Skip to main content


Focus. Not something I've had a whole lot of lately... My schedule has been chaotic and my mind has been full and prone to wander, causing trickle-down effects like leaving my keys at my parents' house and not realizing it until I'd arrived home, 3 hours away. (Thankfully Adam was nearby and able to let us in, but it led to several days of getting up when he did - at o'dark thirty - in order to lock him out after he left for work.)

Our church's women's ministry is doing Priscilla Shirer's Armor of God study this semester, and one thing it covered last week was common tactics of the enemy - how he prods at certain areas that he knows will produce a reaction. Relationships, confidence, identity... and, among others, focus. That gave me pause - because my distraction goes so much deeper than forgetting small processes and making minor mistakes. It roots in shifting my attention to the never-ending line of Tasks Waiting To Be Done and off of my only Hope and Help.

So this week I've made it a point to say, out loud, every time I hit a snag, just a symptom, not the disease. Sometimes that's all I have time for before metaphorical bandaids have to be applied, but it's helped me to rise above the moment and recognize my need for a Physician. For Someone who's gone through the stress of daily life and has yet risen above it, ready and willing to help me rise above, as well, if only I'll focus on Him.

It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers, internet-wide, gather to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!


Amy M said…
I know the feeling! Sometimes I feel like I cannot stay focused on any one thing, and it is a hard struggle for me. Thank God for prayer - it's been helping me so much.
Anonymous said…
This sounds like such a good bible study. I think focus is so underrated when in reality is so important. But life happens and I find using phrase reminders like "just a symptom, not the disease" helps us refocus and find some sanity in our daily lives.
Andrew said…
Beautifully written, Sarah Jo.

On expand on the need for a doc, perhaps triage is an apt model in a world that breeds chaos. Focus on that which is immediately at hand, and let the rest of the Medical Staff take care of everything else?

Iam 32 at FMF, I think...not really well enough to remember, nor go back and check.
Andrew said…
Sorry, not 32...#2.
Boy that would be a hard thing to realize you drove that far to have no keys to get in your home. Rough way to begin a 'coming home' time.
So glad you are working through it with encouraging words. Good post.
Lynette said…
Focus is such a hard thing for me to attain, too. I constantly am having to pray for more focus. So glad God is full of grace, am I right?

~#8 this week

Popular posts from this blog

31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…