Time Apart and Focus

Ever feel like you’re losing focus? Doesn’t it seem, in our modern times, that it’s harder and harder to keep focus, with so many things clamoring for attention?

I somehow knew at the start of this school year (my husband is a teacher), that it was the start of a new season. Since “joining the church,” we are once again more involved with personal counseling and discipleship. Mario’s work hours have also changed, and things are a little upside down this year.

Making me feel, in so many ways, the need for greater focus.

Since that’s been happening in my daily Bible reading too, I decided perhaps it was time for a change. My reading is just not going as well this year, and although I was keeping up fine, I found myself reading almost by rote, out of habit. (And as a result, I’ve not really had a lot to share either.)

But God has given his Word as a gift. A gift for our times of need, a guide for our lives. And most of all as way to know him and better understand his heart. I don’t ever want to fall into the danger of reading just to check chapters off on a page.

So I went to one of my favorite Bible reading tools to choose a new plan. Deciding to also add more of the Gospels for a bit, which to me of all the books, draw me closest to God. They are, after all, the Word become flesh that walked among us. And still walks among us, in spirit, today. So for the next 45 days, I plan to read the Gospels through. And watch the The Gospel of John along with it.

But in reflecting on focus, I don’t feel spending less time on the blog has been a bad thing. Because I was falling into ruts.

And the longer we stay in them, the deeper ruts become. And the harder it is climbing out of them.

So I’m making changes. Working at becoming more active. A sedentary lifestyle is not good. It’s bad for our health, both physical and spiritual. Our Christian walk is just that — a walk. When we stop walking, it’s time to pinch ourselves awake again!

And working at reigniting passion for things that matter to me. Things like sewing, creating, and making. Living simply and caring for the earth. Reading and writing stories. Walking and gardening. Or spending time outdoors, at times, doing nothing. Simply learning to just “be”, to reclaim stillness, time for reflection and focus.

My daily walks and times in the garden have done so much for me. Taking my camera along helps me concentrate on the views and small details of everyday life that make our village life so interesting. It widens my vision, and makes me see how much I miss by staying cooped up in my house, in front of screens. Why do that, when I can get out into the lovely countryside that surrounds us? Like in the image, above!

So how’s your focus lately? If you need a new lens, try taking more time apart, rediscover stillness, and time for real reflection.

Let’s not let the false “urgency” of social media, smartphones, and internet interrupt connection — either connection to others or to our source of life.

I drove away from my mind everything capable of spoiling the sense of the presence of God…. I just make it my business to persevere in His holy presence… My soul has had an habitual, silent, secret conversation with God, (Brother Lawrence).

God is always communicating with us. But how well are we listening?

[Image taken behind our house, ©TheScorziellos-Mario]

16 thoughts on “Time Apart and Focus

  1. I thoroughly agree with the thoughts you express in this post. I so much want to get outside and enjoy the gifts of nature around me. But… but due to accident (I was hit by a car while on a walk) I am unable to get out as much as I would like. Please pray for quick healing of a broken ankle and wise use of my indoor time.

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    1. Oh no, David! When did that happen? I had a broken ankle about this time last year, after falling on stairs. But getting hit by a car is so much worse! I could have gone really, really bad for you. I really feel for you, cause it’s not easy being confined like that. I guess just try to enjoy your enforced time of rest! We’ll pray God grants you quick and thorough healing!! God bless.

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    1. Interesting you should bring out that “in everything.” I’ll have to do a post some time on my broken ankle, because I really struggled with thankfulness over it. I’m a bit, no, very “phobic” about my feet. They don’t like being restrained in anything – even tight socks. That cast made me experience my first-ever panic attacks! But I’m so grateful the Lord helped me through, calmed me down, and showed me to thank him, even for broken ankles. And casts…even horrid, icky casts!! My thoughts and prayers will definitely be with you, David!

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  2. This comes at an interesting time, Sheila. This week I followed the Holy Spirit’s prompting to reduce posting from daily weekday to twice a week. It’s not for lack of content. There’s so much the Lord wants to share with me and do through me but I need to make time to receive it AND soak it up, myself. With my husband traveling more for work, it’s easy to get depleted, but God wants me full to the brim and giving out of the overflow! Blessings!

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    1. It is interesting how the Lord often speaks at the same time, even to people clear across the world, isn’t it? Geography surely doesn’t set limits! That’s just it, really, Vanessa: there is a lot to say. But the Lord’s been telling me, “Slow down and wait. In order for it to speak to others, it’s first got to overtake your heart.” Otherwise, it’s sort of like passing on second-hand information, isn’t it? Only what we truly live has enough life in it to bring life-giving truth. May he fill us with that kind of life…that speaks out of time in his holy presence! Blessings, and overflowing blessings to you, dear friend!

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  3. That is a common problem today, isn’t is? I struggle with it on several levels, but the thing that got my attention this morning was your challenge to make your Bible reading more focused and impactful. I needed that today – thanks!

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    1. Thanks Judy! I needed it too; I guess I always write first to myself! So after praying about it, I felt the Lord leading me to the Gospels. We can never immerse ourselves them in too much!! So glad you found this post helpful. God bless!

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  4. I’ve been away this week, in a new city, with a dear friend and business partner and it has been such a blessing to GET OUT and see God at work in the world, and in my life…in ways that being stuck in a rut, wouldn’t let me see. Blessings everyone…especially Sheila 🙂

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  5. I feel like you wrote this just for me! I know that I need to step away from all the noise and spend some quality time with my first love, God the Father, but I keep putting it off. I truly believe that you hear from God and your writing/post are inspired by the HolySpirit! Your post are just so timely and so gently proclaiming the truth of God’s word!Thanks for another great post!

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    1. Wow, thank you for letting me know that, Torre! It’s so encouraging to know, first, that I’m not alone in my struggles. And second, that this post encouraged someone. But you know, I most appreciate your words “gently proclaiming the truth.” I didn’t used to be a gentle person – at all. But the Lord showed me my great need of gentleness. And with his help, I’ve worked at having HIS gentleness in my life, my heart, my words, and my actions. It was Christ’s wisdom, love, gentleness, and winsomeness that drew me to him. And I think that’s what it will take to draw others. Know that the Holy Spirit has used you to encourage me too!

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