Monday, January 4, 2016

Focus


The old canvas—filled with messy scratches and beautiful scenes and a chaos of life painted across its surface—has been tucked away and a brand new one sets out before us. White and pristine, ready for new colors of life.

We’ve said goodbye to 2015 and 2016 is here and ahead of us. Waiting. For the laughter. For the scars. New hopes and fears in the horizon. Endless possibilities.

I’ve yet to write down any goals, to think far in the future. The realization that it’s a new year hasn’t quite sunk in yet. Christmas decorations are only just now being tucked away until next time, and as I see the tree being stripped of ornaments and lights, I know it’s time. Not to say goodbye, but to look ahead. To say hello. New adventures. New memories to be made.

2016 awaits.

I haven’t decided what my goals for the year are, or if I’ll even make any this year. But I do want to make a change. What kind of change? That’s the very question that has been on my heart for the past few days. I want to be better. To grow in God, strive for the person He wants me to become.

But how?

In 2014 I discovered the trend of choosing a word for the year to live by. I loved this idea. Almost immediately afterward God placed COURAGEOUS on my heart.

A few words were my direction for 2015, and though I failed many, many times, keeping these words always on mind really helped me grow.

This year I didn’t know if I was going to choose a word. I really didn’t know what to improve on. There are so, so, so many things in my life that need improvement. I’ve messed up time and time again.

For a while, I’ve felt a little lost. Like something is missing in my life. I’ve spent far too much on self. Worrying if I’m wasting my life, wandering around with no direction in sight. Always looking to me for answers.

Only a couple of nights ago I was praying and there it was. My word. My goal. The very piece of the puzzle I let slip from my grasp and lost somewhere along the way.

Focus.

All my focus has been centered on Christine, when instead it should forever be turned to GOD. Somewhere in the midst of 2015, I let the busyness and multiple projects and in general life tug me away from the very thing I should have been getting closer to.

I lost my focus on God.

I’ve slacked on my time with Him, I’ve forgotten with so many aspects of my life to put Him in the center, to ask Him where to go.

This is what God wants for me this year. Simply to focus on Him.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Oswald Chambers so often says in My Utmost for His Highest to keep centered on Christ and everything else will fall into place. That’s our very purpose after all, is it not? To keep focused on Jesus. We can’t improve ourselves, only He can.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

It all comes from Him. If we want to improve any aspect in our life, the first step is to simply keep our focus on Jesus.

So that is my goal for 2016. For my LIFE. To focus on my Savoir. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. Him and Him alone.

As God as my focus, I hope this will pour into other parts of my life. I’m tired of being so centered on Christine that others get left behind. I want to focus on OTHERS. To love and encourage and be there whenever anyone needs me. To draw from my Savior and pour out His love to everyone I meet.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

I’m a wanderer. I let my mind wander. I let my goals wander. I let my hopes and dreams wander. I talk an awful lot about things I want to do, but they very rarely actually get done.

This year I want to stay focused. Less wandering, more doing. I know I will fail, over and over again. That everything will get out of focus once more and I’ll have to readjust the lens. But we have a merciful God. One that will pick us up and brush off the dust and point us back toward the destination.

I don’t have to be lost, everything around me confusing and blurred. Because GOD is my destination. With my eyes forever focused on Him, everything else becomes clear.

What about you, dear reader? Tell me some of your goals for this year. And a happy 2016 to you all! I hope it’s the best one yet. <3

35 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful post, Fauna. Focus is hard to maintain but I know you'll try your hardest and that's what matters. I'll always be here to encourage you or give you a helping hand if you need it.

    My quote for this year is: 'A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships were built for.' :)

    Happy 2016 to you, too and may it be a glorious year!

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    1. Thank you, my dear Maleficent. ^_^ Focus is so hard, especially for me. My mind likes to go EVERYWHERE. I guess the problems of a writer/dreamer. Thank you so much. I'll probably need a lot of accountability. You're the best!

      Oh, I LOVE that. And something I need to ponder as well. I tend to like to stay in my comfort zone, and it's a problem. What a wonderful quote.

      You too! Love ya! <3

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  2. I kinda had a similar revelation myself. I had been trying so hard to get my life together, and I forgot to involve the only one who could help me to do that. This year I am giving it all to him. Thanks for the reminder. You have such a lovely way of putting things. :D

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    1. Oh man, yes. Me too. I sometimes forget to put Him in the equation, when He's the answer to EVERYTHING.

      That's beautiful you're giving it all to Him. Praying for you, girl. If you ever need to talk, I'm always here! <3

      Thank you so much. Hope your year is wonderful!

