Friday, December 26, 2014

Focus Friday:Let's Focus on Wisdom

It's very late as I write this week - in fact, it's almost another "Sorry Saturday." Truth is, I almost forgot about Focus Friday this week. I had a busy day getting ready for our youth group lock in tonight at The Corner (Allison's youth center). It started at 6:30 and will end tomorrow morning at 6:30 when all of those bleary eyed kids head for home. I spent the first part of the evening there, but I decided to head home at about 10:30 and get some sleep in a little while. 

My gut told me that this wasn't the year to stay up all night. So, even though a part of me wants to be up there with the kids and other sponsors, I think I'm doing a wise thing. I think if I stayed up all night it might be hard to get through the rest of the weekend with a good attitude. You see, I'm still getting through the depression that was so bad a couple of months ago. I feel much better, but I still feel pretty down some days. I'm still trying to figure out if it's a thinking problem or if the doctor has to do some more tweaking with the medicines I'm on.

Doing the wise thing isn't always easy. Even though I know it's probably best for me, I struggle with what other people think. Will the other sponsors think I'm just trying to get out of my responsibilities? (I'm sure they won't - they're very understanding) Will Gary miss my help throughout the night? (He will - but he can rely on the other sponsors this time) Will the kids think I don't care about them? (I sure hope not!)

I'm going to push all of those worries aside, get a little sleep, and head back up to The Corner bright and early tomorrow morning with breakfast for the group. Hopefully they all make it through the night and have lots of fun.

I think focusing on wisdom is good for all of us. Wisdom and discernment help us to make good choices when we are faced with decisions. The wise choice may not always be easy, but it will usually bring us peace and blessings in the end. 

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better." (Ephesians 1:17 NIV)

Do you make wise choices? How can focusing on God give us the courage to make wise choices when we're worried about what other people may think?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Piffledywiffs

What is a piffledywiff? I know that's what most of you are asking right now. Piffledywiff is a silly, made up name for meaningless little things that clutter up our lives.

First, I have to explain that I just saw "A Piffledywiff Christmas" at Lampost Theatre in Cedar Falls tonight. (If you live in the area, I highly recommend any of their productions. They do an excellent job!) The play explored the idea of piffledywiffs and the things that might be piffledywiffs in our lives. It followed Edna around the world as she collected little piffledywiff Christmas ornaments that reminded her of special times in her life. Her story was told and the audience got to sample goodies from Christmas celebrations around the world. Yum!

The theatre was decorated with examples of piffledywiffs: garlands, poinsettias, and chandeliers made from plastic pop bottles, punched tin can candle holders, and paper bag snowflake ornaments. They took "junk" and made it beautiful. 

We can do that in our lives, too. God can take the "junk" and make it something beautiful. We just have to let Him work and not try to do it all on our own.

We also must be careful not to clutter up our lives with "piffledywiffs." Sometimes we can accumulate lots of stuff that gets in the way of real meaning in our lives. We have to know what to keep and what to get rid of so that our lights will shine for those around us.

Oh, I'm afraid I may not be explaining this very well. Even in the play, Edna's granddaughter asks, "Grandma, is a piffledywiff a good thing or a bad thing?" The fact is, it can be both. Too many piffledywiffs clutter up our lives and cloud our vision, but keeping some special piffledywiffs can remind us of special times in our lives that can keep us going in the hard times. 

I pray that you have a very Merry Christmas and that you become aware of any piffledywiffs you may need to get rid of...and some you really need to keep.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: ...a time to keep and a time to throw away,"
                                          (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6b)

Do you have any piffledywiffs you need to get rid of because they're cluttering up your house, mind, or heart? Are there special piffledywiffs that you treasure because they remind you of certain special times in your life?  (I'd love to hear about them in the comments section - I think I have it fixed so that the comments will publish now)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Looking Back

I spent some time earlier this week finally getting a bunch of articles onto my website. I had changed to a new hosting company many months ago and never got around to moving the articles. It really didn't take that long once I sat down to do it, and it was pretty interesting to read over each one as I moved it. I caught some typos that I had missed before and I noticed that themes like depression and perfectionism appeared quite often. I also noticed that I used the word "focus" quite a bit, and this was way back in 1998 or so. 

