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Distractions

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 I had one simple task.

Install new door handle on the bathroom door.  (Funny story about my roommate being trapped in the bathroom when it broke and my panic thinking I may have to break the door down to rescue her…but that would distract us from what I was saying.  What was I saying?  Oh yeah…one simple task.)

That’s it.  The same one simple task I’ve had since I bought the new handle 4 days ago.

So I installed the latch and the strike.  Easy peasy.  2 whole minutes.  Then I hit a snag.  The new handle base is ever so slightly smaller than the previous one.  Crap.  Now I need to paint.  I love to paint.  But I’m not wearing paint clothes and I ALWAYS get paint on myself and my clothes.  ALWAYS.  I seriously have 3 long sleeve and 3 short sleeve painting shirts, a pair of painting jeans, a pair of painting sweats and a pair of painting shorts.  I had more but I recently purged.  I also have painting socks and shoes…but I digress.  I decided to brave it and paint without paint clothes…because I need to get back to writing.

So I touch up the paint.  For the first time I didn’t get paint on my clothes.  All over my hand, but not the clothes!  Victory!!  Happy dance.  Oooh!  I need dancing music.  Where’s my iPod?

Mid-way through Everything is Awesome I realized I now have to wait for the paint to dry before I can finish installing the handle.  Crap.  What should I do while I wait?  Oooh! I know!  I can paint the sides of the guest room door that I somehow forgot to paint when I painted the front and back of the door.  No.  That would require paint clothes for sure and a tarp so that I don’t get any more paint on the carpet.  And if I start painting then I will want to pull out my canvases and work on one of my in process masterpieces.  (I use the word masterpieces loosely.)  This will completely hinder my plan of writing all day.

What’s the point of all this random (besides giving me something to do while I wait for the paint to dry)?

The point is how many times do we get “so busy”  and distracted by little things?  They may even be good things or shiny things.  But being busy actually prevents us from focusing on the important things for our purpose, goals, and dreams.

Do yourself a favor and take some time with the Lord today about your distractions.  Ask Him for wisdom and revelation about your purpose (the big picture/long term goal).  The thing that’s so big it requires partnership with Him.  What about the short term?  What’s in your hot little hands right now that you need to focus on?  What are the things distracting you that need to be set aside or let go of?

Ephesians 1:15-19, tells us that we can have a spirit of wisdom and revelation to understand what God has for us in the short term (our calling…i.e. what is in our hands right this minute) and long term (our purpose).  If you ask Him, He will answer.

Now…I need to go finish installing my bathroom door handle.  Then I need to focus on my current writing project.

Waste of Life

After yesterday’s rant about identity and waiting for the best, I have to share this link a friend posted. It’s about how girls get told “wait” and how frustrating that is when you get into your late 20s and into your 30s. Click Here for the link..

I agree with what she says about living our lives and not sitting and waiting for a spouse to complete us. I hit that point she’s talking about a long while ago. I would like a husband, but I’m not going to put my life on hold until I get one. I think that’s a waste of life.

I have friends who are living full out like me, but I also know some guys and gals who are crying and pleading with God for a spouse. It’s their sole focus. They think it will fix everything. I disagree. Having a relationship, same as having money, doesn’t create instant happiness. Is it nice to have? Yes. But is it a cure all? No.

If you are miserable single, you’ll be miserable in a relationship.

If you are full of joy single, you’ll be full of joy in a relationship.

If you are bitter single, you’ll be bitter in a relationship.

If you live each day to the fullest single, you’ll enjoy each day to the fullest in a relationship.

If you live solely on your emotions when you’re single, you’ll do the same in your relationship.

I think that the problem for a lot of women (and men too) is that we weren’t taught about who we are in God. We are given a template and expected to fit into that template. And God is sitting there wondering where the leaders got the template, because it was NOT from Him.

Not everyone is going to meet their spouse in high school or college. Not everyone will be married by 22 and having their first baby by 25. There are a lot of people who aren’t even ready to be in a relationship or get married in their 20s. Everyone has a calling, but not everyone is called to be a pastor or to marry a pastor.

God created a good plan for us, but it isn’t necessarily like the plans of those around us. If you really want to live out God’s will (which simply means His heart’s desire and wish for your life) then you need to realize that you are NOT your sister, brother, cousin, friend, pastor, parent or anyone else. You are YOU. And God loves YOU. He knit YOU together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139) He made YOU unique. That means that He also made your plan to uniquely fit YOU.

One of the most freeing things I’ve experienced was to realize that I wasn’t ever going to be like my sisters or my friends, I could only be me. While I was really mad about it at the time, it freed me. I like that I’m kind of a weirdo. I like that I need alone time to recharge. I like that I scrapbook my stamp collection. I like that my bathroom is the BRIGHTEST yellow you’ve ever seen. (My mom actually laughed about the color of my bathroom this past weekend). I like that I have an insanely vivid imagination. I like that I love Superman and honestly want to marry Clark Kent. I like that I watch Disney princess, musicals, Star Wars, and Jane Austen movies. I love that I talk to God all day long and dance around my house when I worship Him. I like that I drink chocolate milk from the container. I like that I have Doris Day on my iPod. I like that I am 7 on the inside, look 25 on the outside and am actually 38. I like that I mix my cake and ice cream together at birthday parties. I like who I am. I’m still working on the full on loving the way I look, but I’m speaking kindly to myself now. So I consider that to be progress.

