Tag Archives: scripture

get in focus

I am the queen of failed New Year’s resolutions. Seriously. I’m pretty sure that I’m the inspiration behind the joke that my resolution for the new year is to make no resolutions. 😉  Every year I would make the same resolutions. And every year they would be out the window within a week. It’s not that I don’t have drive or dedication. The problem is that I’m a perfectionist. So the second that I bobbled on perfection of completing my resolution, I was done. Forget it. No need to continue. I was a failure, yet again.

So then I started making “goals”. You know. I will read more and I will study more and I will exercise more. That didn’t work either. Nothing like being totally vague to get the motivation going. Said no one ever.

Finally, a couple of years ago, I came across the idea of a “word for the year.” I honestly have no idea where I heard it or saw it. It turns out that there’s a book and a movement… who knew!? For me, it’s perfect.

One word. Just one word.

The first time or two, I’m sure I was still pretty generic. I must have chosen words like “joy” or “faith”. I surely don’t remember what I chose. But last year, I really prayed about it and focused. I came up with the word “trust”. Trust. Trust God. Trust the process. Trust myself. Trust the people that care about me. Little did I know how many opportunities I would have to practice trusting! Especially when I suddenly found myself immobile for almost 4 months!

So this year, I’ve chosen the word “focus“. get-in-focus

According to dictionary.com, focus means:

1. a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity:
2. Physics. a point at which rays of light, heat, or other radiation meet after being refracted or reflected.
3.  Optics – the clear and sharply defined condition of an image.

So, what does that look like in a person’s life? Truthfully, I tend to be a little ADD. It’s easy for me to have 3 or 4 different things going on at one time. And then I rarely finish any of them, unless someone else is holding me accountable. So this year, for me, my goal is to be focused on whatever the “task” is in front of me.

I want to focus clearly on Jesus. On what He is showing me, and where He is leading me. I want to focus on our homeschool. Determine what we are doing well, and where we need to grow, and then focus on getting it done. I want to focus on my business. Spend dedicated time strictly to growing and developing my business, my team and myself. And finally, focus on my family. Be present when I am with them. Pay attention to the little things. Listen. Really listen when my kids are talking to me. Not allowing myself to get distracted by my phone, or my book, or my thoughts. (when I can help it.)

And the beauty of having one word, is that it’s vague enough for my perfectionism to not panic, but specific enough that I have something I can really hold on to.

So, I ask you. What’s your “one word”? The one thing that you really feel God calling you to hone in on this year? If you don’t know yet, there’s no deadline. Think about it. Pray about it. The Bible app has a couple of good, short studies designed to help you get your focus (see what I did there!?). And then share with me what your one word it. I’d love to celebrate with you. Maybe we can keep each other accountable? Deal?

Until next time!

T

an abundant life

I love Timehop. It’s an app that pulls from all your social media accounts to give you an “on this day in your history…” It’s fun to see pictures of my babies.
Not as much fun to see pictures of myself sometimes.

Today it reminded me of a field trip I had taken with my kids 3 years ago. As I looked at the pictures, I didn’t really remember what we had done that day or the joy that my kids had found. I remembered how tired I felt. How I put on a decent face for my kids, but in reality all I wanted to do was sit down and rest. And I remember wishing that I liked drinking coffee because maybe if I did I could feel more awake and involved. And I remember feeling like this was just the way things were going to be. Tired. No energy. Always hungry. Living from nap to nap.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of us have subscribed or resigned ourselves to the idea that we will always just feel badly. It’s like we’ve just given up on feeling the way that God really did intend for us to feel.

Strong. Healthy. Invigorated. Joyful.an-abundant-life

And honestly, I thought that. I just assumed that my chronic pain and overweightness and exhaustion and stomach issues and overwhelming emotional swings were just who I was. But the thing is, that is not how God designed us.

 

The Scripture tells us that God has given us life and abundantly.

We can’t live an abundant life if we’re always dragging. If we’re always feeling sorry for ourselves. If we are always telling ourselves that it’s a sacrifice to eat well and to take care of our bodies. But it shouldn’t be that way. Taking care of ourselves should not be a sacrifice; it should be what everyone expects. If you’re telling yourself (and others) that you’re proud of yourself for making good food choices because it’s hard to make good food choices, then something is not right. If you’re telling yourself that it’s hard to be active and present and so you deserve special props for doing those things, something is not right.

Our bodies are designed miraculously by God. Will there be struggles? Yes. We live in a fallen and broken world. But on the whole, we should be living abundant life. We should enjoy eating the things that God created for us for nutrition and sustenance. We shouldn’t be tied down to those things that God did not design for us to ingest. We should be enjoying God’s creation and enjoying being with the people that God has given us. We should not be thinking of that time a struggle or a hardship or a challenge.

At what point do we say, “That’s it. I’m done with the thief. I want to do things God’s way.” For me, it happened two years ago next month. Now, when I look back on those pictures I’m sad that I had allowed myself to believe the lies. I never want to go back to being that mom and that wife and that friend.

Jesus himself said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬)

the time is now

I have always been enamored by the biblical story of Esther. If you aren’t familiar with it, here are the cliffnotes:

A young Hebrew girl loses her parents and is raised by her politically active male family member (uncle perhaps?). Meanwhile the reigning queen angers the king and becomes exiled. The king decides to find another wife from within his kingdom, and after some deliberation from him and beauty treatments for her, he settles on young Esther. Enter the evil Haman who works closely with the king. There is no love lost between Haman and Esther’s uncle. As soon as he has the chance, Haman arranges to murder Uncle Mordecai (and all the other Jews because, why not?) Mordecai speaks to his niece and entreats her to go to the king and intercede on behalf of their people. When she hesitates, Mordecai tells her, “If you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

I don’t want to totally give away the story for you. But I do want to ask you this. What is God asking you to do right now? Whose name is God whiscrown-1049927_1920.jpgpering in your ear? What is it that is going on in the world around you that is tugging at your heart strings?

We don’t have to have all the answers. Esther surely didn’t. We don’t even have to know what to do first. We just have to take a step in that direction and begin.

Make no mistake. God’s purpose will be done regardless of what you and I do. But just imagine with me for a moment how amazing it will be to play a part in God’s plan? Perhaps you too have come in to the kingdom for such a time as this.

Sweet friend. Lift up your head.
Take a deep breath. Straighten your crown.
And walk boldly into the life to which God has called you.