“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.“
I am the first to admit my iPhone obsession is real. The latest and greatest came with the “portrait” feature that had me in awe and like some of you; I was totally obsessed with getting my hands on the new iPhone 7 plus. Isn’t it amazing how such a small device has revolutionized and completely changed our way of life, some for the good and some for the not so good.
The amazing thing about the portrait feature is that the camera automatically places focus on the person in the frame and blurs the background. It focuses on what is important and blurs out the rest. Let that sink in for a moment. Really sink in.
Here we are half way through the year. I wonder how different my progress would be if I could only “focus on what is important and blur out the rest”. Each new year, I pray for direction, I create vision boards and I set goals. I try to challenge myself just a little more, to grow and stretch. But what good are goals and visions without focus and execution?
I believe that when we set goals, our intentions are always good. We want to do better, be better, get healthier and achieve more. As we enter the month of July, I like to recalibrate my goals and make adjustments where needed.
Count the Cost
There is a saying, “We can do anything, but we can’t do everything”
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
We can do anything, but “anything” comes at a cost. We can choose how we spend our time, who we spend time with and how we spend our money. Each decision is at the expense of something or someone else. We can choose to take a walk, read a book, watch a TV show, hit the gym, and on and on. Once the moment has passed it is gone. Time is our most valuable asset. How we choose to spend our time determines the quality of our life. Just because something is good or fun does not mean it’s the best use of your time
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.”
Moment-by-moment. Day-by-day. Week-by-week. Year-by-year. Better choices lead to better attitudes, better attitudes lead to better days and better days make up a life well lived. Our actions are led by our focus. What are we focused on? It is building us up? It is building others up? When we look at our goals, are we counting the cost? Are we prioritizing our life and agenda by that which we value the most?
When we learn to redeem the time and to give priority to that which is the most valuable to us – our focus shifts. We begin to focus on what is important and blur out the rest. I don’t want to become so busy doing “good” things that I miss the most important things.
So how do we master focus? What motivates you? When I began this blog, my main motivation was not just to write or to be an encouragement to others. Those are great things and I hope that you find encouragement in these posts but my primary motivation was my children. One day I hope and pray that my children, my nephews, nieces, and my loved ones will find encouragement and strength in these words. I pray that their faith will be strengthen and stirred to live a life of love and grace in Jesus. This is my motivation and it is why I find joy and ease in writing.
Here are 5 Ways I refocus on my goals:
Renew my Vision
Respect my Purpose and Motivation
Redirect my Attention
Redeem my Time
When I reevaluate all of my goals I am ask myself:
- What is my motivation for pursuing and achieving this goal?
- Although they are all good goals, are they the best use of my time in this season of my life?
Redeem the Time
So what does it mean to redeem the time?
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
“Redeem the time” means to make the best use of the time we have. For example, I try several ways to make the best use of my time throughout the day. Small things, like, studying bible verses with my babies over breakfast or listening to nursery rhymes while they are in the bath. Both are good and valuable lessons for them and I try to find time for things like this in the midst of our daily tasks. There are hundreds of little things we can do to add value to our life when we learn to redeem the time. Little life-giving, life-learning tasks can be added to the midst of our day when we turn away from distractions and focus on God. I am trying to make the best use of our time. Although this is not always easy, and by no means have I perfected it, it is one of my goals.
Today we have 184 days behind us and 181 days ahead of us in 2017. It is truly the middle of the year and I hope you find encouragement to reevaluate your goals and take some steps to make the best of the rest of this year, with or without a iPhone 7. Our lives are truly summed up by what we choose to invest our time into and how we value our time. Praying that God gives us the wisdom and grace to choose wisely.