I was a wreck at 21. I was under construction at 25, 30 and even now at 38. I have improved and I am not who I was then. I have allowed God to heal me. I’ve allowed God’s word to transform my thinking. I’ve allowed Him to love me and call me His beloved Jillian. I never believed He could love me before, so this is new. And I like it! I love that God has been patient with me, because I am a very slow changer. I like change, but I change sloooow. I receive the word immediately, but the implementation… well… it’s like Michigan road construction slow.

I said all that to say that I’m very grateful that God knew better than to send me my husband before I was ready. I appreciate that He and I dealt with the issues so I didn’t end up with a mess of a marriage or end up divorced. I’m grateful that He not only gave me a promise to hold on to, but He showed me why waiting for that promise was worth it. He showed me why it’s worth it even while I’m still waiting. He’s cool that God!

We have the right to choose to marry anyone who wants to marry us. God gives us that choice. I could have been married before now, but I chose to wait. For me, the only choice is to wait for a mature man of God who fits perfectly into the relationship I have with God. I will not marry anyone who distracts me from God. My heart’s desire is for a man who will cover me and pray for me to have an even better relationship with God and likes the little weirdo I am. If that means I wait 10 more years (on top of the 10 years that have already passed since I’ve gotten my promise that I will be married), then I will enjoy my life right where I am for those 10 years.

You ARE going to wait my friends. But it is your choice what you do with the time you are waiting. So you can choose to focus on finding a spouse and waste valuable life time. Or you can choose to enjoy the time.

So why not use this time that you have to cultivate a relationship with God? Why not use the time to develop your talents and deal with your issues? Why not enjoy every day? Trust me when I say, life is wayyyy more fun when you’re focused on God. God’s a blast people. Seriously.

Note to God: You and I both know I’m ready, so please don’t make me wait 10 more years. But if You need those years, that’s okay too. I love You either way.

Deep Thought Thursday: Doing What it Takes

I keep trying to focus on what I’m supposed to be doing right now.  It’s hard.  There are distractions everywhere all the time.  There are friends and family who I love and want to spend time with.  There are great books to read.  Good movies and television shows to watch.  There are church events, conferences and small groups to attend.  People to pour into and encourage.  My house needs to be vacuumed, badly.   I need to do laundry. There are dishes in the sink.  I really could use a nap.  I probably should to go to the gym.  It’s so nice out, I really should be outside.

So many things I could be doing.  Not one of them are bad things or wrong things…but right now I have a God project with a short deadline.  Looking at it, it seems an impossible deadline to meet and I just want to quit.  I want to give up and just sleep.

God’s confirmed to me that I am where I’m supposed to be and that this project is the beginning of the rest of the words spoken over me coming to pass.  I’m so excited about all that God has for me and my future.  Truly.  But I’m still holding back.  I’m still hiding.  I know that God is faithful.  I know that God wouldn’t ask me to do something He hasn’t equipped me to do.  I know He’s with me and will do what I can’t.  And yet, here I am just under three weeks out from my deadline and I’ve barely started.

I had a talk with a friend earlier this week and she said this, “Are you willing to do what ever it takes? Are you willing to go all in?”  I have to admit that I’ve always been reluctant to go all in on anything. In relationships I always hold back a part of myself.  In work and school, I’ve rarely given 100%.  I’ve thought if don’t go all in and I fail…well…somehow that’s excusable to me.  It’s ok.  But if I were to go all in and fail…well then that makes me a failure.  I do not know when or how I acquired this faulty logic….but I did.  I’m not sure if it’s fear or laziness or a combination there of but this thinking’s got to go.

I keep thinking of what it says in Revelation 3:15-16, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

I don’t want to be wishy washy or luke warm.  But truthfully for most of my life I’ve just let things happen instead of choosing a path.  I wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted so how could I make a decision?  I would still complain because I don’t like what was going on in my life, but I didn’t know how to change it.  I didn’t realize I was doing this until a few years ago.  Once I realized it, I tried very hard to seek God’s will for my life and choose to follow the path He set for me.  Honestly, I thought I’d gotten better and improved, but truthfully….I haven’t. If I had, I’d be so much farther on my God project.

Life’s about choices.  Both the ones we make and the ones we don’t make.  I am standing at the fork in the road.  I can choose to stay right where I am.  I can let life just happen to me or I can choose to obey God.  I can choose to do what it takes to complete this project.  I can take the necessary steps to go in the direction of all the amazing things God has for me.

Today I choose to believe God and trust Him.  Today I’ve decided that I’m going to do whatever it takes to accomplish the task God has given to me.  I’ve decided to go all in and hold nothing back.  It’s a whole lot scary…but I’m gonna do it anyway!

This is my prayer & my goal.  Romans 12:11, “not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;” and I Corinthians 15:58, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”

This song came to mind when I was writing this, and I found a video of Third Day singing it.  (Yay!)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpE2cLdVsk8