The Kitchen Counter Hours

Tired of all the noise and distractions? Ready to be more present and intentional? The kitchen counter hours is the revolutionary way I started living more purposefully and focusing on the precious gifts right in front of me. Are you ready to try it too?

Tired of all the noise and distractions? Ready to be more present and intentional? The kitchen counter hours is the revolutionary way I started living more purposefully and focusing on the precious gifts right in front of me. Are you ready to try it too?

Distracted… that’s how I was feeling.

My heart and attention was being pulled in several different directions. My to-do list was long, the laundry piling up and the breakfast wasn’t going to make itself. Yet I sat there in my chair already so overwhelmed and the day hadn’t even begun.

I was trying desperatly to read my Bible and spend a few precious moments with Jesus to help change my selfish heart but the children were already awake and making demands. I needed a distraction so I reached for my phone. Surly mindlessly scrolling through Instagram would help me feel better?

And then I heard it….

“Mommy! Put the phone done and look at me!”

An innocent demand from my child, they wanted my undivided attention.

They needed me.

It got me thinking, how much of my children’s early memories would be of me sitting behind the screen of my phone?

Another wake up call was when my baby (who’s only 15 months) picked up my daughter’s pretend phone and begin imitating me by using his little, squishy fingers to press on the screen. At his young age he knew what to do with that phone because he had seen me so many times doing the same thing.

Am I so concerned with what’s going on in the digital word I’m failing to see what’s right here in front of me?

I made a decree right then and there for myself. I would put the phone down, I would stop reaching for it as a “distraction” and, more importantly, I would focus on what’s right in front of me.

The kitchen counter hours, that’s what I call the time where my phone is required to sit during the day. Nestled in a space between the coffee pot and the towel rack. Out of the way but still visible if I need to grab it quickly.

Tired of all the noise and distractions? Ready to be more present and intentional? The kitchen counter hours is the revolutionary way I started living more purposefully and focusing on the precious gifts right in front of me. Are you ready to try it too?

It sits silent because I turned off all the constant dinging, beeping, tweeting, vibrating, and other noises it makes. The ringer is still one because only two people call me during the day… my husband or my grandmother.

It’s face down so I don’t see the lights flashing or the screen light up. No more running across the room to answer a text message the moment it’s sent. If it’s important the people who need to get ahold of me immediately know to call… although even then I’m selective. 😉

If you do look at the home screen, you will notice it’s void of the major social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram along with email. In their place are my Bible reading apps.

I’ve been practicing the personal discipline of the kitchen counter hours for a few weeks now and I feel a sense of peace.

The noise is gone, the feelings of being constantly distracted and frazzled are gone.

I feel more present and I’m actually seeing the precious gifts around me.

Our modern day technology is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it is amazing that with the swipe of my finger I have access to just about all the information and communication I could ever need, yet on the other hand all of that constant stream of knowledge leaves us feeling so drained.

It’s fun to get lost in the pattern of mindlessly scrolling through your feeds, looking at pictures or engaging in some of the online community… and for the record, there is nothing wrong with those things when managed well.

It’s the “managed well” part we’ve got to get a handle on.

Putting these boundaries in place has helped me find a good balance of being connected, yet still fully engaged in my most important tasks of being a wife, mother, and home keeper. I don’t want my kids to look back on their childhood and say “Mom was fun… when she wasn’t on the phone/computer.”

I want to be present here, and enjoying my life.

I want to live with contentment in the beauty of what MY life has to offer, instead of being discontent by viewing what others are doing in their homes.

I want to be able to turn off the digital noise, and silence my phone for most of the day and be OK, not having that nagging feeling that I will just peek to see what I’m missing.

There is a time and a place for all of that and I am so thankful to all the friendships and connections I have made online but I am fully aware of the time I tend to waste online too.

Tired of all the noise and distractions? Ready to be more present and intentional? The kitchen counter hours is the revolutionary way I started living more purposefully and focusing on the precious gifts right in front of me. Are you ready to try it too?

Creating the kitchen counter hours has been the breath of fresh air my weary, distracted and frazzled soul so desperatly needed.

