I always thought I was a great multitasker.  You know, having the ability to do multiple things at once while maintaining excellent quality control.

Helping with homework.

Writing an email.

Listening to the day's events spelled out.

Preparing dinner.

All at once.  Well at least back and forth with ease in the same short block of time.  Feeling accomplished.  Successful.  Even if much of the time my replies to those talking to me were mostly "Mmm-hmmm, interesting".

Then this last year something started happening.  Smoke would be filling the kitchen when I returned from "quickly" folding the last load of laundry.  Or one of my sweet children would say, "Mom, did you hear me?"  to which I would reply, "Yes, of course..." and then hope that the following part of the conversation had enough context to remind me of what I had missed.  Or my least favorite, in response to my desperate plea, "Why didn't you tell me that?" Paul would declare with confidence, "I DID!  You were standing right there doing..."


Honestly, at first I worried maybe I was just getting older and starting to be forgetful.  I mean, how many times can one wife tell her husband that HE must have mis-remembered something or other.  And then one day Paul made it official by saying "You are really bad at multitasking."


Maybe my brain is just more full as I mature and absorb more knowledge.  Or maybe my family members are the ones who don't remember that they didn't actually tell me all that stuff they claim I should know.

Or...maybe I'm just really bad at multitasking.

I wonder if I SHOULD be good at it.  Giving 4 things 25% of my attention in any given moment probably isn't the recipe for success.  It might be a great strategy for moving quickly through a To Do list...for doing.  But maybe not for producing deep relationships and cultivating authentic communication.

So it's no surprise really that when God started speaking to my heart a year ago about a new thing- that required cutting back, simplifying, refocusing- I heard it, but I didn't hear it.  After all, I was too full, too busy, doing too much.

I'm sure we had 75 or more conversations where He said, "Want to hear about the new thing I want us to do?" and I said, "Mmm-hmmm, interesting", while still stirring dinner and sending emails and listening to all the other stories being told around me.  And then one day I actually stopped and listened.  I heard the question and really wanted to know the answer.  And the pruning started.  Cutting away the extra.  Simplifying.  Refocusing.

Confessing, that I'm really bad at multitasking.

And maybe I shouldn't be good at it anyway.

Now I'm joining in on the new thing... a grand adventure that will require 100% of my attention.  Our family is moving to downtown Chandler.  We are dreaming and planning and praying.  Excited to see how beautiful things will begin to bud and blossom in the newly created vacant space.  And I'm working hard to remain really bad at multitasking!

Annabelle Chinchen