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    filed under: I Am Servant on October 30, 2014

    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!

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    Comments

    Beautifully written on such a great topic, I have lately been really trying to focus on things and being present while doing them, so this post is perfect timing!

    I LOVE the “Those who leave everything in God’s hands…” quote for I believe it to be so very true. God’s plan for our lives is so much better for us than anything we can dream up; when we let Him be the guide and allow His will to transpire in our lives, the blessings are truly abundant.

    Love, love, love this! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Thank you! I really needed to hear this today. God bless!

    Thank you for being so faithful and truthful in writing this post. As I read it, I felt that the words could have come from my own heart. I have been doing 1 & 2 of your quick tips for about a month now. Wow what a difference it has made! Praying for you!

    Wow, I really really needed this today…thank you for sharing:)

    Things definitely go much smoother during my day if I start out talking to Jesus first thing in the morning! Thanks for this great post, girl! 🙂 Love!

    Wow, glad to have run across this part of your blogging world. Lately I find myself “going through the motions” as you say and find myself to be more and more filled with anxieties. When I really search for the reason, it’s because I have allowed my prayer and devotion life to drift. I am going to be looking into this book. Thanks for the inspiration.

      Let me know what you think! In the meantime I will be praying with you friend. 🙂

    Love you, girl. This is a beautiful post! Thanks for the reminder that living purposefully is a choice we make every single day. {hugs}

    Thank you for this reminder! It’s easy to lose focus in all the to-do lists and wash-rinse-repeat rhythm of mommy life. But we must keep our thoughts always on Him, despite the distractions.

    I’m christian as well. I begin everyday by reading “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. I read the devotion for the day and then look up the associated scripture. It doesn’t take long and really sets the tone for my day. I allow the devotion to echo in my head all day. My challenge is to understand scriptures. Numerous times I am confused about what I’m reading in the bible. Can you or anyone else recommend a commentary? Thanks.

    Perfectly put; I am glad that God led you to open the book just when you needed it the most! It has been very encouraging in my walk with Christ as well. Have you read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp??

    Thank you for writing such inspiring and encouraging words. This is exactly what I needed today.

    I really needed this reminder. I get so caught up in the world that I leave God out.

    Don't Pass on Dessert!