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  3. Wow, talk about conviction. I've let myself go for the whole year of 2015, and I let myself go in ways I never should have. I stopped caring about God, my family, and things that really mattered. But he was kind enough to show me how much I needed him and how everything I was looking for, was in him. I didn't need to look anymore. Thanks for sharing. <3
    ~Ry

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    1. I've had a bit of the same thing. When life gets busy and complicated, sometimes it's hard to focus on Him. But isn't it beautiful how we can ALWAYS come back to Him, no matter what? What a good God we have!

      I hope you have a wonderful 2016! <3

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  4. Quite true <3 Gorgeous post, great goal.

    - Ellie
    http://ontheothersideofrealitynew.blogspot.com

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    1. Awww, thank you! Hope your 2016 is fabulous! <33

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  5. What a great post. I have to say, I've been feeling the EXACT same lately and focusing on God is my number one 2016 goal. It's so hard sometimes, my mind also tends to 'wander' and I need to remember where my foundation should be.

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    1. Thank you! Isn't it crazy how we so easily lose focus on the only thing that matters? Life just happens and we wander. But yes, He is our foundation! I hope you have a beautiful, God-centered 2016. <3

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  6. This is a beautiful post, and one I really need to take to heart as well. Thank you for sharing! I'm praying you will do will with your goal, and I hope your 2016 will be a beautiful one! ^_^

    I've picked a word as well, which is Joy. I want to find joy in things again, in... everything! :) I'm going to try to draw closer to God as well, which I know will help, for he is Love and Joy and so many good things that we can only find in Him.

    Funny, I haven't made a list of specific goals yet either! Maybe this will be a year for discovery for both of us, for trusting God to guide us down the paths He chooses, instead of focusing only on our own frail goals. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, my dear Celti! <3

      Joy. What a beautiful and perfect word. Looking for the joy in everything is such a wonderful thing to focus your year on! I love this so much. And yes, God IS our joy!

      Oh, what a thought! I was thinking about trying to put together a list of goals, but I LOVE what you just said and is now really making me think. I think my goals are often the very thing that keeps me from the important things. I get so obsessed with making them I abandon God and my family. I think I SHOULD just trust in Him and see what HE wants me to do this year instead of striving for some list of random things *I* made. Yes, I think that's exactly what I should do. You are such a blessing to me, you know that?

      I hope you have the most joy-filled year! <333

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  7. That's a beautiful post, Christine. A great reminder of what's important. Thank you.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It's definitely something God has been showing me these past few days.

      Have a great 2016! ^_^

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  8. Thanks for this, I needed it. :)

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    1. You are so welcome. I think God is trying to drill this in my stubborn skull. XD Writing it out helps so much.

      Hope your 2016 is awesome! <3

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  9. What a lovely post! You sound just like me. I don't really have any goals this year. But I've been convicted to strive to focus more on Christ than myself. And as for my word of the year, just like last year's, I wish to become more and more selfless, and in so doing, become more and more like my Jesus.

    Thanks for sharing your heart, dearie! Love you. <3

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    1. Thank you, sweet friend!

      Selfless is such a wonderful word to live by! And it's kind of the...sister word to mine I guess you could say. XD Because keeping my focus on God is in turn my way of trying to stop thinking of myself so much. Selfishness is a HUGE problem with me, and I so need work. I love that you've chosen that as your word!

      Love you too! <3

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  10. Loved this post, Christine! I've never heard of this word-for-the-year thing, but I really like it! I'm not really sure what word I would pick, but it probably be Trust or Selfless.

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    1. Thank you! I only heard of it myself a couple of years ago. I think it's such a neat idea. And a lot easier to keep your focus on one thing instead a big list of resolutions.

      Trust or selfless, both beautiful words! I SO need to practice those myself. I really suffer with selfishness, it's horrible. Which is why I want to stay fully focused on God and stop so much on myself.

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  11. Beautiful Message, Christine :D I needed it :) Even I concentrated on myself last year. It was all about 'Me'. I have to focus on Jesus.Everything is possible with HIM. You are right!
    Thanks!
    Have a Blessed 2016 :)

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    1. I have such a problem focusing on me! It's funny how we can so easily forget the only thing that's important. You're so right, everything is possible with Him!
      Thank you so much. I hope you have a blessed one as well! ^_^

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  12. I really needed this post! I feel like the past couple years were not as good as they could've been in this regard. I got caught up in the future and my plans and how life was not playing out accordingly, and many days my focus drifted. But it's so true: seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added. So simple, yet often difficult to do.

