2016… where has the time gone… so much more I said I would do, wanted to do, thought about doing in 2015 (and in the 45 years of my life prior…). But all that is gone… no regrets… just moving forward and time to FOCUS on 2016. That’s my word FOCUS! This was a jointly decided upon word for me with the help of my beautiful family. It is the word I probably utter most to myself, as I have been more scattered mentally than ever….
I absolutely love choosing a word for the year to set my mind on. Every year I generally choose one to combat one of my largest weaknesses – procrastination. I have come a loooong way, but definitely a looong way to go! The biggest moment of reality for me is when our daughter started walking in my very deep footprints of procrastination. It took me watching her trip over her own footprints that I knew I had to change. I had to be the change I wanted to see in her. I have procrastinated everything from homework assignments, work assignments, and even my health with my do it tomorrow attitude. So as in previous years, my word will continue to help me fight the battle of procrastination.
I am finding I notice little things like I can’t remember where something is. When, I generally am the girl who can remember where anything is as long as I have touched it at least once. Even on Christmas, after shuffling things around to be ready for the day, I had misplaced my wallet. Keep in mind, the last prior place I had been was Walmart. All I could think of was that our account would be hacked, and that would be on top of an issue I was already facing regarding finances. After much loss of valuable time, I had to FOCUS of where I had been last and recall if/when I had touched it. I found it, in the bottom of a laundry basket that had been further covered with a load of laundry or two.
What’s changed… I multi-task more than over. I pause less than ever. If I were to dump my mind out on a table, it would resemble the bottom of my purse (or even worse my Grandma Frazee’s purse – lol). I would know everything in there, but some things would need to be thrown away, some would need removed but saved for a later time, and other things would deserve more care! Most importantly, it would make room for other things that needed to be in there!
I recently was off of work for about 9 weeks after a routine surgery. The last time I was off that long was to deliver a child. Well, when you are off and come home with a baby, there is no focus on the mama. This time, I could FOCUS on God, on me, and on family! I found a stillness that I didn’t remember existed. I sat on my porch swing almost every morning for weeks, holding my cup, empty before God, and listened! I blocked out the to-do list, which had shrunk immensely without work. I didn’t even touch my “while I am off” dream list including photo organization, lego organization, house projects, books to read… But I did restore ME… Sheri, the mom, the wife, the friend, etc. I was able to be there… physically and mentally… I could FOCUS on the people that mattered.
I watch Mary… when she is in “school mode” she has a focus – her planner for the week is done, post-it notes for the days work is complete, projects are organized, everything has a color. The end result of her focus is some amazing grades and a happy daughter! When things start swarming in that pulls her away, the focus becomes foggy, she gets flustered and feels overwhelmed. (I can relate). Then she goes back to the steps she knows to focus and produce. …. (Of note, this beautiful system took place after a hard fall from stepping in my footprints of procrastination, and her watching me constantly refer to the importance of my calendar).
I watch Sam… his focus for whatever his passion is for the moment – Legos, action figures, or Minecraft. His concentration is amazing. He can block out the rest of the world and FOCUS on just that one thing. The result is an amazing creation and/or hours of play. He can become so focused on a project, that he can stay up most of the night or at times wake in the middle of the night to complete what is in his mind. The result is a calm and happy son!
I watched the movie War Room over and over recently. Life changing! When I was off, my porch was a mini war room. The peace after that time spent with God was priceless and poured into my whole day. But when I returned to my pre-surgery schedule, I let my old routine seep back in and I didn’t make time to go to God. When in reality is when I need that FOCUS most. It is like a puzzle, with FOCUS (especially on God), all the pieces fit. Without that, I discover pieces are temporarily misplaced! (I say replaced because once I focus, I will find the missing item – Jim and Mary will both tell you… 1. If I have ever touched it, I will know where it is. 2. If it is to be found, it will be done by me, and 3. I won’t rest until it is found).
God has some amazing things ahead of me in 2016, I am sure! He promises in His word that He has a plan for me…. A hope and a future… Unfortunately, if I don’t keep my mind fixed and in FOCUS, I just might miss things, because I am so busy looking for the pieces I have misplaced. I think about binoculars (or me without my glasses), the object maybe in “view” but it’s just a blurb. With my glasses or binoculars, I can FOCUS on what it truly is.
It is only a day into 2016 and I have already made some changes…
- My calendar has shrunk in size. If I have smaller “blocks”, I will be more careful to FOCUS on the things that should be there! (People over projects as Lysa Terkeurst refers to).
- I have said YES to two major decisions that will change my FOCUS in a new direction. (remember the analogy of dumping out my mind is like dumping out a purse – it is getting rid of some of the garbage that took up too much space and making room for new exciting things – more in near future)
- I am spending the weekend with my family. We have talked and laughed. They have listened to me talk about all the WORDs my friends have chosen. When I didn’t want to commit (another great word chosen by a friend) to FOCUS, I did a typical search looking for something temporarily misplaced and said (what I thought was under my breathe) FOCUS SHERI! They have since not let up to remind me why this is the word – FOCUS!
- I chose a word… the one I was avoiding, because it’s the one I need most in my life most.
So a couple things I generally do in choosing a word is to look up definition, find a song, and find a scripture…
Definition (using verb – because I like my one word to be an action because in procrastination I put off, by choosing an action I feel it combats that habit more): 1. To be directed at something specific… 2. To direct attention / effort at something specific…. 3. To adjust to make an image clear
Scripture: wow there are a few… but I like Isaiah 26:3 as it is a promise to ME (paraphrase by me) – He will keep ME, Sheri, in perfect peace, when my mind is steadfast (FOCUSED) on Him!
Song / Hymns – Turn your eyes upon Jesus… Of note, I googled the words of the hymn just to be sure and found this interesting – The lyrics were inspired by the Gospel Tract FOCUSED, by Lilias Trotter… (no coincidence there – lol)… O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s a light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free! Refrain: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.
I can’t wait to watch FOCUS live out loud in my life… and watch your ONE WORD live out loud in yours!!!!