Thursday, May 26, 2011
Started a list (I love lists). In a few moments, I had listed six (SIX!) items to focus on. No wonder I can't focus and it all ends up looking like a blur of polka-dots.
I wander randomly through my days, off-center, out of balance. Must zero-in. Spotlight, aim, adjust at the heart, the core of my priorities.
In case you are wondering, here are the big six:
Family - lots of time enjoying each of them
House - cleaning, organizing, simplifying, meals prepared
Exercise/Controlled Eating - daily effort, all day long
Home Teaching - finish up the school year in June so we can take the summer off
Reading - actually finish what I'm currently reading, not just pile up the partially read books
Writing - daily progress
Looking at this list, it is easy to see why the reading and the writing get bumped off most days. The people who are our family, and the focus of caring for them takes priority, of course.
Focus In: The time I spend learning and challenging myself mentally will be useful and productive as I teach our family, manage our home, and toward my writing. Therefore, the reading is valuable and critical. Literature, devotional subjects, the Bible, and motivational material are all fruitful. Also, the time I spend building my health provides me with energy and strength to get the most out of my days.
Focus Out: The time I spend with my family will produce balanced, productive individuals who can then go out into the world and be effective contributors to society at large. What I could never accomplish on my own can be achieved through each of them in their own realms. What the older kids are currently achieving in their lives and studies and work encourages me to continue training the ones still at home. My work is about equipping them with the tools they will need in their own lives. My writing is also a means of focusing out, communicating with others.
Focus Up: The time I spend loving and learning about the Lord filters through the rest of my days and all my relationships in big and little ways. The 1,000 Gifts List I am building helps to keep me grateful and alert to all the Lord is doing in my life. Focusing Up provides a way to keep the big picture in sight, while zeroing in on the details that fill each day.
Thinking of my days through this filter helps me see that connecting all the little dots does make sense. The In, Out, and Up tasks of each day keep my heart and priorities in focus.