Thursday, June 26, 2008

MY PICK FOR THE BEST LOW-TECH PERSONAL ORGANIZATIONAL DEVICE

One of the greatest inventions of our modern age is the yellow note pad. Don't get me wrong...I have a Palm Pilot, which has delivered me from some of my random sticky notes that hang everywhere and which helps me keep track of stuff I would otherwise forget. It took a while for me to get to the Palm Pilot stage, but now I can't picture not having it.

But there's something about writing on a yellow pad that is somewhat cleansing to the mind. It's like thoughts and ideas flow from my overcrowded cranium, down my arm, and out the tip of my pen. It's not like holding a stylus and rapidly tap-tap-taping on a miniature keyboard. Nor is it like working on a PC. I can stop and deftly toss the pad on the table to collect my next wave of thoughts or grab a cup of joe or whatever--you can't do that with a laptop! I can pick the pad up and carry it around, whack a spider on the wall, jot a note while standing, and even wave it in my face to cool off. And when I'm done, the yellow pad is covered with an intricate pattern of heiroglyphics, code words, and internal communiques (aka doodles, abbreviations, and notes to self!) that make me feel like I've actually accomplished something.

I was feeling a little overwhelmed by this year's VBS. I won't lay out all the reasons, just that I didn't accomplish some things that were under my control and couldn't control some things that weren't. We are in "crunch time" with less than a month to go...and I was feeling like a dishwasher on the Titanic: plates up to here, water up to there, and wondering which "sink" should be my focus: the noun or the verb!

But by God's grace, I had the morning off from daycare. So I got up at my usual time, went to the church at my usual time, and went into the church library. I pulled out a yellow pad, prayed for wisdom, and started jotting down notes. Wow...what a morning! Sure, I could have plotted everything on my Palm Pilot (and much of what I did will be added to my P.P. calendar and task lists). But I wanted to write as quickly or as slowly as I wanted. I scribbled a reminder on the side and underlined it with heavy, bold strokes, followed by emphatic exclamation points (three, because this was really important!). I drew a line from one point to another clear across the page, because they had an element in common (which I wrote along the line). I drew diagrams and circled items. No, there was no logical consistency to any of it...a circled item probably carries the same weight as an underlined item.

When it was done, I had clarity about VBS. I spent some more time in prayer, asking the Lord to help me and my team through "crunch time."

So if you're feeling overwhelmed, or you have a big decision to make, or you're still wondering, "She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me.....", I highly recommend finding a quiet spot, pulling out a fresh yellow note pad, and starting to write. :-)

11 comments:

  1. Just reviewing your blog from May 6th and was wondering how your friend and your relative are doing.

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  2. Thank you for asking! When I wrote that entry, I was still in the middle of getting slammed by all the emotions I was feeling. The Lord, over the course of time, has a way of bringing perspective and peace.
    My relative, sadly, made some worse choices and is now experiencing the natural consequences of those choices. But there have also been some hopeful signs, so I'm somewhat encouraged.
    As for my friend, well, it's hard to say since we have had virtually no communication since everything happened. I think I've become a "non-person." I'm still praying, but I know nothing about location, status, or prospects for repentence.
    Again, thank you for your concern. BTW...are you the same anonymous poster who posted a comment on the May 6 blog? Just curious..."Anonymous" is such a common name, after all :-)

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  3. Hi there...
    I'm a different "Anonymous" altogether from the last two(that was a funny comment! I guess my family gets around). I just wanted to say that I recently discovered your blog and really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your life and "musings." :-)

    Meg

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  4. No, I am not the same person. It is sad to hear your relative has made worse choices. God disciplines those who love him and those who don't. Forgiveness is what you need to give them as this is not your issue, but there's.
    As for your friend, unless you know their whole story, you don't know if the perceived repentence is what they need or not. It is hard to continue to be someones friend when you think you know what they are doing is wrong, but none-the-less you should still be their friend. It is only their heart and God's to know if there needs to be repentence. Not our place to judge.
    Just an opinion.

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  5. Karl Bastian6/29/08, 10:29 PM

    I am a fellow Yellow Pad lover. You know me and how technically saavy I am, but nothing with electricity in it can ever replace a yellow pad for me when planning, organizing, dreaming, etc. my assistant once bought white lined spiral notebooks because they were on sale... they don't work! they have to be Yellow Pads or nothing flows!

    i loved this post!

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  6. Meg,
    Welcome aboard and thank you for your kind comments. Feel free to respond any time.

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  7. Karl,
    Thanks for affirming the power of the yellow pad!
    Tim

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  8. To my anonymous poster regarding my relative and friend:
    Thank you for your comments. I agree with you and, of course, I love them, pray for them, and will be there to support them. I forgave them long ago and I long for our fellowship to be restored. None of that is conditional upon anything--no matter what.

    But I'm also walking the tightrope of "loving the sinner but hating the sin." And from what they have told me, if I don't accept their behavior (ie if I say it's wrong), then I obviously don't love them or accept them or forgive them, etc. You're right, though...this is their problem, not mine. I just wish they knew how much I care about them.

    Anyway, thanks again for your comments and especially for your prayers.

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  9. Your friend obviously has boundary issues. To make a person feel guilty for not accepting a behavior is a boundary issue. You can choose to be guilty or you can set your boundary as you have and let them know that you love them but will not tolerate them violating your boundary. They will come around when they realize their deeper inner issues causing them to sin as you say they are. Encourage them to seek counseling or give them resources to go to. The best way to help them is by giving them a resource and letting them know you care.

    Just a thought...

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  10. Thank you. Since my friend lives out of state and has made it clear that I am out of his life, there is little more I can do but pray for him.

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  11. Love him, pray for him, be there when he comes back, you may even grieve over the loss of the friendship, but forgive him and let God deal with the justice.
    Just some advice...

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