How To Love Exercise, Washing Dishes, and Folding Laundry

By February 8, 2011General

(FYI – That’s not my child. Just a picture I found that cracked me up. Photo credit.)

“I’m going for a run. I’ll be back in 7 hours and 57 minutes. Love you!”

That’s what told Jimmy before I stepped out our front door on Saturday.

In reality, I returned in just over 30 minutes, but I might have stayed out for hours.

You see, I’d just purchased the audio book version of Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. It’s 7 hours and 57 minutes long and I did not want to stop listening!

Confession: I’m Not A Reader

I used to read voraciously, but lately my pile of books to read just keeps growing and growing. In this season of life, busy with small children at home, audio books have been my saving grace.

I don’t have many moments when I can just sit down and read a book. But I have lots and lots of moments when I can just listen. I’ve made a considerable dent in my “to read” book pile since I discovered how well audio books work for me.

Listen While You Work

I actually look forward to doing chores because I know I’ll be able to listen to my book. Formerly boring chores like washing dishes, folding laundry and scrubbing tubs are now…wait for it…f-u-n. It makes the time go by quickly and I feel productive while even doing mundane repetitive tasks.

Listen While You Run

I also love to listen while running. If I’m in a particularly unmotivated season of exercise, I’ll even make the rule that I can only listen to a certain book WHILE I run. Another advantage of audio books is that they don’t mess with your running or breathing rhythm like music can.

I Relisten Better Than I Reread

Sadly, I’m not one of those people who likes to read books over and over. But I’ve learned that I really enjoy listening to books multiple times. I’m now able to glean many levels of wisdom from the books I read.

How I Listen

I’ve downloaded books from iTunes and and have been pleased with both services, I listen on my iPhone using earbuds. If my kids are awake and playing I use regular earbuds and typically only listen in one ear so I can be sure to hear them.

If I’m doing dishes, while Jimmy gets them ready for bed, I’ll use sound isolating earbuds so I don’t have to turn the volume up too loud to drown out the sound of the water.

You can also listen to audiobook cd’s from the library. If you commute, your drive is a great time to listen to books.

Getting Your Kids Interested

We don’t have a DVD player in our car, but I don’t think our kids care one bit. We have a supply of books by each seat and lots of audio books (and Adventures in Odessey episodes) on hand. This is especially great for road trips or books that the children are too young to read, but would enjoy listening to.

They love hearing the stories and imagining the scenes. Frankly, so do Jimmy and I.

Your Ideas?

I know there are lots of great audio books, radio theatre productions, and podcasts available. What are some of your favorites?

(This post is part of WFMW.)

Leave a Comment



  • I love books, but I have recently discovered the love of listening to books. I need to more proactive in downloading books to my iPhone so I have them available to me when I have time to listen. I also want to start downloading sermons to listen to in the same matter!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Ah, yes! Sermons are great too!

    • Avatar charlotte says:

      Sermons, yes! I haven’t tried other podcasts yet, but a friend referred me to Have you heard of the Grace To You iPhone app (it’s free)? It has all of John Macarthur’s sermons (40 years’ worth), free Wi-Fi streaming of broadcasts AND free audio downloads. I’ve listened to a few sermons and have been so impressed by this resource.

      • I hadn’t heard of that app. Thanks for telling me about it!

      • Avatar Rebekah says:

        I completely agree with Charlotte. I, too, have discovered his sermons, and I am so inspired by his passion for God’s word and its truth! ๐Ÿ™‚ He really tries the hardest he can at teaching the truth. I have been listening for about two years now, and I’m still excited by reading the Bible after I listen to them. Thanks, Charlotte, Kat, and Grace to You.

    • Avatar Audrey says:

      LOVE listening to sermons! I listen to a lot of Mark Driscoll’s sermons, they’re fantastic. I’m listening to his Redeeming Ruth series right now.

  • Avatar Amanda says:

    What a great idea! I’ve got to try that. I love to read, and one of the workers at our local library mentioned audio books the other day because of my college classes. Even if I don’t have time to read, I can listen on my 30 minute commute.

  • Avatar Valerie says:

    I think my favorite might be “The Screwtape Letters” read by John Cleese from Monty Python. It’s pretty hard to find though.

  • Avatar Melissa says:

    Love this! Having a mental distraction while doing the mundane REALLY helps me. I’ll be watching for suggestions. I listen on my iPad, so sometimes I’ll even listen/part watch a video talk.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Ooo…I recently got an iPad, any apps you recommend? A few of my favorites are: Awesome Note, YouVersion, Feedler Pro, Bento, and Pandora.

