Wednesday, November 25, 2009


“I can do a lot of things, but I can only do one thing at a time.”

Years ago, that quote was one of many insightful sayings of a favorite boss of mine. Rocky was a very productive, well-balanced, highly regarded individual. A man who did his job exceptionally well, but you never saw him rushed or mentally or emotionally fragmented. He was a man who valued friendships. Who took time for his family. A man who made each day count by focusing fully on what mattered to him most. Rocky, a man who was wise beyond his years, was also a man who died of cancer at age 39.

In case you haven’t heard the latest research, Rocky's insight was (as the Brits say) “spot on.” Researchers now report that “multi-tasking” is a fallacy we’ve been fed for decades--an unrealistic expectation we’ve blindly strived for to the detriment of our productivity, health, relationships, and peace of mind. Research now shows human beings cannot fully focus on more than one thing at a time. Attempting to do so diminishes the quality of each of those multi-tasked endeavors.

There are only so many hours in a day and so many days in a week. Despite best efforts, we can’t “make time” for everything we’d like to do. We can only prayerfully choose to do one thing over another.

That said, we need to live each day intentionally. Make choices. Prayerfully prioritize. If we don’t, our lives will be ruled by the things that clamor the loudest for our attention, but have the least value in the long run.

Sometimes we need to call a "Time Out." To regroup. Reprioritize. To step back and decide what--and who--should get top billing for attention in our 24-hour day. Our time on earth is limited. So even though we have books (and blogs!) to write and turkeys to bake, let’s endeavor to be fully “in the moment” with friends, family, community--and God--as much as possible during this upcoming holiday season.

That’s why this post is short and sweet. Hope you don’t mind. And it’s my sincere prayer that you, too, will have a very meaningful, intentionally-lived Happy Thanksgiving.


Leave a comment today with your email address (remember to use “at” and “dot”), and be eligible to be included in a giveaway drawing for a copy of my book, “Dreaming of Home.”

An American Christian Fiction Writers "Genesis" and RWA Faith, Hope & Love "Touched by Love" award winner, GLYNNA KAYE'S Dreaming of Home (Steeple Hill Love Inspired) is now available!


  1. Glynna,

    Thanks for a lovely post! I agree 100% that we all need to "take a time out" on occasion!

    Please enter me in the drawing!

  2. I'd love to be entered!
    jessica_nelson7590 at yahoo dot com

  3. Good morning, Seekerville! Ruthy's out and about, so I'm here to share some humble fare: southwestern omelets with seasoned potatoes--neither of which would be complete without fresh homemade salsa!



    Which is why that first cup of java each day is important.

    Starbucks Anniversary Blend. Take your time. Enjoy.

  5. What a lovely and timely post, Glynna! Especially as we head into the holiday season. Thank you for sharing.

    At the beginning of 2009, I watched Joyce Meyer on TV as I worked out. She said something that stuck with me--Live Purposefully. I made that my motto for the rest of the year.


    lisajordanbooks at yahoo dot com

  6. Thanks for bringing the Starbucks, Tina! I'm not a coffee drinker myself, so always forget that vital addition.

  7. Glynna, you gentle voice of sanity, you.

    Tina, I remember seeing an Amish movie where the mother (Patty Duke) spoke of how fast we move through life, hurrying here and there.

    Her next words have stayed with me ever since...

    "Is it better to rush through life or be truly present in the moment?"

    Something like that. So wise. So hard.

    I blame Mary for that, but then I blame Mary for everything. Or Julie.


    Loving the omelets. And the coffee. Gimme. I'm going to relax and know that all is calm, all is bright...

    And since I can do precious little with my houseful of urchins, I'll just enjoy them until pick-up time.

    Then relax in the beauty of an amazing pie crust.



  8. Lovely post !

    Please count me in the drawing :)

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  9. Good morning Glynna, And as usual from you -- appropriate and timely. I am delighted with a short post on this busy morning.

    My words of inspiration all year have been "Be still and know that I am God" Emphasizing the BE STILL something I just recently learned to do---well should say strive to do. smile

    Love the Southwestern breakfast, especially the homemade salsa. yumm and I'm with you Tina, enjoying that first cup of coffee.

  10. Lisa -- Great motto. I love Joyce Meyer! She's a straight-shooter who always keeps me on track. Been watching her program since January 2000. :)

  11. Oh, Glynna, I agree with Edwina and Lisa -- what a lovely and timely post!

    I am so grateful for Thanksgiving because it forces me to slow down (after I fix turkey dinner for 25 people, that is) and appreciate what I have. And sadly enough, it's one of the few days that I "live intentionally."

