I Am Baker

focus

Many years ago I was in a neighborhood Bible study.  The book we covered was Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow; a wonderfully challenging book dealing with contentment, worry, insecurity issues and things out of our control.

Calm My Anxious Heart

The study was a complete disaster for a couple reasons.

1. I was leading it.

2. I was a brand spanking new Christian.

The combination of those two things lead to a drama-filled and poorly executed Bible study, and the second it was over I cast my book to the side and never opened it again. Not blaming the book so much as just not wanting to be reminded of how little I had done to further His kingdom and how disappointing it was to not be a good Bible study leader.

But tonight, as I stood in front of the fireplace in our bedroom, there it was. Just sitting innocently on the shelf.  The familiar binding that I had glanced at so many times over the years, but then moved on to something else.

Not this time.

I picked it up and opened it and landed on page 99. It was a new chapter called Faulty Focus.

Well, wouldn’t you know (and by you I mean Him because He knows all!), that is exactly what I needed a little pep talk in?

There is a devotional by Phyllis Stanley:

“I want to live life very purposely, regularly reviewing and praying over my purpose in life, loving God intensely, cherishing and inspiring my husband, praying for and keeping connected spiritually with my children, loving woman and seeking to lay spiritual foundations.”

Yes.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

God's Hand...

Today I lost focus.  I found myself judging others and thinking negative things about them.  I even took part in some pretty serious gossip.  Not only did I take part in it, I initiated it!

And then, for the rest of the day, my focus was lost.  I was not completing the smallest of tasks.  I was distracted and vague with my kids.  I was unmotivated.

That’s how fast sin takes hold of me.

I love the words from Phyllis above, “I want to live purposefully…

For me, that is the key to daily success.  Intentional living.

Begin Each Day...

Not just waking up and being in a fog and going through the motions… but making the CHOICE to live right.  To seek God’s will in the little things as well as the big.

Jesus

THREE QUICK TIPS TO STAY IN FOCUS:

1. Think of Him.  Let your first thoughts be ones of thankfulness and gratefulness.  Give a prayer of gratitude and let the first words from your lips be ones of love.

2. Find a verse that fits your need. Right now I want to be reminded of how important focus (and having the right focus) is, so I am meditating on this verse: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

3. Listen to worhsip music.  Have it on in the car, in the background at home, on your phone when out and about.  Surround yourself with the power of His name and the beauty of His grace and love.

If all that just seems to much to add to a hectic and stress filled day… do what God loves best.  Talk to Him.

Hoping your day is intentionally blessed!

I Am Baker

daddy’s girl

They didn’t know I was there.

Olivia and Daddy

Watching them.  Feeling my heart ache as she looked up at her daddy with such love and delight in her eyes.

Olivia and Daddy

Giggling to myself as she collapsed in a fit of belly laughs after the tickle monster came to visit.

Olivia and Daddy

Feeling blessed and thankful after seeing her close her eyes and lean into daddy’s kisses.

Olivia and Daddy

There is just something about a content child, a happy and loved child, that makes everything right in the world.

 

 

“The soul is healed by being with children.”

-English Proverb

I Am Baker

What is Love?

God answered the question for us over and over again.  I have heard it a million times, but have I really listened?  I just wanted to share a little trick a friend taught…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  New International Version (NIV)

Love is Patient...

(picture origin unknown)

Now, replace the word LOVE with your name.

Amanda is patient, Amanda is kind. Amanda does not envy,  does not boast,  is not proud.   Amanda does not dishonor others,  is not self-seeking,  is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs.   Amanda does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.   She always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I dont know about you, but that humbles me and inspires me simultaneously.  I cant say with honesty that I am any of those things.

God calls us to be love.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Faith Hope Love
While Valentines Day is commonly called a man-made holiday, I do appreciate the idea that we are given an opportunity to show love to others.

Even if we dont spend one cent, just try and be love to others today.  Replace your name in 1 Corinthians, then model it.  You could be giving someone a priceless gift.

I know that is what I am going to focus on, as well as trying to be an example for my kids!

May your day be blessed and full of faith, hope, and love.