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What I Learned from my New Toothbrush

You wouldn’t think something like an electric toothbrush could change your perspective, would you? I mean, I thought surely it would help my dental visits be more pleasant. At least that is what my hygienist has been telling me for the last year. So that part, I am actually expecting. But this other part, caught me completely off guard.

Initially it was delightful. I had visions of dental cleanings consisting of 2-3 minutes of counting teeth and marveling at the lack of build-up. I watched the two-minute timer and moved my brush around the quadrants, thinking about how great my oral health would be from here on out.

But after that initial delight wore off, that two-minute timer felt greedy. In the morning, my mind raced about All The Things that I needed to get done before leaving the house. Before bed, my mind panicked about All The Things that were left undone. I often felt like there was NO WAY I could spend TWO WHOLE MINUTES with this thing in mouth. I had things to do, places to go, clothes to put on. TWO MINUTES felt like FOREVER. Many times, I would quit early because I couldn’t bear to just stand there for SO LONG.

I wish I was exaggerating.

I wish that my mind wasn’t so frazzled that TWO MINUTES felt like a sacrifice. {Four minutes, really if you add a.m. + p.m. which is no less absurd.}

Somewhere along the way, between the buzzing vibration on my gums and the frantic staring at the timer, God whispered to my heart “it doesn’t need to be this way.” He’s gentle like that with me, most times. He whispers encouragement to my heart rather than scoffing at my dramatic flair. He didn’t tell me I was being ridiculous, even though I was.

It was a wake-up call of sorts. Realizing that two minutes of tooth-brushing felt like eternity, caused me to take a look inside. Where was this near-frantic pace coming from? What changes could I make in order to slow my mind? I asked God to point out the causes and begged for wisdom to implement changes.

This verse came to mind, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

Even just taking a handful of minutes with God to order my day makes a huge difference. I already knew this, but I have been out of practice. Asking Him what matters and when, allows a little margin in my day. If I order my day according to His guidance, then at the end of the day I am not bowed-low under the burden of things that might be left undone either. He also showed me some very specific-to-me hindrances to time management. He is showing me how to work around them. Daily.

I didn’t think better oral health would lead to peace of mind. But I can say for sure that I am not nearly so panicky while watching that timer. Some days, I even zone out completely for TWO WHOLE MINUTES. And on the really good days, maybe FOUR WHOLE MINUTES.
– Amanda Lutz