    Thank you for the reminder, Glynna, and thank you to the Seekers and our readers for bringing so much joy, laughter and wisdom into my life.

    Oh, and thank you, Ruthy, for blaming Mary first!!

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!


  12. Good morning, Ruthy! Seems like life is in the fast lane for everyone, no matter what your personal circumstances.

    Just good to step back sometimes and take a deep breath. I like to be well-informed, but years ago an older Mennonite friend of mine told me he "fasted" from television news. He might pick up an occasional paper during the day, but found having all the world's tragedies on his plate in living color only seconds after they happened got to be "circuit overload." He figured if there was something he could DO something about, someone would let him know.

    So sometimes I take a "CNN fast" -- and you know what? The world goes on without me. :)

    Glad the southwestern omelets met with your NY approval, Ruthy!

  13. BE STILL. Yes, Sandra, two of the most powerful words in all the world. And two of the most ignored.

    I knew you'd go for the southwestern fare this morning. I was absolutely aghast, weren't you, when at the ACFW breakfast they didn't serve fresh salsa--or ANY salsa that I could find--with the scrambled eggs? And in DENVER no less! :)

  14. Good morning, Julie! Turkey dinner for TWENTY-FIVE? Hmmm. Maybe YOUR "live intentionally" day should be the day AFTER T-giving!

  15. Glynna,

    I find it amusing that they've
    decided multi-tasking isn't really possible, if you want to do things well, anyway.

    I guess I should have known.
    When I was a kid, my mom was typing something and looked at my sister and called her "Comma." Her name is Connie. I thought that was such a hoot.

    Giving undivided attention to people and activities is definitely something I want to work on!

    I'd love the book.

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo dot com

  16. Glynna,
    Lovely post and timely too. Whew, living intentionally!
    I think Jesus said something about "considering the birds of the air...and flowers of the field..."
    If he'll take care of those, how much more will he do for his kids? (okay, so that's definitely not the KJV ;-) pepper paraphrase)

    Making each moment count is a powerful thought. Okay - something to ponder for today - thanks Glynna.


  17. Wise words...thanks for telling us about Rocky--sounds like he had a big impact on the people he met.

    I remember having discussions with women friends several years ago about "having it all," which is also a fallacy....over our lifetime, we can "have it all," but it's very, very difficult to do so at any one point in time... Sometimes, our goals require us to focus more intently on specific activities than others in order to accomplilsh them, and that's not a bad thing.

    Thank you for the reminder to focus on this busy day--it's a perfect message! So, now, I'm going to intentionally go run errands... Happy Thanksgiving, everyone--hope you have a blessed holiday with family and friends!

  18. Glynna, I've been taking a "time out" for the last month and a half because my laptop decided to fry out on me. Oh sure, my house now is cleaner and I have more time to help the kids with schoolwork (which was fitting because they were all needing help) and I've cooked and baked more than I ever have. Just last night I made two chocolate and two lemon pies, in addition to the three pans of enchiladas, two batches of brownies, cinnamon crumb muffins, breakfast casserole, sausage cheese balls, double batch of chocolate chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made on Monday.

    Still. I want my laptop and fictional daydreams back.

    Oh, I've been fasting from CNN for eight years and don't miss it at all. :-)

  19. So true. Thanks, Glynna! Have a very blessed Thanksgiving, you and all the Seekers!

  20. Cathy -- Love the "Comma" story!

    And yes, isn't it amusing how "best practices" flip flop over time?

    For decades job postings have stated one of the absolute requirements is "ability to multi-task." I know what they're trying to say -- "this is a busy office and you'll get interrupted a lot so you need to be able to quickly switch gears."

    But then it's as if we began to believe a all the hype about it -- bought into a fantasy and forgot what multi-tasking really meant.

  21. Hi, Pepper! Yes, I'm sure Jesus shakes his head sometimes at what we've turned our lives in to. All the rush and fuss and biting off more than we can chew.

  22. Okay, as I was reading through the comments again to see if I missed something I wanted to comment to, I saw something. Tina wrote:


    Last week one senator voted "present" on the question of opening the health care bill for debate.

    Being present (in life, in whatever) isn't enough. In fact, I'll go so far as to say the Christian church has lost her saltiness in the world because she's voted present far too many times.

