If you’re like me, you love learning, studying, reading, writing, and soaking up information and knowledge. As much as I would like to spend my life in a classroom, at a typewriter, on the couch with a captivating classic, or at the easel with my oils; I know that I have bills to pay, responsibilities to uphold, and a job to keep. So how does one find time for brain exercise in today’s crazy busyness? How does a mother with five children get time for anything besides caring for her family? How does a man with a 5-7 job find time for anything besides work?
Let me clarify, no, knowledge is not the most important thing in life. In fact, we have example after example of those who have used knowledge in the wrong way or who made a god of education itself. But there is something good about learning and using knowledge in the right way. Not only is it healthy for our minds, but it can teach us valuable lessons and give us helpful information. And we, as Christians, can even use knowledge to benefit those around us!
Proverbs 16:16 King James Version (KJV)– “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”
Proverbs 18:15 King James Version (KJV)– “The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.”
And yes, I know, when you have been up five different times during the night with a sick child or you are aching and exhausted from working outside all day- the last thing you want to do is stretch your brain. There are some days when it is impossible to do anything but focus on one’s responsibilities, but I decided to share a few ideas for those moments when it is possible to squeeze in a little bit of brain exercise.
Brain Exercise Ideas for a Busy Life
-Memorize poetry while you do the dishes, mow the lawn, walk the dog… (I love this idea that I borrowed from a friend; it is a great way to put some wonderful words to memory while passing the time quickly).
-Challenge yourself to read one chapter a day (carry a book with you and make good use of waiting times like doctor’s appointments, lines in the grocery store, school pick-ups…).
-Listen to audio books while driving to work, cleaning the house, or doing a workout.
-Have a special spot where you can keep supplies out (because it will never get done if you have to get everything out and put it back away all the time) for spare moments when you want to splash around some color, scrapbook a page, or do a little woodcarving. Believe it or not, even things like hobbies and the arts make the brain work.
-Memorize a few verses during your devotional time (not only are you keeping your mind in great shape, but you are also committing God’s Word to memory).
-Take one night a week or once a month to do an online class on something that you interests you (either through a local college or youtube movies).
-Write one or two-hundred words a night before you go to sleep.
-Learn sign language, take CPR and first-aid classes, try out knitting, sit in on a lecture on music composition, go to a local community night when they host a special speaker….(these are all things you can do with older children, and if you home-school it counts toward their school credits!). Here are some great avenues for Christians to learn knowledge in order to help others.
-Make your brain happy and warm-up those vocal chords with singing while you are changing diapers or changing oil.
-Ponder on Sunday’s sermon, questions, or a new fact you just learned while you are folding laundry or sitting at the desk. Isn’t it crazy how many thoughts we have during a day and how most of them are meaningless?!
-Keep a crossword or Sudoku puzzle in the bathroom, car, backpack….
-Put together a huge jig-saw puzzle on a Sunday afternoon.
-Learn a new language with your children or while you’re driving (there are great options for learning online or through audio cd’s). There is a huge need in churches, hospitals, schools, and even businesses for bilingual Christians.
-Be creative and use your time wisely. Brain exercise is not only healthy, but can be lots of fun!
I’d love to hear your ideas on the ways you exercise your brain in the midst of your busy schedule!