Five Minute Friday: Focus

by Lisa on September 14, 2012

She holds out her hands, “Dad, can you fix this?” Two tubes of brass come tumbling out. The boy comes striding into the room with his binoculars around his neck. They’re on their way outside to play spy games.

I watch as David monkeys with the two broken tubes trying to refit them together. He miraculously manages to slip the smaller barrel past the packed cotton and back into the bigger barrel. He hands them back to her, “Be careful you don’t pull it too far out or it’s going to come apart again.” She takes the spyglass and lifts it to her eye, “I can’t see anything,” she says. “Here let me show you,” he replies. She hands him back the shiny brass monocular. He raises it to his eye and shows her how to adjust and focus the lens. Now it’s her turn. She puts it back to her eye, adjusts the depth of the barrel, and the twists it to and fro. “Oh wow! I can see!” she exclaims. Smiling she calls out, “Thanks dad!” and heads out the door.

My vision has been a bit off—for years, I think. Life aspirations, purpose, talents and gifts, what-can-I do/contribute-syndrome seems to have been broken. A bit elusive. A bit blurry. A bit out of focus. Constantly trying to just forge ahead, or to make changes, or implement new techniques just isn’t working. My focus is still out of whack.

My husband’s solution for this is, “Let’s pray about it.” My answer to that is often (almost all the time, if I’m truthful) is, “Pray, shmae! Let’s do something. I want action.”

But God, having a sense of humor, has other things in mind. He has been hammering me lately. Everywhere I turn. Thumping. A book found thrifting. Pounding. A sermon on Sunday. A friend speaking into my life. Hammering. He’s relentless.

Finally, I relent.

“Okay God. I hear you. Stop thumping. Stop pounding. Stop hammering. It hurts. Here I am. What do you want?”

“Focus,” he says. “I will show you. Just like that little girl of yours—bring me your brokeness. Ask me for help. I will correct your vision. I will fix your spyglass. I will teach you how to use it correctly so you can see clearly.”

I start by handing Him the shiny brass barrels. He’s expertly put them back together for me, and I’ve started to listen to His instructions. I’m slowly adjusting the barrels. A vision is beginning to appear. It’s still blurry, but I’m working. Praying, listening, and adjusting. And, trusting for clear focus.



This post took me a little more than five minutes to write, but I did not edit.


Five Minute Friday from Lisa-Jo Baker—tales from a Gypsy Mama

 1. Write for 5 minutes flat – don’t edit; don’t second-guess.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Must: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

4. See here for additional details.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Deanna September 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. I’m sure you know how encouraging that is:). Yes, connecting…it is something my heart longs for also. I love what and how you write and stop by here often to check in on what you are up to. Looking forward to where the journey takes us…

Denise September 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Magnificant post.

Deanna September 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Hey Lisa,
Thanks again for commenting on my blog and telling me what you found helpful and with some questions…just a few things…
If your style is a story teller, go for it! Not everything has to have a point that resolves or explains or teaches. I am a Bible communicator/teacher, so that is what I do, but it is not for everyone.

Try writing a few stories and just see how they come out – with no other purpose than to just tell the story. No information-imparting allowed:) And you SHOULD write from who you are. Sometimes just the story is the connecting point, not the punchline or concluding points.

And as for idea generation…why don’t you start walking around with a small notepad and write thoughts or sentences or phrases as they pop in your head during the course of the day. This is actually where most of my titles come from. I often write the title first, the post second. Then, when you are ready to sit down and write, pick one. And don’t get up till you write a piece about it. Sometimes forcing yourself to finish something, anything, can build momentum and confidence for later projects. And I’m sure your life isn’t mundane…I suspect it is ‘normal’ – which positions you perfectly to connect with the vast majority of us out here:) Honestly, it isn’t the dramatic stories most people connect with. It is the stories that we could actually find ourselves in one day.

Sorry this is a bit random. It is late and as I’m sure you can imagine, our life here is a bit chaotic. But I wanted to shoot you some initial thoughts. I look forward to reading what you let pop out of you in the coming days and weeks and months!

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