      • Avatar Melissa says:

        I’ll try to give you my short list…I get a little carried away with the apps.

        For you…Cozi (amazing calendar which can also be accessed on computer)
        HomeRoutines (very customizable)
        Friendly for FaceBook

        For the kids…
        Stack the States
        Rocket Math (this is by same dev as stack the states)
        Math Girl
        ChorePad (worth the price, keeps kids on track and easy for me)

        Have fun! I heart my iPad! I haven’t heard of a couple you mentioned….going to check them out…thanks Kat!

  • Avatar Chelsey says:

    This is such a great idea, Kat! Multi-tasking at it’s best! I’ve been listening to some podcasts from Mars Hill Church and Focus on the Family. Audio books sound even better! Thanks for this post!

  • Avatar Ginny says:

    I’ve gotten addicted to podcasts! Dave Ramsey’s show, “Stuff You Should Know”, 60 Minutes, I love them!

  • Avatar Kristi says:

    Thank you for this…so good!!! I also listen to Dave Ramsey, need to check out Mars Hill!! Also need to check out the audio books…I have so many on my non-fiction to read list!!!
    And thanks for sharing the logistics!!! I already have some Adventures in Odyssey for when my boys are big enough.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      FYI – The Adventures in Odessey Podcast usually posts several free shows throughout the year. There are some great ones in the archives. The Kidsboro series is a favorite in our house.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kat @Inspired2Action, Kat @Inspired2Action. Kat @Inspired2Action said: New Post: "How To Love Exercise, Washing Dishes, and Folding Laundry" – […]

  • Avatar Reese says:

    Unfortunately, audio learning does not work for many people, like myself. I simply cannot focus on spoken words, especially when I’m doing something else; I’m more of a visual learner, and a very kinetic learner. My husband loves audio books though, and he listens to a lot of sermons as he works or jogs. I, however am stuck with sitting down and reading a book myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading, it’s just not very good for multi-tasking, especially now that we’re going to have a little one any day.

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Very true. It’s great that you know yourself well enough to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. That’s key.

    • Avatar Kathleen says:

      I’m the same way! Audio books in the car put me to sleep and I can’t listen to a book or sermon while I’m doing anything because I can’t focus on what they’re saying. So then I sit there listening, but then I feel like I’m wasting time and should be doing something else too. I do chores to music that I love and I’m not afraid to turn it up if I need the motivation.

  • Avatar Kelly says:

    We love listening to the Focus on the Family Radio Theater. Their version of The Chronicles of Narnia series is the best! Can’t wait to listen to it again during my drive to and from Dallas next week!

  • Avatar Shawnda says:

    And, don’t forget the free public domain audio books at!

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    Such a great blog. I’m a youth leader and am always trying to find ways to encourage the mom’s of my youth! I just posted your site on my blog!

  • For years I’ve listened to books on tape (see I told you it was years) during my commute. I go to the library and usually get more books than I could listen to in a year, much less the 3 wks until they’re due. Now I get books on CD, but one of these days I’ll step into the 21st century and actually listen to digital books. Regardless, audio books are a great way to pass the time in the car, and I never get road rage!

  • Avatar Heather says:

    Great idea kat! A mento mom friend of mine (she has 4 boys in high school and college) has a blog and wrote a post on iTunes university where u can download lectures from universities all over the world. Makes a mommy feel smart again! Here is the link:

  • I used to be in the car a lot commuting and working, and always loved listening to books while in the car. I have tried to listen at home while I am working, but if I listen during my work now, I cannot pay attention as well. I wish I could find times that I could listen again!

  • Avatar Elizabeth says:

    I bought a Bible Stick (The whole new testament on audio) that I listen to when I walk. It’s great to listen to the Word instead of just reading it…adds a whole ‘nother dimension of learning!

    P.S. my family LOVED Adventures in Odessy, and I still do!!

  • Avatar Jeni says:

    My kids are little (a 4yo and a 20mo) but we discovered the joys of audiobooks last summer. I downloaded two collections of Dr. Seuss books from Audible, and they are fantastic! The kids love to listen, and they’re especially good for naptime during long car trips.

  • Avatar susan says:

    The only time I’ve listened to books is when my kiddos were little and we went on a road trip. I think I will look into this idea though especially when I am walking. It might enamour me to the idea of being more regular.

    btw – I signed up via your rss feed.