It has freed my attention from the unimportant things that don’t matter to see the good things, that actually do matter.

It has helped me see these three precious little ones are growing up right before my eyes. I don’t want to miss that because I’m trapped behind the glowing screen.

It has freed me from being a slave to my device. I no longer feel the need to check my email, see what I’m “missing” or answer a message that can wait for later.

Most importantly by putting my phone on the kitchen counter, and leaving it there, it has reminded me of the abundant life that Jesus promised us.

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but I come so that you may have life and have it abundantly.  ~ John 10:10.

Tired of all the noise and distractions? Ready to be more present and intentional? The kitchen counter hours is the revolutionary way I started living more purposefully and focusing on the precious gifts right in front of me. Are you ready to try it too?

I’m not saying our phones and being constantly connected are evil but I do believe that Satan can use them to place a wedge in our hearts if we aren’t careful. He wants us to feel the guilt of missing out on the growth of our children. He wants us to feel distracted and frazzled.

That is not what Jesus wants for us.

Jesus came to this earth in human form so we can live the abundant life. Jesus died on the cross for us to FREE us, to save us, & to give us life. He rose from the dead three days later so we can experience His glory and grace.

It may seem silly to compare putting down our phones to experience all the good gifts He provides but when we live a less distracted life we can truly see all the daily blessings and gifts right in front of us.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  ~ James 1:17

Tired of all the noise and distractions? Ready to be more present and intentional? The kitchen counter hours is the revolutionary way I started living more purposefully and focusing on the precious gifts right in front of me. Are you ready to try it too?

If I were to invite you into my home for a cup of coffee and fellowship (which I would love to do, by the way!) you would see a few things on my kitchen counter.

Tired of all the noise and distractions? Ready to be more present and intentional? The kitchen counter hours is the revolutionary way I started living more purposefully and focusing on the precious gifts right in front of me. Are you ready to try it too?

You would see the gentle flicker of my favorite scented candle because every morning as part of morning ritual, I light a candle to start my day.

You would see one of my favorite mugs of coffee which has been reheated several times.

And you would see my phone face down, tucked in a quiet place.

Am I perfect? No.

Do I still feel the pull of temptation drawing me near to it? You bet!

Am I consciously making the effort to refrain from it? Absolutely!

I know it’s possible because it was only about two years ago when I didn’t live by the will of a fancy phone (hello boring flip phone you could get for free from your phone provider).

Oh how I miss those days!

What practice and disciplines do you put in place to live a less distracted life and to put your own phone down?

Tired of all the noise and distractions? Ready to be more present and intentional? The kitchen counter hours is the revolutionary way I started living more purposefully and focusing on the precious gifts right in front of me. Are you ready to try it too?

Do you want to live a less distracted life too? Check out some of these resources to help you evaluate your screen time and create your own Kitchen Counter Hours.

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34 Comments

  1. Amen living in te now and counting our blessings now is very important. Sometimes people wonder why I don’t txt or call back it’s because I’m with people. Great post!!!

    1. Love, so true… although sometimes I don’t call or text back because my introverted self says no! LOL 😉

  2. Fabulous post. We make a point to put our phones in our bedroom for a couple of hours in the afternoon/evening when the kids around. It’s so easy to get distracted and miss out on what is really important.

  3. I am so guilty and have taken steps to do better. I have an app that prevents alerts from coming through and set times of the day. I need to be more present everyday that passes with my lil diva’s is one I will never get again. I will check out your resources and keeps your tips in mind.

    1. That is such a great idea. You just reminded me I had an app set up on my previous lap top that timed out of certain websites after a period of time I need to set that up again!

      1. Do you know the name of that app, Victoria?

  4. oh yes – that IPod – a great thing – but like you said, we need to be present more often

    1. Yes, I am thankful for the blessing of technology but it’s all about finding the right balance in our lives!

  5. Oh my, I can relate. I am forever reminding myself to be present in the moment. My kids are older, and I still find myself needing to put down my phone and look at them. Thank you for this post! Such excellent reminders!