On the one hand it was a bit discouraging to see that I'm dealing with many of the same issues I struggled with about fifteen years ago, but on the other hand it was good to see what I thought back then and realize that I have grown over the years. Even though I'm dealing with depression and I still fight perfectionism, I'm a more mature person now and I'm miles ahead of where I was back when I wrote many of those articles. 

God still has things to teach me. I'm trying to be attentive and not waste this chance to figure some things out and hopefully live life even better in the years ahead. Looking back helped me to see how far I've come and shed some light on some of the issues I'm figuring out now.

I hope everyone reading this can spend some time looking back so that you can look forward with hope. Maybe you have some old journals you can look through or photo albums that remind you of who you were many years ago. At least spend some time thinking about how you used to act or react and rejoice in any improvements you've made in recent years. If you don't see much change, maybe you need the help of a good counselor so that those changes can take place. Make sure you don't get stuck thinking about the past and its disappointments. We can all move forward from wherever we're at today.

If you like this blog, you may enjoy reading my articles over at

Do you need to spend some time looking back so that you can move forward well? Can you see how focusing on the improvements you've made can give you hope for the future?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Tweaking Life

Two people asked me how I was doing today and I found myself explaining that I was feeling quite good, but my doctor was tweaking my medications a bit to see if she can get me feeling even better. My main antidepressant is a generic Lexipro and she just added a generic Wellbutrin to see if it helps my energy level and concentration. We'll see how it goes in the next couple of weeks. At least I'm feeling quite good most of the time. I'm still seeing a counselor to work on some of the ways I think that get me into trouble emotionally. I believe that is working, too. I catch myself and try to turn around negative thought patterns. I appreciate my psychiatrist and counselor so much as I'm getting better. They both do so much to help me along in the right direction.

So, that's where my focus is today as I write. I'm thinking about how the doctor is tweaking my medication and that makes me think about how we need to tweak our life sometimes.

When we're going through really tough times in life, we need to make some major adjustments to get back on track and feel good again. Those times are hard but we can learn so much as we let God work through people and circumstances. 

At other times maybe things are going along pretty well and we just need some minor adjustments so that life can go even better. We need to let the Holy Spirit "tweak" our life so that we can live the best life possible. Focusing on our relationship with God can help us figure out what areas of our life need tweaking.

I don't think I even want to give too many examples because each of us is so different and we don't all have to live exactly the same. Talking to God will make it clear if there's some area of life that needs tweaking.

For me, the areas of my life that need tweaking the most are probably things like prayer, Bible reading, TV watching, candy corn eating (and other snacks), and negative thought patterns. I'm sure there are other things, but those are some examples. I'll try to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit pointing out other areas that need tweaking in the days ahead. I hope you will let God "tweak" your life as well.

He says:

Do you see any areas of your life that might need tweaking? How can getting your focus on God help you to make those minor adjustments that will make life go even better?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Doing Things Late

I know, I know. It's Monday. You're probably wondering why I'm still calling this "Focus Friday" when it's Monday. Well, I was a little lazy on Friday, plus we were out of town visiting Gary's side of the family and I didn't have good access to the internet. In short, I didn't make work of it. Sorry.

I thought about just waiting until next Friday to write again, but then I decided to take advantage of this theme and write a little late. Don't we do that sometimes in life? We forget to send a card to someone before their birthday and then we just let it go because it seems silly to send it three days late. We miss someone's anniversary and just let it go. We think about calling a friend on a certain day but then the moment passes and we don't think of it again until a few weeks later. We wonder if they're busy and we decide to let it go.

Of course, doing things on time is the goal, but it can't always happen and I think we need to stop letting it go. When we miss someone's birthday, but God still brings that person to mind a few days later - send the card! Miss an anniversary? Send the card a little later. Your friends or family members will still be glad to hear from you even if it's after the exact date. When God brings a friend to mind, pick up the phone and give them a call. They may be busy, but they may be lonely and welcome a few minutes to talk to a friend.

Miss your self-imposed Friday deadline for your blog? Don't let it go. Write it a few days later and hopefully bless someone who was worried about doing something a little late.

I'll see you on Friday everybody! ~Robyn

Do you usually do things on time or are you often just a little late? Do you think that focusing on getting things done, even if they're a little late, can help you to bless others and maybe even get more organized?