    But you've inspired me, girl! Within the space of one post my heart settled a little bit back into place. It was a reminder of my purpose, you know? A centering sort of thing, if that makes sense. So this year, I want to fall more deeply in love with Savior. I want to really, truly, actually put Him first. Everything else falls into place when we do that. (We get it so backwards sometimes, don't we?)

    Jesus first. All else can take a backseat. Thank you for letting Him speak through you, Christine! You're a treasure. <3

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    1. That's been exactly me! All my concentration wandered off in the wrong direction and life swept me away from really pouring myself into God, almost to the point of habit. I so desperately need to get back into the habit of ALWAYS looking to Him for every part of my life.

      Awww, you are so sweet! And you put it so beautifully. That's precisely how I want to spend my year as well. We definitely, definitely can get it backwards. It's horrible how we can so easily put our very Savior on the back-burner.

      Amen! Oh, you're so welcome. It's all Him!
      YOU are a treasure and a blessing! <333

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  13. Hmm, I've never tried choosing a word to live by for a year. Maybe I should consider it . . . ! I know I certainly need to work on focusing more on Jesus. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post! ^.^ Happy New Year!

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    1. This is only the third year for myself, but I've found it really helps me concentrate on what I need to instead of having a long list of goals.

      You are so welcome! It's just what God has shown me. Trying to pound it in my head, I think. Lol.

      Happy new year to you! Hope it's a great one! :D

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  14. I'd never heard of having words for one's year until a few days ago, when I came across the idea several times, and I thought, you never know, it might be worth a try. I settled on "give", because that's one that's been hard for me --- I don't earn money, so I can't give money, but I have time and talents that I can, and should, be giving. The thing is, being an introvert and spending most of my time at a secular college makes it hard to go out and look for people. I prefer to wait till they come to me, but that isn't the way to make a good witness of myself.
    I'd decided on that word, and then I came and read your post, and realized that almost every last bit of it applies to me as well. So, because apparently I can never go halfway on anything, I added "focus" as a second word. I gave up on resolutions a long time ago, but you never know, this might help. So thanks for that :).

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    1. I had never heard of it myself until a couple years ago. It is such a neat concept.

      Give--wonderful! I love that! I am the exact same way, I could give so much more of my time to people. I'm really, really selfish with my time. Towards family, friends, God, which is the biggest reason why I want to try to put all my focus on God. It's a lot of work going out and making an effort for people, but I do think it's so worth it. Your word is a beautiful one for the year.

      Awww, you are so welcome! I'm excited to share a word with someone!! Maybe we can help support each other through it. If you ever need to talk I'm always here. <3

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  15. I just found your blog today...I love it! Definitely just became a new follower! I also just did the Liebster Award Tag over at my blog, and I nominated you to participate in the tag! I would love for you to check it out! (http://megans-journals.blogspot.com/2016/01/liebster-award-tag.html) Thank you! And keep up the good work!

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    1. Hi! *waves excitedly* So glad to have you in my little corner of the internets. I love making new blogger buddies! ^_^

      The Liebster Award? Awww! You are so nice. THANK YOU!! I'm going to look at it right now.

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  16. This. Is. Gorgeous. Girl, you seriously write the bestest posts ever <333

    I've been absent for soooo long on your blog that I've missed it. I've missed all the lovely Christine posts!!! But this was such a wonderful one to come back to. I too struggle with losing focus. I get so distracted by everything that has to be done and everything I want to do that I forget what really matters. Or rather, WHO really matters.

    Thanks muchly for this beautiful reminder! Have a wonderful, wonderful 2016! You're the best <3

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    1. Oh girl, you make me smile every time.

      So glad to have you back! *huggles*
      It's so hard to keep our many, many thoughts into focus, isn't it? My mind just goes everywhere!

      Thank YOU for your sweet comment. I hope you have the bestest year ever! <333

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  17. Still catching up on all of the New Years posts after my hiatus. XD Love this post! I've seen this going around with picking a word for the year and the one on my heart is "bold." I want to be bolder as a person, bolder in my writing, and bolder in my faith. I hope this is a splendiferous 2016 for you! ^ ^

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    1. It's so sweet you're going back and reading all my posts and commenting!

      Bold, yes! That is a wonderful one to live by. Last year one of my goals was to be braver, which is about the same thing. Because I so need more bravery. I've improved some, but I've still got a long ways to go.

      Thank you! And I hope you have a beautifully bold year and it'll be great! <3

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    2. I try to keep up the best I can. XD

      Bravery is definitely something I need to work on too. XD

      Thank you!

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