Caleb's attempt to block out my weekend agenda
Caleb’s attempt to block out my weekend agenda

Many years ago, during a writing class, the instructor taught us how to bubble.

This technique is also called mind mapping.

Bubbling is a great way to organize thoughts when writing.

Take a large piece of paper (newsprint works great) and put your topic in the center of the

page and draw a circle around it.

Then draw lines extending from the center circle.

The lines will connect to  a sub topic related to the main topic.

Circle those subtopics and again draw a line or two from this circle and write

tidbits to include from this circle.

Here’s a very scaled down look at what bubbling looks like:


Bubbling has helped me whenever I feel my mind is swirling without clear direction.

It is a great way to look at the contents of your mind on paper.

During my Friday Bible study,prayer requests time arrived.

Often I feel like I don’t truly know what my needs are until I open my mouth.

The word scattered continued to bubble out of my mouth.

Do you ever feel scattered?

Not a bad scattered, just a myriad of things to do roaming the brain.

When I feel scattered, there is no way I can pick a topic and arrange the


They don’t line up as a cohesive unit and they don’t have anything  in common

other than they reside in my mind.

Oh my messy and scattered mind.

So I decided to make a list.

I am good at making lists.

I love lists.

For whatever reason, this time a list felt draining.

It felt devoid of life.

So instead, I took out my weapons of choice:


I decided to use color to bring color to my scattered thoughts.

I broke my mind into these categories:

  • Home
  • Heart (fitness)
  • Computer
  • Food
  • Soul
  • People

I decided to draw each category and then place inside each circle what occupied
those zones.

Take a look…


In the course of 10 minutes, I had this weekend bubble filled out.

Of course, I added a couple of items I had forgotten in the process, for example,

I added in our tax appointment which should land in the category of UGH!

For home, I doubt any of this will get done. I have visions of Monday morning.
That’s alright because it is in a bubble and out of my head.
The bark can definitely wait another week.

For heart, I hope to get a walk in the sun before it is a memory and even jump on our mini tramp just for the
pure joy of it.

For computer, there are two posts I need to write, so this gives me a self-imposed deadline.

For food, there is always menu planning and looking ahead to my parents visiting (YAY!)
Also deciding if 2 weeks of detox is enough instead of 3. My resolve is fading.

For soul, I want to keep on reading from my lectionary readings, work on my Bible study, journal
through Psalm 146 which will last all week and
put the finishing thoughts on teaching Sunday school with Carl. 

That was another item I forgot!

Lastly, for people, I have to remind myself to pick up the phone so I want to talk to my parents and my brother.

I want to send a couple of notes to someone, I don’t know who but I will.

Caleb needs  some new soles and that has been accomplished.

You see, when Mom is scattered, it spreads.
Caleb has been scattered a lot lately.
We  talked about how when we start losing
track of things or even our lives, sometimes it’s best to go back to basics.
I love that he could feel it too and just needed someone to help him.
He asked for a chart and so he will have one by weekend’s end.

Even though Caleb has often proclaimed that moms should have a day off on Saturdays
(he’s dear like that), sometimes getting some things done allows for us to
take the Sabbath off.

I feel happier looking at my bubble list.
I know all will not be crossed out.

Those bubbles will remain in place when I look at them again…
after the Sabbath.

The to-do list is always present, whether it is on paper or in our minds.
Remind yourself that you can push the list aside for one day and rest.
Then reconvene the next day.

Feeling a bit scattered?

Why not bubble it out?!

3 thoughts on “scattered

  1. I’ve never heard it called a Bubble technique–only the Mind Map. But I have found, like you, that it takes that overwhelming feeling away when my mind is full and I can’t seem to organize it in a linear fashion. Somehow this fits the way my brain stores and grabs information better than straightforward lists. I love your simple illustrations, too. Using it for a quick weekend planning session would be great for everyone to see–way more interesting for the family to see than checklists! 🙂


  2. Hi Ann,
    I think it is the nature of a woman’s mind, don’t you think?
    So many different thoughts and directives.
    Bubbling just might be a great weapon in any mom’s arsenal.
    Thanks so much for dropping by!


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