Compared to a year ago, our daily routines have changed quite a bit. Our running around, out and about, has surely been impacted and our time at home looks a lot different. We tend to think about the negative changes, but our lives have been altered for the better in many ways, too. Our time at home has allowed for focus on our families. But just as quickly as life has changed in the past, our focus can change as well. What do we need to do to keep our focus where we want it to be?
To stay focused on what is most important to us...
Those areas will require our effort. Think of the times when you completely zone out. You gaze off into some far off place and your mind and body shuts down for a few seconds. Zoning out does not require any effort. Pulling yourselves back to life and whatever needs your attention, requires effort. It may require pulling ourselves off the couch to exercise or putting down our phone to listen to the details of your child’s day. The effort will feel hard at times, but it is worth every ounce of it. What area of your life could use some extra effort today?
Those areas must get our time. It is almost impossible to think about other people, plan out how we can help them and implement that plan if we do not have time set aside to do so. The time I am referring to is often called “margin”. Think of your life as a sheet of paper with everything that you are involved in listed on that sheet of paper. The margin is the “white space” that is left over. If we do not have any “white space” left on our paper and in our lives, there will be little to no time left to focus. You may be running around getting a lot done, but are you getting the BEST things done? You know the feeling. When we run around crazy busy, we feel as though it is hard to focus on anything well. As life transitions once again, with the administration of vaccines, we will have choices to make with regards to our time. How will you choose to spend your time?
We must be intentional. There are more and more distractions trying to lure us in every moment of every day. Intentionality requires thinking, planning and implementing. The good things in life just don’t happen on their own. We have to be intentional about removing distractions and intentional about making great things happen in the areas that are most important to us. What area of your life could use more intentionality today?
We must be willing to say “no” to the other stuff. We have more opportunities than ever before and many of them are really good opportunities. But remember, whenever we say “yes” to one thing, we in turn say “no” to something else. We only have so much time in the day. When I say “yes” to my game on my iPad (which is not bad in and of itself), I am saying “no” to conversation with my husband, John. What do you need to say “yes” to today? Does that mean you have to say “no” to something else less vital?
When our life is threatened, it seems to give us a fresh perspective… a clearer focus. We have all had to face a life threatening pandemic this past year. John almost lost his life when a blood clot formed in his heart and caused a heart attack. I can also list four people within John and my immediate circle of family and friends who have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer this past year. It is during these times when all of the “other stuff” of life does not seem to matter as much and the most important things come into focus.
Life is starting to transition back to what we used to define as normal. I want to ask you, what do you want your “normal” to be as you move forward? What good things came out of spending more time at home? What do you want to stay focused on? What do you need to do today to ensure it happens?
Whatever you decide, it is within your control to make it happen! I think our future looks brighter than ever!
My Daily Walk With Jesus: I have been challenged this past year to focus more on God and His plan and focus less on me and my plan. This has required saying “yes” in the areas that God is leading me and “no” to everything I want right now. It has required my time, effort and intentionality, and it has been worth it. I have experienced God’s love like no other time in my life and have learned a great deal. God loves us and loves our families. He wants us to love Him first and then to love those around us. He has given us the responsibility to love and care for our spouse and children first and foremost. Life is not always easy, but we are loved and things are never out of God’s control.Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels