Prayer of Focus {#Write31Days}

Lord, Its me again.  Thank you for always being there for me when I come to you.  I know you want me to come more often.  Thank you for the grace that covers me even as I try to do things my own way.  I want to come to you first, but I usually get in the way.  Thank you for understanding and being more faithful than I could ever imagine.

You said I could come to you with my needs.  Me, I need focus.  I need to know what you Praywant me to do.  I have been trying far to long to do things my own way, and I just spin my wheels.  So give me eyes to see how You see this mountain in front of me.  Show me what steps I need to take.

You said to lean not on my own understanding, well I don’t understand at all.  I put my trust in You because You understand everything.  I acknowledge that Your way is the only way and ask You Lord to direct my path.

You said I could ask and You would give me wisdom.  Lord, Give me wisdom.

Lord help me to love others like You love them.  Give me Your eyes for the people and circumstances that are around me, so that I can be Your hands and feet to those You have entrusted to my influence.

2018Write31DaysThis blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty. Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day. Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.

Advertisements
Posted in Faith | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

When you need to change your focus {#Write31Days}

We live at the end of a cul-de-sacWhen.  Our neighborhood was built in the 70s and there are not a lot a street lights, although there are lamp posts in most of he yards.  When I am outside, it feels terribly dark if the house lights are not on.  It is hard for me to see anything.

Yet, when I am in my house, even at midnight there seems to be a soft light outside, making the outside seem brighter then my dark bedroom.   I prefer the dark when I sleep, but for some reason it is the light that draws my attention as I try to drift off to sleep.

When things are dark around us, it can be very hard to focus on anything else.  We start to feel surrounded by our circumstances instead of in control of them.  When we feel that way, we need to turn our focus on the good around us.  When things are dark, we must focus on the light.  We can learn to get out of the funk as we start to turn our focus on what is going right around us.  The more you focus on the light, the more you will begin to see it.

 

2018Write31DaysThis blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty. Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day. Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.

Posted in Musings | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Focus on the Ask {#Write31Days}

“Ask and you shall receive.” John 16:24Ask
It is a scripture I know quiet well, yet often have such a hard time doing for myself. Growing up I didn’t feel like I could ask for anything. I felt unimportant, despite being considered spoiled. by my siblings I learned how to manipulate to get things, but I had such a hard time directly asking for anything I wanted or needed. It is a hard habit to break, and one that God has had to deal with me on in many levels. At times it is because I don’t really know what I want. Other times, I become so immobilized at the possibility of being told “no” that I fail to ask, even though the answer could realistically be yes.
I have learned to focus on asking God for what I need. I still have a hard time asking others, but if there is really something going on in my world, and I need something, He is my “go to God.” I am great at asking for others, regardless of the need or want unless I am completely against it, I have no problem putting myself out there because it is not personal if I get told no.
But I also have to be willing to ask God for what will motivate me into action. I want to make a difference in the world. I want to complete the plans and purpose God has for me. Guess what, God wants me to too! He knows what to burden me with to bring me to my knees. He know where I need to struggle to being about His promises. And He knows where I need His grace. I just have to focus my ask!

2018Write31DaysThis blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty. Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day. Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.

Posted in Hope, Restoration | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Focus on Stopping Talk {#Write31Days}

Talk is cheap. There are times that I can focus more on talking than actually doing anything.  I talk about the things that I want to do, but I don’t take any action towards accomplishing those things.  I admit the things I talk about are generally the things that I am most passionate about, but then I will talk about it so much, or I get lost in research on a topic that I don’t make forward movement on what I’m interested in doing. 

Part of the research thing is a personality thing.  I love research, facts, statistics and learning. Knowing that is who I am, I have to set some limits and set timers so that I am aware of how much time is passing when I start looking into facts and information and opinions.  I have to limit myself, or I will never move into action.talk

However, when it comes to talking, I also have to learn to focus myself.  I need to share my passion, ask my questions, and then I need to get moving.   The world is full of good intentions, but if I am going to capture the perfect timing for my purpose, I have to move into action.  Talking has a purpose for connection, but when it comes to focus I must talk less and act more. 

I remember early in my Social Work career I participated as a board member for a nonprofit and they loved to talk.  Meeting after meeting we would talk about action items, but little progress seemed to get made.  It frustrated me beyond measure because I know I could not “save the world” by talking with the same people week after week about the same thing.  I was so antsy, I took on a project of compiling all the county resources into one location because I needed to do something.  

Yet there are other times, that I have joined in with the talking and allowed myself to complete little to no actions in making progress.  Too many opportunities can pass me by if my focus is on talking and not on action.  I have to be willing to talk with others, because my purpose is bigger than myself.  I also have to follow-up that talking with action.  And the action should be equal to or greater than the talking.

