Full Focus

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I ordered Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner. When I made the purchase there was a special offer of free training videos, which I appreciated. I went through the training and filled out a couple of goal sheets which have similarities and differences from others I’ve used over the years.

Something I’ll find helpful is the limit of 7-10 goals for the whole year, 2-3 goals for the quarter of the year. I chose work around the house for one and writing for number two. My third goal will be holiday preparations and I’m delighted to break the whole into small steps.

I got invited to a seaside home and requested the last part of September before the cold weather hits. We’ve had extraordinarily warm weather this Fall, although yesterday the temperature dipped down to our ordinary cooler days and nights. Today stayed the same, and I wore a couple of jackets when we went out. Tonight, in our heated home, I left one of the jackets on and put on a knit cap with ear flaps and tie strings for under the chin. My husband suggested I take a selfie and put it out on the blog. I looked in the mirror and decided it didn’t look too bad. He glanced up and smiled big time. Well, laughed really. I had already told him I’m not putting a picture of me in this warm cap online. I mean, why would I? 😊

So, at the end of September, near the lake, we boarded a pontoon boat, with a wide sturdy dock which suited this grandma perfectly. I wore a raincoat even though it was significantly warmer than today because I know I get chilled on the water unless it’s around 75 degrees F or higher. A breeze kicked up from the lake and we turned around to stay on the smaller waterways leading to the bigger body of water. I’ve been wanting to get on a boat, but I didn’t tell anyone. I thought of the verse that says if we’ll delight ourselves in the Lord, He’ll give us the desires of our heart. I’m not perfect at delighting myself in the Lord because I get my mind on self or responsibilities, but I do appreciate God for Who He is and how He blesses me. I thanked my friends personally, but I’ve been writing on my planner for days now, send a thank you note. They said it’s not necessary, but my mom always stressed sending a handwritten thanks to someone who did something nice for you. And the folks I went to visit provided a pleasant place for a sleep over, pleasant company, pleasant food, a pleasant dog and a pleasant cat who purred while sitting cozily next to me.

The only downside was going home to reality. Not only did we eat at a delightful soup and sandwich shop, which my co-visitor treated us at on our last day, but we stopped at some local stores with friendly workers with low costs compared to my neck of the woods. After I got home, it was my turn to cook, clean, do laundry, figure out the menu, etc. So spoiled. But, as has been said many a time, “home is home and it’s always wonderful to be in your own bed,” and with people you’ve grown fond of and see regularly.

I’m still reading Isaiah, going through the book, and it has harsh warnings and wonderful promises. A friend said today that true Christianity is a religion that embraces questions and thinking and reasoning, which is based on a verse in Isaiah: (Isa 1:18, CEV) “I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool.”

I hope you are well. May God bless you.

 

 

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Words Easily Spoken

I called my introvert daughter by accident today and she called me back. I got talking to her about writing to build up marriages and mentioned a friend, Elaine Miller who writes for that purpose and she got asked to speak in Russia where the divorce rate at that time was 90%. What a shame.

Then talked about some people I know that are battling sicknesses. She sounded upbeat when I first called and then she got quiet.

I got thinking that what I’ve heard about and prayed about is news to others and they may leave the conversation feeling down when we’re done. Rats! I know that introverts process things deeply.

Wednesday morning at our Ladies’ Bible Study a woman spoke up about hearing some teachers on television admonishing people to be careful of their words. Don’t speak negatively about others and about yourself. Don’t gossip. Don’t put other people down as you’re talking to them.

I agreed with her wholeheartedly, yet I did caution her that if a person is kind of obsessive-compulsive, they may get so wrapped up in being careful that it could play with their brain. “Is this okay, is that okay? Did I speak something that is calling a negative consequence into being?”

My husband had to remind me that I don’t have to carry it to extremes. God has more power than I do and if I say something that He doesn’t want to happen it won’t happen. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Tonight I went to a writers’ group for critiquing and I decided to be careful as I exchanged ideas. I hoped to be helpful and not too critical. I was blessed by the feedback I got back. The hostess thanked me for coming.

After all, King Solomon wrote in Eccl 3:7, (KJV) that there is “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;”

When my daughter called me later, she sounded like her day went well. Phew. 🙂

May God bless your day!

 

Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and later found that they left out specific information that would have made all the difference in your response?

I received a text from someone asking about etiquette and I was sitting at a table full of women, one a pastor. So we discussed the option and gave her our unanimous advice. Later, I found out so much more about the situation.

I know better than to discuss anything important over a text because you can’t see body language or hear voice inflections. This situation seemed so clear cut, I forgot my no text rule over something that may have been important.

I used to think it was okay to speak over the telephone when trying to work out a difficulty until I read an expert on human relationships say that the same problem with texting hurts telephone communication, too. Not enough cues come through technology.

Clear communication is essential for relationships, for teaching, and for reaching people with the gospel.

It’s worth the effort to clarify when trying to get an idea across to someone. Listening is worth the time it takes to set aside our own thoughts and agenda and just listen. I’ve learned this the hard way. Proverbs 18:13 (NKJV) says, “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.“

When I worked at a job in my younger years that required me to talk to a client, a man with a severe speech impediment needed to explain things occasionally. I got to the point that I’d fill in the words for him to hurry up the conversation. After a few times of this, he got mad at me and told me to cut it out. I was so embarrassed. He was right, it only made things worse. Years later, I read Proverbs 18:13. Oh, man, if only I’d known this earlier.

I met a neighbor of a person I know, and the neighbor said her neighbor doesn’t exactly lie, but she omits things. “So that is lying, isn’t it?”

Not that we’re supposed to share everything in the world, but leaving things out that are important – well, you get it.

What do you think?