This year I chose a word to focus on throughout the year. It is a word that I knew needed to sit in the forefront of my mind. The word that I chose was FOCUS! I don’t feel like I’ve really “focused” this year. I have been overwhelmed by a lot that is going on. This weekend I sat down and really thought about the word focus and what it means to me.
When I first started thinking about the word focus, I immediately thought of things I need to focus on, but what I quickly realized is that the action of focusing has two sides. I not only need to learn what to focus on, but I also need to learn that there are many things I do NOT need to focus on! Too many things draw my focus away from where it should be!
When I sat down and asked myself, “what do you need to focus on?” these 4 things popped into my mind immediately. They are:
-My spiritual health.
-Documenting our everyday.
That seemed pretty easy. I knew what was important right away. However, as I really thought about it more I realized that there are other things that I need to focus on as well. We have had a lot going on with the girls lately and many times I get really discouraged when I think of all the obstacles they face. It’s easy to get focused on what is overwhelming or where they need help instead of focusing on the positive.
It quickly reminded me of a time several years ago when Skylar was in elementary school. She was in an inclusion class and spent quite a bit of time on the general ed side as she excelled in math. The general ed teacher did not know much about autism and had not had many students with special needs in her classroom. To make a long story short, the teacher came to me almost on a daily basis to tell me what Skylar was doing wrong and to tell me that many of her behaviors (all of which were part of her autism) were disrupting the class. After quite some time of this going on I interuppted the teacher and said:
“Excuse me, but does Skylar do anything well in your class?”
I remember the look of horror on her face as she said “Well of course she does.”
I then responded “Well, sometimes it would be nice if you would tell me how well she did at something. In 7 weeks of school, you have told me a multitude of things she has done wrong, but NOTHING that she has done well.”
I was amazed that once I addressed that issue, how the teacher focused more on the positive. It also allowed me to educate her about Skylar’s autism and the behaviors that went with it. It was definitely a learning experience for both of us.
I was thankful that the Lord brought that time to my mind this morning as I realized that recently, I’ve been focusing on the negative, the obstacles, where they fall short, and what I’m frustrated with. So today I decided to stop and think about all the things that my girls do well. It was interesting to see, as I listed those things, how my attitude changed. I smiled and even laughed at a couple of things.
I have to make a conscious effort to focus on what is important. I also have to realize that there are some things that it just doesn’t help to focus on at all. This morning, as I was thinking about focusing on the positive the song Acentuate The Postive came to my mind. The chorus is so powerful. The lyrics are simple, but they were exactly what I needed to help me put things into focus!
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene
We have a super busy week ahead so I’m off to get things in order!
Make it great!