    What does it mean to be truly present in the moment?

    I think it begins with being aware of the world around us, and in this world are people who have needs, hurts, passions, dreams. Writers get so focused on our own little fictional world that we far too many times fail to be truly present in the moment.

    The world is bigger than the RWA-Harlequin-Thomas Nelson self-publishing squabble.

    And in my month and a half "time out," I've realize how little the "voting present" writer me had made my world.

    Joyce Meyer did phrase it well when she said, Live Purposefully.

    Live with Awareness.

    Live with Compassion.

    Love those around you with as much passion as you love yourself.

    It it not I who life but Christ who lives in me.

  23. Julia -- My mom calls that "seasons of life." You can't do it ALL right now and trying to will only lead to exhaustion and frustration--and very possibly long-term regrets. Seasons change and go, each bringing new opportunities, new things to focus on.

  24. Good morning, Gina! Looks like you've had an enforced "Time Out" with the loss of your laptop--from writing if not from all the myriad gourmet efforts you're putting forth! Sounds like your production is rivaling Ruthy's!

    You're right. All too often we see the world through our own All-About-Me filters. Forget why we're given breath each day -- to be God's reps here on earth.

  25. I need to take that quote and hang it on the fridge! Already have 2 cheesecakes and a loaf of bread in the oven! I will think of this today thank you!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


  26. Hi Glynna:

    Whenever I feel overwhelmed I find myself saying: “Whenever you are doing something, you are not doing something else.”

    I think this is a way to deal with human limitations. I find it is possible to multitask and we do it all the time. You can cook, watch the kids, being doing the wash, and talking on the phone, all at once but at a certain point you will ‘multitask to failure’. I have found that the more you multitask the more addition work is ‘dropped’ on you. Multitasking is not the way out of a predicament. At best it buys you a little more time before failure sets in.

    I love the idea of ‘time outs’. Going on a retreat is often an amazing experience. Unfortunately, the time when you most realize that you need a time out is when you are already on a time out. It’s when you most need a time out that you are the least likely to acknowledge the need to take one.

    Wonderful post! Your voice came through, in all its richness, just as it does in your book. I just knew this was your post without having to read your name at the bottom.


  27. Hi Tina:

    I like your idea of ‘being present’. To me being present is being what John Powell writes about in his great book “Fully Human, Fully Alive”.

    Being present is being aware and without being aware our actions can not be fully human nor can we be fully alive.

    To follow the great dictum “Know thy self” you must first be present…that is, aware of the self you are.

    I like the way you think. : )


  28. Great post, Glynna, as I try and get my words written for the day, two pies baked, a batch of dinner rolls and who knows, maybe my Christmas decorations up.


  29. Glynna, what a timely post to head into the holidays!! Why is it always so difficult to remember this once Thanksgiving arrives and we run in a frenzy all through Decemember??

    Multi tasking is a very effective way of turning the entire population ADD. Take it from one who has learned to embrace her malady of massive distraction, even if a working relationship is at times difficult to manage.

    Why in the world would anyone WANT to be fragmented? I've learned to understand the piles of work grouped in my office both at work and at home, but it's not something for the faint of heart to attempt!

    Besides, when you have many projects going at once, when do you celebrate the milestone of completion? There's always another finger, another hook tugging at you to work on some other project.

    Glynna, your Rocky was a wise man. Shame he left so young. He had a lot to teach people.

    When my daughter was in elementary school, she too wanted to cram as much into her life as possible. My husband finally sat down with her and sketched out a schedule. Giving adequate time to each task she participated in, once all the activities were scheduled, she had 1.75 hours left for sleep.

    Eye opener, huh? We're talking ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!

    A friend of mine once said, *You can't stretch time to encompass all the tasks you want to do. You must chose which ones you want to do well.*

    I've learned to say NO to busy work quite well. Don't even feel guilty about it : )

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  30. Kerri - I DO keep Rocky's typed quote by my desk. But too often overlook it!

  31. Good Morning, Vince! And you're right -- the only time we seem to realize we need a Time Out is when the pace slows just barely enough to read the road signs flashing past us. And then we look at the signs with longing and "if only" wishes.

    Thanks so much, Vince, for the wonderful reviews of "Dreaming of Home" on your blog and eHarlequin! Missy pointed them out to me--what a wonderful Thanksgiving surprise!

