Thursday, September 5, 2013

#260 - How to Recognize the Noise!

DID YOU KNOW: You wondering why there are "#'s" in front of some blog posts and not others? Well... here's your answer. Today's blog, #260, will somewhat have reference back to the Proverbs 31 Woman. Any blog posts that do not have a number at the beginning of the title will just be a general devotion, not referring to a passage in Proverbs 31. Also, unless specified differently, the Amplified Version of the Bible is typically used. 

Proverbs 31:16 -  She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.
In referring to the Proverbs 31 woman, she is obviously an accomplished woman. She has done much, and is greatly to be modeled after. Though, most people have NO strength left, mental or physical because their productive time has been spent on things done in vain, activities that they should not have been doing in the first place. We can find ourselves not moving on to bearing fruit and having fruitful vines because our lack of strength never gets us to planting the vines! THE VINES ARE NEVER PLANTED BECAUSE WE ARE TOO BUSY WITH THE NOISE!!! We remain UNFRUITFUL in the areas God has called us to because of the noise.

Have you ever thought this: "There is so much noise, I cannot even hear myself think!" Noise around you. Noise in your head. Noise in your thoughts. Noise on your calendar, your phone, your computer. Noise. Noise. Noise! So much noise, you cannot hear.

Noise comes in many different formats. This morning while having my quiet time and thinking about a bit of a rushed morning schedule once we get started, I found myself asking the Lord this question. "Father, will you please guide me today? Teach me how to listen and obey even amongst the hustle and bustle, in all the noise. Help me Father. Shutting out noise. I know you knew noise would come. And I know they had their own kind of noise when Proverbs 31 was written."

The phrase, "Handling Noise in order to Hear" came to mind. With all of that said, I'd like to share with you some of the insights on noise that I received. EVALUATE YOURSELF. Are there any areas in the below noise categories that you need to eliminate, evaluate, tweak or even potentially focus on more?

Noise can be boiled down to two main categories. External Noise & Internal Noise. Let's look at the following list, not all is bad noise, but can be noise nonetheless.

External Noise
  1. Having the TV on - needing noise in the background, often does not allow us to think, pray or hear from the Holy Spirit
  2. Cell Phone - Can be an obvious distraction. Be it games, email, texting, etc. In the Roman times they entertained people to keep them from THINKING and revolting.  Hum.... could cell phones be a point of distraction to keep us from thinking?
  3. Apps on your cell phone - Each app adds an additional element of noise...just one more thing to look at or do.
  4. Music or audios - While your driving, do you ever have time to think? Or is there always noise in the background?
  5. Children - Let's be honest, from the time they wake up, if they are toddler the idea of thinking quietly may be a far fetch from reality.
  6. Activities - How many activities do you choose to be involved in and are they the right activities?
  7. Schedules - What's on your schedule? Your husbands schedule? Your kids schedule? 
  8. What you allow to GO on your schedule? - Like the Proverbs 31 woman in verse 16, do you expand prudently? Do you really evaluate and consider whether your time should be going to this area?
  9. Facebook, twitter, Social Media - Need I say more? At the end of the day, minutes can easily turn into hours if we are not careful. 
  10. Pictures - Constantly having to "capture the moment". (Often this causes us to miss the real "moments" because we are trying to capture them.)
  11. Overcommitting
  12. Disorganization - A mess. 
  13. Lack of Systems in place - Constantly have to think, "Where am I going to put this?" because it doesn't have a place. 
  14. Excessive Entertainment - Always a movie, Netflix, a show, a book. 
  15. Work
  16. The WRONG Work 
Internal Noise
  1. Comparing - Allowing your mind to compare yourself to others
  2. Busyness - No downtime to sit quietly and think or pray. 
  3. Guilt - Guilt is a condemnation tool that takes your listening focus onto the negative.
  4. Self-Talk - What do you SAY to yourself? What are you speaking into existence about your life? Family? Children? Your day? Your future?
  5. Belief or Lack of Belief - Believing the wrong way. How or what are you believing from the Lord? Often our own belief is too low not allowing GOD to do His part. I heard the words, "BELIEVE ME WILDLY!"
  6. Wandering thoughts - Thinking about nothing and meaningless things. That is noise and wasted time. 

TO DO: Make a "THINK LIST" - When you have the down time, what are some things you need to think on? Have a list ready & THINK on these things. It may be an organized prayer time, it may be thinking on ways to organize and streamline your life, it may be thinking on your next steps towards accomplishing your dream, being productive, parenting, being healthy, preparing healthy meals, developing a schedule for YOURSELF, cleaning, etc. Develop a THINK LIST. When your mind is tempted to wander about nothing or spend countless hours drifting into Facebook, INSTEAD with a THINK LIST in place, you may find yourself creating valuable systems to put into place in your home that will help you have more peace and be more productive, and ultimately accomplish what GOD would have you accomplish on a daily basis! 

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