  • Avatar Laura says:

    Love it! I recently picked up an audiobook on CD from the library. I thought my six-year-old son might find it interesting. And, he did, but not long-term. Instead, I took the “book” with me in the car and listen to it to and from work. What a great way to hear/learn different things about a series. Right now I’m listening to Harry Potter. I’ve read all the books and seen the movies, but its been awhile since I’ve read them. I’m amazed at how much I’ve forgotten and how I hear new things each day. Its great! And, I’ve never thought about downloading it to my iPod, but that’s a great idea as well. I think I’ll be trying that next. Thanks for the idea! Laura

  • Avatar Juanita says:

    I read voraciously. I also still read out loud to my teenage boys. It’s something we have always done together to start our day. We are presently reading Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. My guys have always loved Adventures in Odyssey and we have never had a DVD player in our vehicle. I either read aloud to them when we travel or we listen to audio theater/books. One of our favs was Lord of the RIngs. We LIVE at the library. My husband prefers audio and downloads podcasts from various sites. Music and or audio books always makes the work go faster in our house but sometimes I find the guys standing and paying more attention to the story with the dishtowel hanging limply from their hands!

  • Avatar Carrie says:

    I LOVE podcats and audiobooks! I subscribe to Passion City Church (Louie Giglio) free sermons on iTunes and listen to them while I’m running, cleaning, or working in my classroom.

  • Avatar Andrea says:

    Agreed! Great for long roadtrips for parents and kids. My daughter loved listening to Pippi Longstocking at age 4 and Piper Reed… Also Dr Seuss and books by John Lithgow like The Runaway Pancake. For me I listen to Missus Smarty Pants podcast and there are several other great ones on the FlyLady and friends podcast channel. oh and I downloaded all the Pinky Dinky Doo podcasts for my daughter.

  • Avatar c says:

    I LOVE pod-casts, and I’m always telling someone about something I learned on a podcast, lol. But no holes bared, my all time favorite, incouraging, inspiring, informative pod cast is Homemakers
    By Choice. It’s hosted by Donna Otto, who is the author of several books. I can’t even begin to tell you how I have been blessed by this free podcast. I’ve been listening to it for around five years…started way before I got married and it did so much to help me prepare for marriage. It was also such a blessing the first few months my twins were here, since it was a while before I could get back to church. Anyway, from the things you talk about on your blog I know you would love it. You can stream it through iTunes.

  • Avatar Jane says:

    I got my nephew some of the Jonathan Park CDs & my sister said they have all really enjoyed listening to them in the car on the way to school

  • Avatar Rose says:

    I love audio books and it’s true they turn mundane tasks into fun. My son struggles with reading and although he has assigned reading everyday I didn’t want him to miss out on the joy of good books so he listens to a lot of audio books, both for school and for fun. One resource we both use is While all these books are in the public domain so are older, there are a lot of good quality choices there.

  • Avatar lara says:

    I’m not a big reader either! Yay. {bonding moment} I mean, I can read but I just don’t have much time to sit. Love the idea of audio books. I also download John Piper’s sermons quite a bit and have church at the gym with my mp3.

  • Avatar Leah says:

    Hey Kat ๐Ÿ™‚ I was wondering if it is actually Ann reading the book?! I did hear a brief sample and my first thought was no, but then I started thinking maybe it was her. If so, I’m definitely up for the purchase!

    • Avatar Kat says:

      Hi Leah!
      I think of you and your super cool blender every time I make my kids a smoothie in my cheapo blender. Random, but true. ๐Ÿ™‚

      It is Ann reading it and she does a superb job.

  • I’ve discovered Faithful Workouts and it has gotten me back on track with exercise!

  • Avatar Charity says:

    YOU will LOVE that book. I just spend the weekend totally alone except for me, God and that book and finished it! I work full time, go to school full time, and have 3 children so I needed to re-charge my batteries. Needless to say this book did the trick. Ann does a wonderful job helping you to truly be thankful and in that find rest and peace. Enjoy your time exercising while you listen to this beautiful book!

    BTW…I have never listened to a book on tape…what a wonderful idea on getting in some exercise while filling your mind and heart!

  • […] admit, I got this idea from Kat of Inspired to Action. Earlier my dishwashing time was more of reflection or fun time. Now I like listening to an […]

  • Avatar Nadia says:

    Thanks for this post! It was really interesting lecture.