Friday, November 11, 2011

A Positive Focus

As most of you know, the one year anniversary of my late husband's death is quick approaching.  He died the day before Thanksgiving last year, and this year it actually falls on Thanksgiving.  I was really concerned about how hard this month was going to be, especially when the 1st of November was so tough.  But I've been doing extremely well, considering it all.  I'm not saying I haven't had moments of emotion, or that I haven't grieved, I have.  But overall I've been emotionally stable, and full of more joy than I expected.  I believe its for one reason: I have had positive things to focus on!

I thank God for getting me into running, and stirring my heart to run a half marathon before the one year mark.  It has been probably the biggest focus of my life for the past few weeks.  If you didn't read the blog "The Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon" you don't know what an amazing weekend it was, or how healing that 13.1 mile accomplishment was for me.  That race was so much more than just that weekend.  Its been a focus, something which is consuming a decent amount of time in training daily.  And even though its over, I still revel in the glory of that moment!  It has been a source of positive thoughts, positive actions, and positive emotions.

I also have my focus on working on a schedule during the day with my son, which I wrote about in "Time to Stop Reacting". This has set my mind on what we are supposed to be doing during the day: staying on a schedule, spending quality time with my son, and being proactive in completing tasks I need to complete.  I've been alert and aware of these things all through out our day.  And its been extremely rewarding.  I feel accomplished because of the amount of tasks I can check off, I'm appreciating my son more and the time we spend together. The structure has helped my son's behavior to improve dramatically, which has reduced my frustration and brought a greater satisfaction when interacting with him.

Finally another major focus of my time is the classes which I am taking for Rochester Ministry Training Institute.  I have 3 classes which require outside reading and homework.  And the content of these classes is so rich.  I'm flooding my head with new levels of understand of God, His Word, and the way ministry works.  

Since I have so many positive focuses in my life, the majority of my time is spent focused on positive: what I have, what God's showing me, and preparing for my future.  The beauty of a positive focus is that it keeps the negative thoughts away.  You can't be positive and negative at the same time.  By filling my life with things that are rewarding, valuable, exciting and positive, I am giving my emotions a heading. Much like a ship sets sail knowing what direction it needs to be going to reach its final destination, positive thoughts and activities set the course for my emotions.  

I wish I could say I was smart enough to think of this on my own and plan it on purpose.  But its God's leading that helped me to plan this month in a way that I would dictate its direction, instead of it dictating me.  I've had hard moments: moments of regret, sadness and grief.  but they have been just that: moments.  I know I'm barely half way through the month, and the anniversary date is still ahead, but I know that with the focus I've had, I will be able to handle what still awaits me.

God reminds us in Phillipians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."  And I would add, participate in these things.  For God has said that as we think, so we will become.  So if I think on positive events, instead of dwelling on and mulling over the negative one, which I can't change anyway, I will become positive.

I challenge you today, what negative event are you focusing on? Stop!  Plan some positive activities and thoughts into your life.  Your focus will shift and you will experience peace, even in the midst of challenges.


  1. So true! This post is rich with wisdom! Keep on keeping on, Jenn, God will continue His part for He is Faithful!Philippians 1:6

  2. Ferree, Thank you for the encouragement. God is so faithful, even when we don't see it, He still is!