Lessons From a Pinwheel: Are You Focused?

February 28, 2014
I never cease to be surprised by the little lessons I’m taught while watching my children.
Last week my daugher was trying to figure out how to make a pinwheel spin. At first I showed her how it worked, blowing into the pinwheel to make it go around and around. She immediately tried to copy me, holding the pinwheel and blowing as well. She began by blowing softly, but after that didn’t work she desperately blew as hard as she could (in pretty much every direction but the pinwheel). Despite her best efforts, it didn’t spin an inch. It was humorous at first, but then I really wanted to help her succeed as I watched her try so hard with no results. I could see in her sweet determined face that she believed that she just had to blow harder! I tried for a few minutes to explain to her that it didn’t matter how hard she blew, but instead where she blew, but could see on her face she was just too little to understand.
However as I watched her I learned a lesson of my own.
We live in a time where there is so much that demands our time and attention. This isn’t news to any of us! There is overabundance of stuff—stuff to do, stuff to read and be “up on”, and frankly a lot of the stuff out there just doesn’t matter. Sometimes I feel like my daugher, blowing and blowing and blowing (sometimes in any direction but that of my goals), but never see results. The lesson I learned by watching Tillie is the importance of focus.
Like my sweet daugher trying to make the pinwheel turn, blowing ever harder doesn’t necessarily mean I am going to see the progress I want. Instead I simply need to focus and prioritize where I put my time and attention.
Last night as I was praying I imagined Heavenly Father looking down at me with the same smile that I have as I watch my daughter and the pinwheel. The point was driven home to me that there really are only a few things that matter most. If I am a good wife, mother, friend, and disciple of Christ, and focus my time and attention there first, I will be happy and bring others happiness too.
It’s all about the focus.
Want more on focusing and prioritizing? Here are a few articles I love on the topic:

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  • Reply Katie March 1, 2014 at 1:21 am

    This reminds me of Julie Beck’s talk “Mother Hearts.” She talks about how as mothers it’s important to earn how to decide to learn from the spirit the best way to organize our energy and time.

    Great thought. I love everything you post.

    P.S. Your girls are darling!

    • Reply Liz Jensen March 2, 2014 at 3:21 am

      That is such a great talk, and one I haven’t read in a while (I wasn’t a mother when she gave it and I’m sure a lot more would stand out this time through!). Thanks for the reminder! (And for the kind words about our girls!) xo

  • Reply Jesika Harmon March 5, 2014 at 4:14 am

    Nice thought. And good reminder about how sometimes we blow in vain, or at things that don’t really matter. You are full of great thoughts my sister! (P.S. Did you tell Tillie to try running with it?)

    • Reply Liz Jensen March 5, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Love that. And no, I’ll tell Tillie..and running with it, a great analogy too! 🙂

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