Tuesday, April 30, 2013

HELP! I Need to Focus

One day on my way to work I whispered a prayer to heaven.

My request?

Focus.

I need to learn how to focus and I need to learn in a hurry. Right now, as I’m writing this post there are eight browser widows open on my laptop, and I don’t even want to count the number open on my iPhone or my iPad. That doesn’t include the two MS Word documents I have open, as well. And please don’t make me confess to you the number of documents in progress and apps open on my iPad, right now. Pretty please.

My husband logged on to use my laptop one day and just got straight flustered because of all the stuff I had open. In my mind, I keep it all open for a reason. There’s usually some article I’ve stumbled across to which I plan to circle back. And usually I do circle back…eventually. In the meantime, I’m jumping back and forth from one website to the next. Heaven forbid I find a link that looks interesting within an article I’m reading. Then I go sliding down a rabbit hole like Alice in Wonderland.

The same pattern rears its ugly mug in my daily routine in other ways. On any given clean-up day,  it’s not uncommon for me to look around to discover kitchen cabinets and a dishwasher open from where I was unloading dishes, but for some reason I stopped and started washing clothes. Meanwhile the clothes from the dryer are on the bed. I was folding those when I went to the bathroom to put in fresh towels. Next thing you know I’m cleaning the tub. By night fall, I lay my head to the pillow, and it takes me HOURS to fall asleep. Why? Because now I’m filled with anxiety from the overload of information and activity I’ve encountered and equally stressed from the fact I’ve accomplished nothing. Nada. ZILCH.

And tomorrow, if the good Lord wills, I awake and the cycle starts all over again. Bottom line is I have trouble picking one thing and completing it before starting another project. That often leads to accomplishing absolutely nothing or accomplishing something very, very slowly.

So the morning I prayed the prayer begging the Lord to help me get focused, I was fresh off another night of minimal sleep (if any) and I was desperate. I mean, I don’t drink caffeinated anything, people. When I’m tired, I’m STUCK! Not a good feeling. Later that day, I picked up my cell phone and scrolled through my twitter feed. When I read the words: How to Focus in an Age of Distraction: 10 Things to do Before you Click all I could do was shake my head and whisper “thank you Jesus.”

It was a blog post by Ann Voskamp – author of the New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. If you are not familiar with Ann Voskamp, you can learn more about her by clicking here. I was so thankful to read her post, I immediately decided I had to share it with you all. So if you’re anything like me and feeling the need to become a bit more focused, I encourage you to click here and take a few minutes to check out Ann’s suggestions in this post. If you’re not as scatter-brained as I can be, then woopty doo for you! No seriously, though, it’s always nice to share good information with someone you know who can use it. So feel free to forward this post. Maybe those you forward it to and I can start some type of focus group. Get it? Focus group. Oh never mind.

Until next time…

Coming up at Be Completely You….. An interview with national youth motivational speaker and sex education expert Jackie Brewton in conjunction with The National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Don’t miss it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thought for the Day

I woke up this morning with one main thought on my mind. These days, I have several things on my mind, of course, but this one thought stood out. That’s probably because the same thought has been on my heels, following me around like a lost puppy for WEEKS! Have I ever told you that sometimes I wake up with a song playing in my head? It’s true. Could be any kind of song, too. One morning I woke up with the Bee Gees playing in my head. I don’t know WHERE it came from (other than the fact I LOVE the Bee Gees), but folks on my Facebook page seemed to get a kick out of it. I think it was the song “Night Fever” or something like that….Maybe I had a fever that night…

Ahem!! I’m sorry. Where was I? (Forgive me, I’m up writing early this morning. My fingers are moving, but my brain is trying to catch up.)

Oh yes, I was about to share with you what was on my mind when I awakened this morning. This tip, suggestion, piece of advice, or however you want to label it has actually been with me since I read the words in a blog post written by Seth Godin and published back in mid-December 2011. The post was simply titled, “Assorted Tips, Hope they Help.” I decided to print the post, highlight the “tips” I like and hang it at my desk for frequent viewing. (By the way, if you’d like to read Seth’s list of 12 tips, which are indeed assorted, click on the post title in the sentence above or click here.)

“Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite.” – Seth Godin

That’s it! That’s what got me. Those are the words that were running like a scrolling marquee through my brain as soon as my eyes popped open this morning. Sounds simple enough, right? That’s what I thought, too. I, also, thought it was darn good advice. But the more I began to chew on the words the more I began to really analyze what type of habits I could “seek out”, that means I’m actively looking for habits, things to do, ways to overcome fear or inertia. Oh, here are a few definitions and synonyms I found for the word “inertia”:

INERTIA

Definition: 1. inertness, especially with regard to effort, motion, action, and the like; inactivity; sluggishness. – Dictionary.com
Synonyms: idleness, indolence, laziness, shiftlessness, sloth – Merriam-Webster.com
Good stuff! Like I said, it’s been with me since December 15th, and I must say it’s making a difference.

So if it makes a difference in my world, I had to share it with you. 🙂 Now:

What are some habits or things you can do to help you overcome fear in any area of your life? What are some habits you need to destroy?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just Because

I’m lying on my bed, listening to the rain and reflecting on my day.  Well, I won’t be doing that by the time you read this, but that’s what I’m doing at this moment.  🙂

How are you?  I mean really….  How are you?  I feel that when you read that, at least one of you had something specific enter your mind.  If you’re up to it, I’d love for you to share.  Leave me a comment.  If you’re reading this through your email, click on the title to this post.  It will take you over to my blog home.  Then, just beneath the date (located to the left of the post title) is a link for comments.  Click on it and type away.  (If you’re reading this directly from the site, then you’re already halfway there.)  If you have a prayer request, leave me that, too, ok?  Ok!  🙂

I entered this day in excruciating pain and found myself post up outside an urgent care center before the sun took its place in the sky.  Yes, as soon as they unlocked the doors and flipped the “closed” sign to “open”, I was at the counter, signing in!  LOL… Your sister was in pain!!

On the drive over to the center, my thoughts drifted (as they often seem to do on these occasions) to “why”.  You know the routine.  Something bad or challenging is happening in your life, and the first thing you do is, what I like to call, reach for the “Why cry”.  Why is this happening to me?  Why is this happening to me NOW?  Girlfriends, I reached for the “why cry” this morning! LOL..  In mid-whine, I heard calmly, sweetly, and matter-of-factly in my ear, “Because”.

HUH??

“Because.”

Now that’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?  Maybe the Lord allowed my pain, my unwelcome deviation to my schedule, and my unwanted deviation to my BUDGET all just because.

So, thanks to the lesson I learned from the crazy Saturday I told you about last week (if you missed it, you can click here to check it out), I knew just how to re-group, even in the midst of my pain.  I began to think on these things:

1.  Thanks to a back sprain over the summer, a visit to an urgent care center in a totally different state, and a trip to the hair salon a couple of weeks ago, I knew just where to go, this morning, to find an urgent care center in my neighborhood.  Trust me, these components are truly all related, and they made my morning SO much easier than it otherwise may have been.

2.  Knowing exactly where to go this morning (in the midst of great pain, remember) reminded me, again, that God has planned ALL of my days.  He’s not surprised by anything that comes my way.  IF I pay attention, I will be able to follow in the footsteps He’s already ordered for me – whether it’s a good day or a challenging one.  I get so full just thinking about this beautiful truth.

3.  Although I wasn’t expecting to spend a few hundred bucks on a shoulder sprain this week (or any other week, for that matter AND what’s up with all of the muscle sprains, anyway!!! LOL…), I had the money.  PRAISE THE LORD, I had the money!  That’s not the story for some, and it wasn’t the story for me a short while ago.  However, even during that season, the Lord always provided.  The Lord WILL ALWAYS provide!  It’s His word and His part of His essence.

Today, these three tiny things translated into three tiny words from my heavenly Father to me.

“I Love You!”

My sweet sisters, let me tell you this.  Hearing “I love you” made hearing “because” just a little bit more bearable.  So the next time you hear “because”, stop, look and listen closely.  “I love you” will be right there in the mix, and I promise it will get you through the day and even through the pain. 🙂

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,