Wednesday, October 15, 2014

15 | Be Focused

I'm nearsighted.  No, I'm not talking about my eyes.  It's my myopic attention span. Whatever is in front of me, that's what gets my attention.

Dirty dishes annoy me until they are clean and drying, or better yet, put away.  Post-it note reminders: they are little red capes attracting a stampede of my attention. Push messages on my phone = must respond immediately.  Piles of paper to go through... umm... let's just say I've gotten really good at ignoring some distractions, much to the chagrin of my Mr.

So unless everything is tucked away in its proper place, my mind bounces from distraction to detail to distraction.  It's kind of like living in a pinball machine.  I'm never certain where I'm mentally going to go next.  

It's exhausting.

It's soul stultifying.

I know I need to focus, not on the short-term, immediate interruption stuff, but on the high-altitude, spirit-developing stuff.  I need to focus on God.

Do you feel this way, too?

Our culture is not one that encourages a focus on looking up, looking higher, looking beyond this earthly path.  We are bombarded with information and distractions all day long.  

So how do we pull our focus back to our faith, our God?  How do we remind ourselves to be still, to rest and to grow in God's love?

First and foremost, we need to be still.  I've been writing about this for 14 days, 14 different ways now.  But in case you're just tuning in, let's practice with a little breathing and a little prayer.

Breathe belly deep.  Breathe in God's peace, for your body, mind, heart, and soul.
Hold onto that breath and that peace a moment.
And exhale.  Let out the tension.  The tightness.
Pause and relax a moment before you begin again.


Inhaling inward: God, focus my body, mind, heart, and soul on you alone.  
Hold that breathe: Help me to hold my focus on you.
Exhaling outward: God, push any distractions out of my time with you.
Pause: Be my focus, my center, my stillness.


I still find it hard to slow down, to breathe deep, to be still before you and in you.  After two weeks I hoped it would be easier.  In my difficulty, I see all the more clearly how much I need this quiet, focused time with you.  

But I do see growth.  My mind bounces around all day, but more often it settles back on you and your word.  Where once our quiet time together was a task to be completed for my spiritual wellbeing, now I seek you with eagerness, like having coffee with a friend.  And your peace sticks with me longer, your precious peace that passes all human understanding.  I so need that.

Thank you for these moments of stillness, for filling me with your Holy Spirit.  Thank you for helping my soul to grow.

from Amy Westerman Photography
Be with me as I consider new ways to bring my focus to you throughout my days. Show me what will help me slide this earthly world into the background and let you shine, front and center.  Help me to see what will help me to simply be — to be present and to be your presence.  Help me to pick just one simple reminder to adopt in the coming days.  There is always time later for adding more prompts to focus on you.



I feel so much better now.  More thoughtful.  More intentional.  More connected to the peace of Christ.  I hope you do, too.

And now, for your slow and still perusal, a menu of ideas to remind you that God is always near.  Pick one.  Put it into action.  And pray that God will use this cue to help you focus on your Living, Loving Lord.

Is it hard to limit yourself to just one reminder?  You can always stop back next month to share how things are going and pick up another idea!  I'd love to hear how things are going.

Make or buy a snazzy sign for your home
thesimplestandard via
Put a favorite verse on canvas
Print this cute printable for your desk

This on a Post-it, wherever you need it?

Crafty project: stones to center thoughts
I need this stamped onto the dog leash
via Pinterest

Put your Bible where you will notice and read it
Showers: reminders you are baptized and forgiven
Soul-stirring music for your faith-filled playlist

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