 

2018Write31Days

This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty. Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day. Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.

Posted in Teach | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Focus on Praise {#Write31Days}

In our society it is so easy to get focused on the negative around us, but if you want to be successful, turn that focus into praise.   It takes about 40 positives to overcome one negative. And research shows that for every 20 interactions 17 of them are generally negative. So praise the good, let go of the bad, and learn from your mistakes.

PraisePraise belongs to God. So first and foremost praise Him. Praise him for your talents and abilities, your gifts and resources, the connections you have, and the wisdom He gives. Praise Him in every step of your journey.

Praise those who help you. You can always find something positive to say about those who are helping you in your journey. Give them credit where it is due. As much as possible, focus on what is done right instead of what is wrong. Praise in public, give correction in private.

Praise your critics. In hindsight I realize that much that I have accomplished has been because someone told me I couldn’t. Or progress was made because someone criticized me way. Critics can propel us forward towards our destiny if we let them.

Praise yourself. You need a cheerleader in your corner, and some days you may be the only one who can fill that roll.  Focus on what you do right more than what you do wrong. Self-talk is important, make it count.  Realize that even in the areas where you fail, you can always try again.

2018Write31DaysThis blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty. Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day. Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.

Posted in Faith | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Doorway to Focus {#Write31Days}

The second most often asked question I hear about focus is how do I focus?  For a girl with untreated Attention-Deficit Disorder for most of my life, focus is something that I have learned to do fairly well over the years.  When I allowed myself to be treated, it just honed even more.  There are still areas where am working, but I know I can do it when I put my mind to it.

So how do you get started?  Open the doorway and walk in.  Really.  Decide what it is that you need to focus on and then do it.    Make them at a time when your at your best.  It might be morning, noon, evening or late night.  It doesn’t matter when, it matters that you set a time to turn your focus to that.  You may need to start with short intervals.  It may be once a week, twice a month, or daily, but make a plan and start there.

doorsI can share an example from my own life.  When I decided that I wanted to start studying the Bible daily, I would find myself falling asleep after the first line.  I could guarantee sleep if I just opened it up.  But then I decided to set aside five minutes.  That time gradually increased.  It was scheduled, but it was purposeful.  I would pray, read my Bible and write out what God was speaking to me.  Then I added in time with my children we would pray and do a children’s devotion or ready from the little blue Bible Story books that frequented doctor’s offices when I was a child.  I had the whole series.    That time built over weeks, months and years, but I had to decide to walk through the doorway.

The second thing is, don’t beat yourself up when it doesn’t look like you want.  Some days I put in several hours.  Others days, I read, pray, write and go back to sleep.  And still other days, I may miss.  I used to get religious about it, but reality is God’s Word is inside of me.  I talk to Him daily.  He is not judging me for missing a day.  I am sure He would much rather me desire to spend time with Him than just check mark a box like spending time with Him is a task to complete.  Those days have gotten fewer and farther between, but when I first walked through the doorway of personal time with God, I was good to do it a couple times a month.  Now it is part of my daily routine, something I look forward to and enjoy.

There are many things that started out in my life with little focus, but you have to decide what is important and then start making it a priority.  Devote time to it.  Choose to walk through that door as often as you can, intentionally.  Eventually it will become something that is just engrained and you will see yourself moving more towards your goal at a faster pace and see more doors opening towards your purpose.

 

2018Write31DaysThis blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty.  Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.  Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.

Posted in Hope, Teach | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to focus {#Write31Days}

howOne  of the questions I hear most frequently is how do I know what to focus on to be successful?

While the answer is a little different for each person, there are a few things that we all have in common.

  1. Our focus should be in forward moving goals.  If we spend all our time looking back, we will miss where we need to be going. We have eyes on the front of our head and not the back for a reason.
  2. While our focus should take us out of our comfort zone, there should be some deep interest behind it.  We all have interests in different areas of life.  If it is not something that interests you, it is unlikely you will really stay with it.  There may be parts you don’t care for, but the over all should tap into your deepest desires.  God give’s us our desires for a reason.
  3. Our focus should be bigger than just ourselves.  If it does not directly involve people, it will likely be something that makes life better or easier for others.  It should benefit others.
  4. Our focus should be something that we can clarify.  We have to be able to make the vision clear.  Not that it can not change over time, and as more information comes in to view, but we need to have a clear path of where we are going.  Write the vision and make it clear, so hat you can run with it.
  5. Our focus will require actions.  Generally multiple steps over a long period of time.  We have a lifetime to complete our purpose.  There will be times where actions seem slow, and other times that they are moving so fast they feel overwhelming, but you should be able to take action on a regualr basis, if not daily to move you towards your purpose.