    1. You’re welcome Julie, it’s a battle I’m fighting every day but I desire to be present and not miss my life from behind a screen.

  6. This is great – it is important to realize where the issues stem from and then take steps towards fixing it. I have no technology hours each day and it is great.

  7. I love this post! I was just saying to myself the other day that I need to put my phone away more and be present with my toddler. I don’t want him to resent my phone. Thank you for sharing your heart here so that my own heart can be convicted and see a need for positive change in my life!

  8. It is so easy to look for distractions in our handheld devices. I’ve been guilty of it, along with every parent I know. Thank you for posting this. I actively try to save my distracted browsing for times when I’m alone so that I can give my girls my undivided attention.

    1. Starr it is just an epidemic these days, I was talking with my own mother about it and she told me she is so thankful technology wasn’t a part of her life when she was a young mom back in the day! 🙂

  9. Great article… in this day and age it is so tough to pry ourselves away from technology, but it is so important to do so!

  10. This is so what I needed to read. What a simple decision – yet a powerful one that alters the course of our days. Being present is a challenge, but I feel like it builds off of itself. The more we decide to do it, the more we want it, and the distractedness (if that’s a word!!) begins to look less appealing, because we know what it’s like to reap the fruit of being in the moment with the things the Lord has called us to. Thank you so much! I will work on this area. & Thank you for sharing what is on your heart…the Lord is using you to make an impact for sure!!! -xx Anna
    http://www.annaclarkeblog.com

    1. Thanks so much for sharing such great wisdom Anna! I know I am always so refreshed when I unplug for a while, it’s crazy how much we have let technology dictate our lives recently!

  11. I put my phone on silent a lot too. I homeschool and sometimes I just want to spend time with them without the distraction. Good job mom!

    1. Yes, I am so thankful for the silent feature too Maria. Even still, it’s a constant battle to fight the temptation! 🙂

  12. I’m working hard to be more present in the every day. I know my babies will grow up way too fast and I don’t want to miss it. I am trying to limit my social media to certain times of the day. It’s hard, but my family is worth it!

    1. Tara it is SO hard! I’m already amazed my oldest will start Kindergarten in the fall. Time is going too quickly! 😉

  13. I love this post. As most women do, I also multi-task. Children need our undivided attention to know they’re more important than our phones or anything else that occupies our time. We need to do away with the constant distractions and focus on what is really important. Thanks for you insight into this.

  14. Excellent tips! I need to get better at staying fully present–especially when my kiddos are around. Thanks for this!

  15. I have deliberately refrained from replacing my ancient (getting on to 10 years old) flip phone. I am fortunate in not feeling any need to check it and receive few texts and even fewer calls. I have to be careful, though, with the amount of time I spend on the computer. Often I’m researching resources for our homeschool, but it’s still a temptation to spend too long there. I sometimes resort to a kitchen timer, letting my children see me have the same limitation we place on them with electronic devices. My biggest distraction is doing ‘stuff’, fluffing around and not focussing on one thing to completion but spreading myself too thin. I’m trying to be more intentional, having set times for certain tasks. It’s starting to make a difference as my children know I’m there for them for an extended time once I’ve completed my current task.

    1. Good for you for holding out on upgrading to a new phone! I wish I would have held out too! 😉

  16. Exactly right. I didn’t realize what an electronic-device junkie I had become by simply looking for “safe” recipes for my new (healing) diet. Thankfully, my husband had the courage to broach the subject. I still have room to improve, but am doing better. It helps me, too, not to use the convenience of e-Bibles for devotions, but to sit down with God’s paper and ink Word. Holding the paper and ink version reinforces the specialness of it being GOD’S Word, and that helps me be real/sincere with the Lord. Thanks for this post!

    1. You’re welcome Annie. Last year when I was stuck under a nursing baby for most of the day, my Bible reading app was a lifesaver but now that I am in a new season I have deleted it because I so missed being in the Word, journaling and making other notes. I’m thankful for technology and it is super helpful, like looking up recipes! 😉 but it can also be so distracting too. Thanks for sharing!

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