Our interactions usually go something like this:
Me: "Reed, I would like you to please get a rag from the drawer, get it wet, wipe your place at the table, and place the rag in the sink."
Me: "Try not to get distracted, okay?"
Reed: "Okay, Momma, don't worry, don't worry."
He usually trudges off and completes all of the tasks and we all move on with our day. Sometimes a puppy-sized snag enters in my grand scheme by the name of Echo, but those occurrences are becoming more rare.
Of course, I kept veering off course while making my way to the shoe section. Suddenly, from the front of my cart, a voice squeaked,
"Mommy! Stop being distracted, okay?!"
Ahem. I've been caught.
My short answer-- I am one distracted woman.
When studying this idea of focus, I noticed the Bible uses a few phrases to describe this same idea- like keeping my eyes "set" or "fixed". For example, Hebrews 12:2 tells us to "Fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith". One of my favorite passages, though, is Proverbs 3:23-27 (AMP):
Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk put far from you.
Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose] and let your gaze be straight before you.
Consider well the paths of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright.
Turn not aside to the right or left; remove your foot from evil.
Martha, distracted by housework in Luke 10: 38-42. I like to picture a big stinky pile of dirty dishes. Can you imagine? A big pile of dishes in your home when Jesus is there! What will He think of your homemaking skills?
Or Elijah, distracted by fear and intimidation concerning Jezebel in 1 Kings 19. She must have been quite the evil lady to bring that mighty prophet to such a state.
And famously, Peter, distracted by circumstances, fear, and doubt on the turbulent lake in Matthew 14.
All of the sudden, I find myself in quite an elite company of distracted humans. This brings me great comfort, and I find grace in the midst of this crowd, reminding me of my need for an outstretched Savior's hand as I tread on the waters to the places to where I feel called. He sees us in our seasons of distractions with eyes of love and compassion. My loss of focus is no surprise to Him.
Reed reads an entire book, practices addition regularly, and picks out notes to worship songs on the guitar.
Echo and Oliver play and rest peacefully in convenient increments of time throughout the day. In fact, Echo learns to pick up his own toys, and Oliver makes it an entire week without having an accident in the house.
My students complete their work on time, participate in class, and thank me for my hard work before they leave each day. I catch snippets of excited conversation about how much they are enjoying the course.
"Mrs. Hacker's class is the BEST!"
I lose 10 pounds in the first two weeks of January. I exercise regularly and eat healthy. I think this is going to work long term! I need to buy new clothes for this newer, slimmer me, and I won't get distracted while I'm shopping, of course!
There's just something about the end of January. Real life just kinda smacks ya in the face. Reed spent most of the month sick with either a cold or a virus and got half of his cousins sick in the process. Cabin fever sets in with the below-freezing temperatures, and the voices in my house become increasingly loud and whiny. At one point, Reed argues for 10 minutes about which Paw Patrol character is best- Marshall or Chase. We can't really figure out what brought this on. When the argument is finally over, I look over to see that Echo has chewed the front cover off of my new book, The Lifegiving Parent.
I don't miss the irony.
Let's call this "dirty dishes".
I hereby code my professional life "The Sea of Galilee".
Oh, and that diet I was on? I felt great for like a week. But then I really wanted carbs. And the weight always sneaks back on faster and easier than it comes off. Self-consciously, I pinch my waist. I try to arrange my shirt "just so" around my belt, right back in its old loop.
Definitely calling this one "Jezebel".
It's the end of January, and I feel my stress levels rise. I want to whine and complain like Martha or run away like Elijah. I feel discouraged as I slowly lose focus and feel my perspective sinking like Peter into the sea.
Guard your heart. Your mind, thoughts, and emotions can run your life. Align your words and thoughts with My will and purpose. Be anxious for nothing-- don't wander or wonder. Examine your life; what is hindering or besetting your walk with Me? My grace is sufficient. Only one thing is necessary. Choose the good part that cannot be taken away from you. Focus on ME.
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