Saturday, January 12, 2019

Focus Friday has moved!

Hi friends...

I've moved my blog over to my domain name: robynmulder.com

I'm so excited to highlight my blog over there, as well as my editing, writing, and speaking.

You can come back and read my previous Focus Friday posts here, but in the future, be sure to go to robynmulder.com  (You'll also find a spot where you can sign up to get a quick email each week when I update the blog.)

Also, don't forget that I have another site with resources and article for angry moms (and happy moms, too!). Check it out and recommend it to moms you know.

Hope you're having a Happy New Year! ~Robyn

Friday, January 4, 2019

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Overwhelm

Overwhelm is a verb. One meaning is "to bury or drown beneath a huge mass." Another meaning is "to give too much of a thing to (someone)."

So when we say we're overwhelmed, it's basically saying that we're drowning. We've been given too much of something.

I've felt that way about emails lately.

I had gotten my inbox down to zero and was keeping it that way for a while, but then all of these amazing offers started appearing on Facebook and other places. Free ebooks! Free webinars! Free video series! 

I started handing out my email address to get all of these free things and now I'm overwhelmed.

Drowning in emails. The offers I signed up for were all good, but they led to more and more communication and hopes that I'd join their latest online course or program.

And as I peruse all of these emails and videos and ebooks, I'm using precious time that could better be spent writing or doing something else that will move me farther along in the goals I have for myself.

Once again, I've lost my focus. 

Not completely, though. I have been reading the Bible each morning and talking to God throughout the day. Because I'm doing that, I think God is showing me that it's time to get out from under the overwhelm. It's time to unsubscribe from the majority of people sending me emails and just stick to the ones that really help me in my goals, instead of just introducing me to more and more possibilities.

We only have so much time.

Let's be wise about what we allow into our lives. 

That might mean turning off the TV at times, or putting a limit on our social media usage, or unsubscribing from some email lists.

If we do that, then we can focus on the overwhelming love and grace of God in our lives. It's amazing that "too much" of those things doesn't bury us or drown us at all. 

Instead, overwhelming love and grace lift us up and give us peace.

"I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God!" (Isaiah 61:10a NLT) 

Are you overwhelmed by too many things going on around you? How can focusing on God help you to let go of some of those things so you can experience His overwhelming love and grace instead?

Friday, December 28, 2018

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Recommitment

We're at the end of another year.

It's time to look back at what we've done in the past year and look ahead at what we want to accomplish in the year ahead.

It's exciting...and scary.

It's exciting because we think about all of the possibilities for what we may be able to do next year. The sky's the limit, right?

It's scary because we know that we've felt that way in years past and our dreams or goals didn't turn out the way we hoped. Soon after the new year we got tired of the hard work or the uncertainty and we dropped back into status quo, the known, the comfortable.

I just want to encourage you as you think about the year ahead. Make big goals. Dream of doing something amazing and then write down some plans for how you're going to get there.

When something happens that throws you off course, don't despair and give up on whatever it is. Take a good look at what went wrong and then recommit.

A while back I told you about changing one little thing and how it helped me get out of bed when the alarm went off. Well, the last couple of mornings I somehow managed to s-t-r-e-t-c-h over and shut the alarm off without rolling out of bed. I slept a little more, but then I stayed in bed way too long, just chasing thoughts around in my head about things I dreaded doing, problems I wanted fixed, and the sadness of friends who had lost loved ones recently.

Lying there did nothing to help myself or anyone else. It just wasted a couple of hours in the day when I could have been getting something done, making plans to fix a problem, or reaching out to grieving friends.

I cannot give up on getting out of bed at a decent time. Instead, I need to recommit. I need to remember why I want to get up and get a good start on my day, and then I need to do it. I need to recommit.

Let's all plan to do that as we go into 2019.

When we start off strong and then falter. Recommit.

When we get discouraged because we're not reaching our goals fast enough. Recommit.

When we are tempted to ignore God and everything that will strengthen our relationship with Him. Recommit.

We don't have to wait until next January 1 if we get off track with our dreams and goals. We can choose recommitment the moment we realize we're wavering. It might have to happen weekly, or daily, or even hourly, but making that decision to recommit will make all the difference as we move forward.

Happy New Year, everyone!

"Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun." (Psalm 37:5-6 NIV)

Do you get discouraged when you see yourself failing at times? How can focusing on God help you to recommit and move ahead?  



Saturday, December 22, 2018

Super Saturday: Let's Focus on Reruns

Do you like reruns?

We usually like new things better than a repeat of something we've seen or done before, but there is value in reruns.

Reruns can show us something we missed when we saw it the first time.

Reruns can introduce someone to something they weren't even around to enjoy the first time it was produced.

Reruns can seem brand new when you get old enough to forget the first time you saw it. (We've been watching some of the Marvel movies recently and I'm amazed at how often I don't know what's going to happen next, even though I know we've watched the movie before.)

So I'm going to do a sort of "rerun" for my blog post this week. 

If you're feeling like me, you're maybe a bit stressed about all that has to get done before Christmas arrives on Tuesday.

Last Sunday I sang my "It Is Well" Christmas Stress Song in church. I wrote it for Gary five years ago and he asked me to sing it for our new congregation. 

It's a good reminder for all of us as we prepare for that special day. Gifts, cards, and meals are all good, but the most important thing to focus on is Jesus. Keeping him first in our minds and hearts can help us put things in perspective and bring a little more peace into our lives during this busy time.

I'll keep this short for those of you that have heard me sing it recently, but I'll print the words below and include a link so you can see me when I sang it for the first time back in Allison, Iowa in 2013.

Merry Christmas to you all!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

Are you stressed out about Christmas? How can focusing on God help you to feel more peace in the days ahead?

"It Is Well" Christmas Stress Song (by Robyn Mulder)

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul"

It is well (it is well), with my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

(to the tune of "Good Christian Men, Rejoice")
Christmas is almost here
I tremble with great fear
Cards aren't mailed and gifts aren't wrapped
I think I'll have a heart attack
Have to make that great big meal
And stress and strain are all I feel
I can hardly say... I can hardly say...

It is well, it is well with my soul

I have to change my attitude
Change it to one of gratitude
Set aside the things undone
And focus on the only one
Jesus Christ the newborn king
Is more than all these other things
I can almost say...  I can almost say...

It is well, it is well with my soul

I think my Christmas joy will start
I feel a peace within my heart
Gifts and food are good to give
But this is how we really live
Giving thanks for everything
Now my heart can truly sing
Christ is born today...  Christ is born today

(to the tune of "It is Well with My Soul")
When Christmas is coming and my stress level climbs
Let this be the thought that controls
The babe in the manger was born for these times
And his life was lived here for our souls

It is well (it is well), with my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

*Here's a link to the song on Youtube.