  32. Oh, Mary, didn't we tell you? The Christmas Divas, Janet and Ruthy, are already packed up and on the road to your house. Should get there about midnight tonight with trees and tinsel. Look for the red and green semi with a twinkly-lighted wreath on the grill.

  33. Hey, Audra! I recently read research in a professional journal that says your IQ actually diminishes when caught up in non-stop multi-tasking!

    Amazing--and sad--what your husband was able to point out in your daughter's elementary school schedule! I really feel for kids who are scheduled 24/7 with "activities" but never any time to rest and let their minds wander in unstructured territory.

    Of course, most of us are equally guilty of not scheduling any "down time."

  34. Great post. Very thought provoking.


  35. Great post, I have often wanted to stand in a major intersection and scream STOP!! Time marches on, and then you realized it is marching across your face!! I think that is from Steel Magnolias!! :) Love that movie!

    Someone mentioned CNN and news, it was funny, my husband and I were on vacation in Idaho (middle of nowhere)and I kept feeling like something was missing, I kept searching my purse and luggage and then I realized that I was needing to watch the news, CNN or the Today Show.

    In this world we live in we tend to thrive on the news and what is going on in the world, I was born in the 70's but I am thinking that other wars were not shown on TV like this one has been! It's sad but future children won't get to read about wars in history books, they will have the actual footage to watch, makes you wonder if media is good or bad!

    Have an awesome Thanksgiving everyone!



  36. Thanks for stopping in Colletta!

    Milissa -- news (and email!) can almost be like an addiction, can't it?

    I know during Desert Storm and again at the time of 9/11, psychiatrists were warning people about watching the onslaught of blow-by-blow, minute-by-minute newscasts. They even had some name for the "trauma" or "syndrome" it caused, but I don't recall what it was. They did feel it could do serious business to the psyche.

  37. Be conscious, I say.

    Because there are times when multitasking makes sense. Like while waiting in a doctor's office. Why not do something else while waiting? Or, reading while cooking, or anything while doing laundry?

    There are other times when you sacrifice the quality of your endeavors, like trying to spend time with your children and also trying to work/write/read/etc.

    I think any extreme is probably less than optimal, but rather we have to make conscious choices are what we want to achieve by our actions, and invest ourselves accordingly.

  38. Glynna, what a wonderful post and so beautifully put! A post I need, especially this time of year. Thank you!

    Doctor Oz recommends living in the moment, and he also touts using our brains to be aware. To savor the feel of the wind in our faces, the quiet of a star-lit night, the sensation of brushing each tooth, all those little things we don't notice as we barge through life like we're running non-stop with the bulls in Spain, minds spinning with ever-growing To Do lists.

    Fully Alive is my new motto. Thanks Vince! And live with compassion, aware of those around me. Thanks Gina!

    You, our faithful readers, bless the socks off us! Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!!!


  39. Patricia -- "be conscious" -- that's a great way to put it. So often we put our minds on autopilot, tune out, and off we go. Miss out on so much.

  40. Greetings, Janet! Your post reminded me that I need to take a break from all I'm doing this morning and take a nice long walk. Blue skies & sunshine even though it's only 39 with a windchill of 30. I think I'll bundle up so I won't rush around the block, but rather savor the moments!

  41. What a wonderful draw! Please enter my name. Thanks. wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

  42. Please enter me....would love to read this book! Thanks.

  43. Great post, Glynna. Sometimes short, sweet, and to the point is exactly what the Holy Spirit needs to use. Your words were definitely something I needed to hear. Between teaching, writing, two teenagers, one preteen, and my husband I do try to multi-task too often. Then, everyone loses because I know I can't do it all.

    I try to view my responsibilities like balls that must be juggled. Some are glass and if they're dropped they can't be repaired (family), some are rubber and will bounce back (work), and other balls will remain in motion even when not being physically manipulated (writing- b/c my mind is always working on my story). It is a matter of knowing, prayerfully, where to focus your attentions and where you can do the most good.

    My addy is . I would love to read your book!

  44. Umm, HELLO!!!!

    Just because I actually put up a few lights and a wreath or two...

    And a tree...

    And some other stuff that sparkles and is really, really pretty...

    Doesn't mean I have the time to come do Mary's decorating.

    Although, if Janet's game, I'm soooooooo in.

    I'm gassing up the rig, Janet... We're heading to Nebraska. Let's get us some CORN!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. great post, please enter me into the drawing


  46. "fully in the moment" speaks really loud and I so agree. Would love to read your book and thanks for the contest.