reminder that we all find it something that needs to be worked on the greater good of ourselves and our family.

  13. 01/31/2010 12:30 am

    That quote is beautiful! I think I’m going to have to get that book…it sounds wonderful!

  14. 01/31/2010 3:20 am

    You have a wonderful blog, thanks for visitng mine as I have now found yours and will be back to visit often.
    Love this post especially.

  15. 02/01/2010 6:47 pm

    Distractions threaten my day…every day. Usually I just flow with it, ride it out and then return to what I was doing before.

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