Friday, August 18, 2017

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Doing Hard Things

(I found this photo at
I read a quote by Ann Voskamp this week. It was so good I had to write it down and put it on my desk:

Do the hard things you don't want to do--they can be the holy things that get you where you want to be the most. ~Ann Voskamp

That day I was inspired by it.

Every time I've seen it since then, it has slightly irked me and I've thought about throwing it away.

Truth is, I don't want to do the hard things. They're...hard.

It's one thing to do the hard things we want to do. It's quite another to persevere and do the hard things we don't want to do.

Resisting the temptation to eat a few more oreos.

Going for that run when we would rather sit and veg in front of the TV.

Hanging in there when a marriage gets difficult.

Disciplining our children, even though we would rather let things go and hope they get better.

Apologizing when we've hurt a friend's feelings.

Forgiving and letting go of the anger when a friend hurts our feelings, especially when they don't even realize it.

Giving our best at work, even when we don't feel like it.

I've struggled with a few of those situations (not all of them). What I consider hard may be easy for you, and you may have an entirely different list of things you don't want to do.

Doing those hard things is often the best way to get to where we want to be.

It may not feel good at the time. There may be pain and struggle and discomfort. 

But on the other side? There is a sense of accomplishment. A joy we can hardly describe. A gratefulness for the hard things we chose to do, because they got us to a better place. Physically, emotionally, relationally, or spiritually...we've grown.

I'm not throwing away that quote. I think I'm going to copy it a few more times and place them strategically:

In my pantry (next to the Oreos).

In my stairwell, so I see it as I go up and down, training for another Grand Canyon hike in September.

By the kitchen sink, so I can meditate on it as I do the dishes (something I actually like doing) and hopefully go on to tackle some hard things instead of procrastinating and avoiding them.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD..." (Colossians 3:23 NIV)

Do you avoid doing hard things? How can focusing on God help you to consider the hard things holy and tackle them so you can get to a better place? 

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