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Mental Math


Quote of the Day: I rarely think in words. – Albert Einstein

Lately my 11-year-old son, Zach, tests my brain with Mental Math. As the name might suggest, it is doing math stories in your head. Zach starts with a number, tells me to add, subtract, multiply, divide, square, and do all sorts of things with this stream of numbers until he’s done thinking them up. I’m very slow. I can blame Mr. D. his 5th grade teacher for this brain exercise. I’m clearly out of shape. He also marveled at Mr. B. who started the whole thing in his class several years ago. Mr. B. can do it so fast that even the sharpest math mind in the class can’t keep up. Way to go teachers! You’ve made math fun, at least for my boy.

Albert Einstein and I are nothing alike. I rarely think in numbers. In fact, when it came to story problems in math, I got distracted by the story.

“If a train leaves New York at 3:00…” I wonder who’s on that train? Where are they going?

“And a train leaves Chicago at 3:45…” Is the person on that train meeting the person on the NY train? What if they crash?

Maybe, their destiny is to meet at this juncture. The trains will collide and they’ll end up helping each other. He’ll rescue her from being crushed under the wreckage, and she’ll comfort him in his time of loss.

What is the probability that two people amidst life’s train wreck could find comfort in each other? You never know who you might run into the next time you leave your house. A new relationship might be an errand stop away. If you believe there are no coincidences, then God, who is the great train conductor of life will lead you off one track and onto another one that is your path.

Journaling/comment prompt: Do you have a story about a moment that seemed to be guided by a higher power? Start watching for them. They happen every day.

  1. First off Mary, this is great, and I’m visual like you and would get sidetracked at those story problems. But I’ve never thought of the reason why before. I love how you put it here. As for the moments guided by a higher power, oh, I see them all the time, but probably still miss quite a few. Oftentimes, they come through something one of my children says. I often feel like they are God’s main channel to reach and speak to me. Hopefully, I am a vessel for God to them as well. 🙂

  2. He speaks to us through the voice of a child. Beautiful words to ponder. I know you are the guiding light for your children. Our reconnection was Spirit guided.

  3. Erika Nilsen says:

    Hello dear friend, what great words of inspiration this morning. I love to see your thought process – from numbers to relationships to God’s hand in it all. I like the way you think:)
    Have a blessed day.

  4. Thanks, Erika. We all think in different ways, don’t we!

  5. Okay – numbers just make me cringe inside, so you lost me at mental math and the train station! 😉

  6. Which is why we word girls day-dreamed in math class!!

  7. Exactly!! It’s so nice to be understood! 😉

  8. Hi Mary,

    Don’t you just love sons who are smarter than we are? Or at least think they are, right? 😉

    I totally believe that God directs our paths and moves us exactly where he wants us to go. We just have to be aware of it.

  9. My morning thought: God keeps pulling you back on the path that is meant for you. This came right after I worried about missed opportunities or that I’d gone astray.

  10. My daughter’s math homework is always a test of the brain. Makes me wonder how I made it through high school and college since she’s only 12.

  11. They’re pushing the math curriculum harder these days. I’m sticking to that as my excuse.

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