sound-remindersSound Reminders.     Carrying around the weight of the world on our shoulders can feel like pulling a thousand train cars behind our tired little engines.   Timely sound reminders loosen the load.   This Average Joe needs every trick to keeping my mind from becoming overwhelmed, I discovered a new one worth sharing.

Years ago when screen savers were a requirement to prevent damage to your computer screen  I would type in phrases via the word scroll option.  “Keep Calm and Stay Positive” or “Stay focused” were ones I would have rolling on my screen to remind myself not to slam down the phone after a call with the boss or a customer screaming about a problem that they had to let me know about.  It served as a good reminder for me, but since we no longer need screen savers (or do we?), what other options are there?

The gadget-teers have a long list of apps you can use on your smart devices.   FitBit’s  and smartwatches and Iwatches are rapidly driving us all crazy in meetings as people tracking every step and heartbeat their hearts tick have alarm sounds bleeping from every seat at the table.  But if you are like me, eventually those toys end up on the shelf after the novelty wears off.  Or if you live in our household, the $200 device gets dropped on the floor and becomes a very expensive chew toy.  (yes a Fitbit did, along with several ear buds, headsets, and a smart pen – our free rescue dog has cost much more than expected).

I like cheap and free tip reminders, the best ones I use are creative passwords.   Keep Calm and Stay Positive was last month’s laptop password (company policy forces a change monthly) which became ‘KCsp2016’.    The month before was Don’t Worry Be Happy, ‘DWbh2016’, just because I heard the old song just before changing the password the month before.

A friend of mine told a story of her reminder trigger to look up,  stop, and enjoy your surroundings. The trigger sound was that of the common flock of geese flying overhead.  Too often we get caught up in our busy lives and seldom take a moment to enjoy the sights and sounds around us.  Her simple reminder throughout the day to take a deep breath and appreciate the simple things in life is one I also embrace each time I hear what used to be the annoying sound of the Canadian geese flying overhead. Now each time I hear that quacking sound, it brings a smile and smile to my face.

May sound reminders guide you through each day in a positive way.

Looking for a deeper mode, read on into the Portico of how the sound of a distant train has helped loosen the burdens these shoulders carry.


I hang with some friends who carry the positive message that God is all about love and wants to bring a piece (or peace) of heaven to everyone.  Sometimes they get thoughts that relate to you or me or someone randomly in the vicinity.  I was the recipient of one of those this past weekend.  At first I was like this is so cool because it hit home with the simple burden lifting message.

If you read my blog once in a while you may have noticed I went from a daily post to, every couple of days, then every few, and now closer to once a week or longer, if I can find the time.  The train cars just keep getting added making it harder to find the time to do the things I’d really like to do.  A 60 hour a week Job, family with kids starting and finishing college, several non-profit activities that have grown from an hour a week to way too many a week, some church responsibilities, writing the ever unfinished book, yard work, nasty people, and more.  The cars just seem so heavy.

What a timely message I got when it was said, ‘I see blue and yellow.  I see a train engine, and behind it are many cars.  God wants you to know He is watching all you are doing and He is pleased.  He wants you to know the cars are lighter than you worry and think about.  Because I am pulling them for you’.

I had no idea what the blue and yellow meant, but the burden being light meant everything.  I immediately could feel the weight lifted off my shoulders. The strange and unexpected ‘word’ as he called it  I had actually been reading from my Bible just that same note that morning.  It was a rather common one that was a password a while ago ‘MYie2016’, (My Yoke is easy , which always is followed in my mind with my burden is light), or in full context:

 “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.” (from the  Good News Translation Matthew 11:28-30)

As I have written before you all would know I let the old brain have a lot of conversations going on in it as my dueling mind races with  thoughts that swing back and forth between positive and negative.  In the midst of working from home after challenging conference calls, blasted emails, and ruminating anxious thoughts get generated often.   I have learned heading out the front door to clear the mind is a great relief.  Too often it is very filled with worries and anxiety in trying to solve a long list of problems.

Yesterday I walked out the door and was fuming a bit over emails sent from a customer.  They have had a number of lightning hits on their equipment (which I sold them).  We have had delivery problems.   So the only solution is emergency shipment of new equipment to solve their problem. Sometimes we can come through, sometimes we cannot.  This was another moment we could not and I got to hear a full ear of words I really did not want to hear nor deserve.   I also had just read some emails and texts blaming and criticizing me for decisions I made in one of my no-pay volunteer positions.  The draft folder was filled with replies that I knew should not be sent, but how do I solve all these freaking problems?

As I stepped out the door, off in the distance was a sound I hear often but typically block out.  It was the sound of the  blue and yellow Waxhaw train that runs 20 times a day.   I heard a chuckle and tears came to my eyes (well a little bit, you know crying is not my thing) as the chuckle was a slight nudge from God. He said in that personal voice I am getting to know better all the time, every time you hear that Sound Reminder of the blue and yellow train in the distance, remember, My yoke is easy and my burden is light.  Keep on doing what you are doing, and remember, I am the conductor and I am carrying the load for you.

Call it weird if you want, all I know is the next time I hear the echo and the sound of the blue and yellow Waxhaw, NC train, it will trigger a peace-bringing Sound Reminder.

Burdens and worry heavy on your shoulders, I have created a playlist of  songs in YouTube titled worry no more.  Check it out next time the weight of the world has you down.

P.S. This months password is ‘TGbtg2016’.  In all that I do To God be the glory.