Posted by: Kara Luker | September 22, 2022

A helpful alarm

If you look on my phone, you will find all sorts of alarms scheduled to alert me to various activities. The obvious one is my morning alarm that makes sure I am awake to get Chase fed and ready for the school day; one I’m particularly dependent on after transitioning from summer when I was free to start the day whenever my body deemed it pleasing. But I also set alarms to remind me to pick up Chase from school at varying times depending on the day of the week, as well as for his extra-curricular activities (and mine) which I’ve been known to completely blank on without a reminder. 

But, after embracing this idea of alarm setting, I still had a problem.  Sometimes my phone would be ringing its chimes at the top of its lungs in a clear attempt to tell me something, but I would stare blankly at it, having no clue what that might be and hoping it wasn’t important. Or I would talk to it in bitter tones, feeling exasperated with its constant demands and saying things like “I don’t know what you want from me!” Very mature, I know. So I began naming my alarms so that when those aggravating chimes sound off, I’m able to look at the screen, know exactly what I’ve intended to do with that block of time and carry on with it. Considering my weakness in the area of time management, this has been such a helpful tool.

A conversation with my mom yesterday gave me a whole new application of this concept. It was the idea that a particular struggle could serve as an alarm to help us remember something specific and useful. I can think of so many things that could work as that aggravating intruder to the flow of our day – anxiety, anger, fatigue, depression, self-pity, temptation, among a host of others. These can all be very loud in their demands, but I think we can agree they aren’t typically helpful, creating nothing more than confusion or frustration. 

But what if we identify a potential purpose for that alarm – a label, if you will – so that it becomes a productive part of our lives? If instead of using it as a reminder to pick up a kid from school, we use it as a reminder to pick up a piece of truth? Would this weakness not then become a strength in its own way?

The big, blaring alarm for me is usually tiredness. Without going into the history of why I have such a dramatic response, suffice it to say that it is a discomfort that interrupts my peace, propels me into a state of fear that I will not have enough or that I will not be enough, and makes me want to run toward places of comfort and self-reliance. Sometimes those fear-based choices create their own fall-out, further undermining my ability to get the rest I need and numbing me enough to prevent dealing with the fear behind the fatigue, which is by far the bigger problem. Not to mention the hopelessness that sometimes rises up, saying things like “this will always be a struggle” or “I’m a loser for feeling or being this way.”

So yeah, wow, that’s not super helpful. But if I determine ahead of time that whenever my tiredness alarm starts blaring, I will use it as a reminder to speak truth to myself and invite the Lord into that moment with me, then this struggle I loathe might just become the catalyst I need. I might have to get back to you on the exact messaging of my alarm, but I think for now it’s going to be, “It’s okay to be tired. There is nothing to fear. I have all that I need. Lord, will you be my rest and my strength?” Even if I’m double-fisting Diet Cokes and feeling the panic rise, I am still going to declare what is true, invite the Lord in and carry on with the good things He has intended for this beautiful life He’s given me. 

Is there an alarm in your life that could be used to remind you to pick up truth? Is there a specific truth that would speak to the heart of your struggle? Would you be willing to invite the Lord into that struggle, even if you are in the middle of behaving in a way that feels ungodly? I am obviously in the middle of walking this out myself, so feel free to share any suggestions you may have!


  1. Wonderful insights – I’m going to think about how I can apply it all (especially since I don’t have a magic phone)

  2. So helpful, so well communicated,, so bloody relevant! Thank you! Once again the child teaches the parent.

    • Thank you dad! Praying strength and hope rises up through the weakness and suffering. Love you.

  3. Kara, I read all your blogs and this one was particularly on point for me. Thank you. –jan

    • Thank you, Jan, for reading my blogs! So happy to hear this one resonated. Please say hello to your family for me 💗

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