 

This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty.  Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.  Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.2018Write31Days

Posted in Teach | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Focus Inspires {#Write31Days}

I can tell when I am really moving in my area of focus, because I have a natural way of inspiring others to join in.  My mother used to tell me that I could  sell Santa Clause a bikini.  I am not a salesperson, and in fact hate selling anything, but if I am in something for a cause I naturally am able to get others on board.  Whether it is donating money or getting people to sign up for something they might not be 100% convinced they should do, if I am passionate about it, I can generally get others to follow.

InspireI think inspiration works that way.  When we are focused, we can’t help but inspire others.  Passion is contagious.  I can’t motivate others to do anything, but if they can catch my passion they may join in until they find their own motivation, or move far enough away from the initial passion that they move on to something that interests them more.

There is a young lady I previously worked with, and she is an amazing person.  I am so inspired by her.  It appears she can just talk to anyone and is just really outgoing.  She has no issue calling on friends and getting them to do certain things.  I prefer not to ask my friends to do anything.  I never want someone to feel obligated.

However, I realized that this young lady’s focus was the people who were connected to her.  She wasn’t connecting people with a larger cause.  They were following her; which really was great, until she started to move on to something else.  Their connection was to her not the cause, so she took that support with her.

I realized, as much as I admire her, I am more about connecting people to a cause than to myself.  In fact, most of time I am rarely remembered.  However, when I am focused I can inspire others to get out of their comfort zone and connect with something bigger than themselves.  And even when I move on, that connection can stay because it wasn’t about me.  My focus is taking my passion and tapping in to someone else’s purpose.

If I find myself loosing focus, and lacking motivation, I need to connect with someone who inspires me.  It may be that for a moment, I am doing something else because of that inspiration.  Inspiration has a way of being contagious and I can take that and turn it back into motivation for what I need to focus on more.

 

2018Write31DaysThis blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty. Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day. Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.

Posted in Restoration | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Uncomfortable Focus {#Write31Days}

So My people come to you in crowds, sit in front of you, and hear your words, but they don’t obey them. Although they express love with their mouths, their hearts pursue dishonest profit. Ezekiel 33:31 HCSB

Comfort

These words captured my attention, yet taunted me with the deep truth that is found in them.  So often the word I hear, the Word I read from Scripture challenge me beyond my comfort zone.  I sit, I listen, I take it in, but I don’t act on it.  I express my love verbally for God, yet I am not fully pursuing the things I know He has called me to.  I drag my feet because the truth is so far outside my comfort zone.  Obedience is slow to follow when I feel stretched.

Obviously I have done many things that take me outside of my comfort zone.  So what made me willing to step out?  How do I allow myself to lose focus on the uncomfortable, long enough to expand the uncomfortable into my comfort zone?

I have to want what is in the uncomfortable zone more than I want to stay comfortable.  I have to be willing to ask the hard questions, and then accept the truth of the answer.  Then I have to obey.  I have to surrender my will in complete obedience.  It is not surrender until I am asked to give something which takes me out of my comfort zone.  I have to turn my focus off the idea that it is uncomfortable, and turn my focus on to becoming so acquainted with the uncomfortable that it becomes comfortable.  Only then will I expand my comfort zone and fulfill my purpose.

2018Write31Days

This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty.  Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.  Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.

 

Posted in Faith | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hope Focused {#Write31Days}

A friend and I were recently talking about when people lose hope and become depressed and even suicidal.  As a social worker, one of my professors taught me that one of my roles is to come alongside people and bring them hope when they feel hopeless.  As a Christian, I am called to do the same, be hope to the hopeless.  But what about when I am the one that has lost hope?  What about those times that my focus seems so dimmed or blurry that I am loosing hope?

hopeRegardless of what I am called to do, my hope must be firmly anchored in the Lord.  He is the one that gave me the gifts and talents and He is the one that has given me the plans and purpose He designed me to complete.  There are times in all of our lives that what we want, what we have been working for seems so far away, lost, or worse stolen from us.  However God knows everything and knew what we would face in walking through life.

So when my focused purpose seems hopeless, I look to the One who gave it to me.  In my weakness, God is strong.  When my hope fails, He remains faithful.  He will not bring me to anything to fail.  It may look like it in the natural, but His ways are higher than mine, so I have to keep my hope in Him.  When all hell comes against me and my purpose, I have to keep my Hope in the One that overcame Hell and gave me purpose.  I have to keep my hope focused on the Lord and know that regardless of what things look like, He has a plan for it all.

 

 

2018Write31DaysThis blog is part of a #Write31Days series on Focus with prompts by #FMFParty.  Write 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.  Five Minute Fridays provides prompts and encourages writers to free write for five minutes on the prompt.

Posted in Faith, Hope, Restoration | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment