Tag Archives: focus

Breathe

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Breathe

We’ve all heard and scene this word used in a myriad of ways. For now, I’d like to focus on just one.

breathe: to pause and rest before continuing

I rather like this definition of the word. Simple, yet packs a punch. How many times do we burst forth in our day without breathing? In fact, I’d like to suggest that oftentimes we believe the age-old saying “the early bird gets the worm” so much so, that it’s almost as if we’re shot out of a cannon from the moment we awake to the moment we close our eyes at the end of the day. We pump ourselves full of caffeine just to propel us through the day. It’s not that I’m against accomplishing  tasks, I just think it’s beneficial to take a deep breath before jumping into them. Focus is often the missing ingredient, which is where breathing comes in to play.

Stopping to breathe is beneficial to the mind as it helps us to focus on what’s really important, sometimes even re-grouping or changing plans. For me, it’s important to seek God and His wisdom before jumping into anything. An over-zealous task master may skip right on over this crucial part, in an effort to make the most of every last second. Sometimes, there are divine appointments, even divine interruptions to the day. If we are too focused on the ever-growing “to do list,” we may very possibly miss out on what just may be the most important event of the day!

What do you have to lose? Try it! See if you don’t have a better, clearer, more effective picture of your day after stopping to breathe.

 

FoCuS

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FoCuS

So enjoying my current Bible study on the book of Nehemiah! Who’d have thought I’d find so many parallels to my own life. As always, I love connecting with other like-minded Christian women in a Bible study such as this one. Our same group, for the most part, had been together in the fall to study the armor of God, another incredible and enlightening study.

Back to Nehemiah. One of the many things I’m enjoying about this book is that Nehemiah had a focus that could not be distracted, no matter how much he was interrupted and tempted. He took on the task of rebuilding the wall for the people of Jerusalem and to honor God. This construction amazingly took only 52 days. Quite the feat for sure!

As Nehemiah and his men were busily working, Nehemiah was summoned by Sanballat and his company to come and meet in one of the villages. Nehemiah was able to discern rather quickly that this “meeting” was only a distraction and that they were scheming to harm him. So he sent messengers with this reply to Sanballat, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)

What impressed me from this snapshot view within the story of the rebuilding of the wall, is that Nehemiah had a task to do which was put in his heart by God himself and nothing was going to thwart his plan. Focus was among his giftings, no doubt. In my case, the work that was put in my heart by God is to be a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) to my son. That said, my focus is to do just that. However if I’m being honest, too often, I allow distractions of life cloud my vision of the good work I’ve been given to do.

As the women and I discussed in our study group, we came to the conclusion that it is essential for us to clarify who it is God created us to be, as well as what He wants for us to do, so that we can more easily discern what opportunities fit into that vision and which ones do not. From this, a mission statement can be birthed for our lives.

For me, this is huge! Often we are bombarded with opportunities to do thus and such, all of which are “good” things. We have to come to the realization that we cannot do it all, nor were we meant to do it all. We have to figure out what fits into His plan and what does not. What is a distraction and what is not. Figuring this out isn’t easily done; we need the Holy Spirit to help us. Sure, God very possibly will put something in our hearts that we may be fearful of or overwhelmed by, yet He will equip us for that work.

For many years, I’ve struggled quite allot with learning to say “NO.” As a people pleaser, I worry that I’m letting the one asking me down if I choose to say no. What a trap! I’ve come to see that I have to draw firm lines and boundaries to keep me aligned with God’s plan for me, not my own, nor someone else’s. Why should I believe that I am the only 0ne who can do whatever it is being asked of me? Truly, this wrongful thinking is pride. It takes daily time in God’s Word with plenty of prayer to discern His plan.

I am thankful for this truth in my life. It has confirmed what I feel that God has been telling me all along, yet I’ve allowed distractions, such as the enemy, to deter me from my purpose. His lies can often be heard loudly in my ear causing me to doubt myself and what God has put in my heart to do. With God’s help, I pray that I might hear God’s voice above all others so that I can stay on the straight and narrow path He has put me on. To live in such a way is truly freeing!

 

 

Be In The Moment

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So, my husband likes to tease me about how focused I get when talking to  someone. He says “You are completely oblivious to whatever else is going on when you are talking to someone”. However, he’s quick to follow up that statement with this one: “You are such a good listener and give your full attention to whomever you’re talking to, making them feel like the most important person in the room.” Now that to me is a huge compliment.

In all honesty, I tend to like his second comment better than his first! While it may seem like I’m oblivious to whatever else is going on while I’m in conversation with someone, it is my way of cutting out the distractions all around me that pull my attention from the person I’m trying to talk to. If I’m being completely honest with you, I get easily distracted. You see, I’ve always been the gal who prefers to sit front row center at church, movie or some type of meeting. Why? My eyes get pulled in every direction but where they should be. I’ll be sitting there thinking, ‘sure like her haircutI’ or ‘that is such a cute outfit, I wonder where she got it‘ or ‘what in the world are they doing?’

I really aim at giving my full attention to my son. Even now, as I’m typing this, my son is wanting to sit in my lap while I’m thinking and writing. He wants to be with me, not just in the same room. He wants my full attention. I’m not always able to focus completely on him as I’d like such as when I’m trying to cook supper, at the grocery store, and even driving. But, I try to make a conscious effort of focusing on him, as if he’s the most important person in the room, when we’re playing or spending time together outside. This has to be a conscious effort on my part. Just like you, I like to check my messages, peek in at face book, or make a phone call. My son is fully aware of these stolen moments. As a matter of fact, he’ll even go as far as close my laptop or take my phone!

Taking this just a bit further, how do we think God likes it when our attention is anywhere but on HIm? After all, the God of the Universe wants to spend time with us. Did you get that? The God of the Universe wants to spend time with you! Even though we as Moms feel completely pulled in all directions just about every moment of every day, especially if you have more than one child, we need to be intentional and choose to carve out just a few minutes within the busyness of our day to connect with Him. This helps us to re-fuel, to fill ourselves up with the truth so we can be all we can be for our family.

Consider changing your perspective. Consider putting your cellphone down. Turning off your laptop, putting up your book or turning off that great tv program you’re engaged in so that you can be in the moment with your child(ren). At the end of the day, you’ll be so glad you did! Time passes quickly and one day we’ll want to look back and see that we really connected with our children. After all, our children are gifts from God. Ultimately, they belong to Him and are loaned to us for awhile. A blink of an eye, really.

I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to be in the moment. Try it. You can always re-connect with your phone, laptop, movie or whatever distraction pulls you away from your child when they are napping or are at Mothers’ Day Out. Kids crave our attention. Don’t choke them out of your schedule. As I’m finishing this message up, my little is scooting so close to me that you couldn’t get a penny between us! Precious times.