How to focus.
I am the poster child for ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.) Actually, it hadn’t been defined when I was a child. You know how Al Gore invented the internet? I invented ADHD. They wanted to name it after me, but during the classification hearing I escaped out a bathroom window and went running through a field of daisies, chasing a purple unicorn… I had to catch him, he stole all the cheese. Focus…
Wait, what just happened?
Where are we?
I have a hankering for some cheese.
Focus Jami, focus. I didn’t want to, but I felt like I was supposed to pick a word for the year. I instantly knew what the word would be and immediately after I picked it, I forgot what I picked. Then I remembered the word but could not recall why I had the word.
My brain is the paramount reason I didn’t want to pick a word. I knew it would be a huge burden. From the trying to remember to the desperate need to forget, I just fully understood, this would be an enormous undertaking.
And my friends and acquaintances picked important and fragrant words, words like ADORE, HOPE, RENEW, DELEGATE, RESTORE, and BREATHE.
Deep nourishing breaths… inhale, exhale, inhale, ex… Excedrin, I need to buy some Excedrin when I go to the store. Also, some cheese. Cheddar, Colby-Jack, and, Jack.. Jack… Jack … oh, I forgot to get a sympathy card for Jack and Lina…
Dang it! What were we talking about?
Ah yes, a word for the year. I felt compelled to pick a word. And the word that keeps lobbying for brain space is FOCUS. I am intrigued and burdened by this appointment. Intrigued because, like you, I want to be better. Burdened? Well, focus is a verb. I am going to have to try. Trying, for me, usually equates to a vicious cycle of me picking up some metaphorical cross that I will proudly allow to break my back, stumbling, falling, and then berating myself in the voice of God. Granted it is my voice, which sounds an awful like “my” God’s voice, which is hard to clarify with all the rattle in my crooked skull.
Yes, I have a weird divot in my skull. No, I don’t know why. Luckily it is right near my natural part, you can’t see it.
Where was I?
I pick focus. My word for 2018 is focus.
And while it may seem a huge error to pick such a lofty word, when I forgot the point of this post twice already, I am declaring FOCUS as my word in 2018, and beyond.
This being my first year to declare a word, what is the plan?
How does one who is utterly unable to focus force concentration into the abyss of a brain unable to stay on task? Hold on… I need to get coffee and some toast.
On a scale of 1-10 for distractability, I am a 19.7.
On the secondary scale of 1-10 for a guilty conscience, due to my inability to concentrate, I am a 105.
Now, why would I choose this word? This word that is the Mount Everest of impossibilities to me, inventor of ADHD.
Because, unlike every year of my past 46 years, this year, focus is freedom.
Yes, this year my focus is freedom. The freedom that was bought and paid for by Jesus on that wooden cross, the cross of His execution. So then why wasn’t my word freedom?
This isn’t math class. Focus isn’t the intentional battle to solve for X. It isn’t the channeled work of trying, and failing, to read any text in Old English.
Silly child, Ye who is legend in one’s own lifetime. Truly tis a fancy that does your tender heart, tried and cumbersome to appear merry.
I won’t back off this word, I might forget it, and certainly, I will probably misspell it, but it is my word from now on.
While I never picked a word, I have started and restarted many resolutions, resolutions I assigned to fix myself. Rarely have I succeeded, except in the totality of my failures. Sometimes I dusted off and trudged on, committed to trying again on Monday, or next year. Come that day, I mustered all my powers, which are feeble at best, and tried again.
I assigned myself an A for effort. Which, I might interject is a stupid saying and inflicted me with the belief that effort was spelled with an A. Still, my only success was my effort. A try harder mindset that convinced me I hadn’t given up and divided me from the truth of my freedom in Jesus Christ.
Darling daughter, with whom He is pleased. Pleased because of nothing I was doing but simply because of who He is, and my belief. And yes, I absolutely believe in Jesus, but I didn’t BELIEVE Jesus. I kept on trying to, but the entirety of my focus, all the things wrong with Jami, separated me from the fullness of the Good News.
The definition of focus as a verb is “to pay particular attention to.” I fully appreciate I was actually quite successful in this action. An action verb of actively paying precise attention to my brokenness.
But my word for a lifetime is actually a noun, “the center of interest or activity.”
A notable difference. I won’t try and be altogether attentive, I will instead embrace the truth of who Focus is. The center of my interest, the Alpha, and Omega… beginning and end.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Dear, loving, and good Father.
A word that suddenly stops the action of focusing and turns my complete spirit, heart, and mind, to Focus. Precision and clarity on He who saved.
I hope to be better in 2018. I hope to grow in peace, wisdom and all things better. But my journal entries will be categorically different. The content? Yes, most likely I still I will strive. However, the recipient? No longer will I address myself and all my weaknesses, not this year. This year I will embrace this thing, this word, and I will finally understand the importance of all that I was missing.
How I love you. What do you have in store for this day? How can I grow in my birthright? How can I lead and bless? What do you hope for myself, Justin, and the children? Show me my folly, uncover the truth. Stay with me, guide and keep me. Thank you so much for all this mystery, wonder and hope… Thank you sweet Focus, that nothing can separate me from you, not even not even my inability to focus.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think on these things. Philipians 4:8
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