Learning to Shift our Focus

Dear Friends,

In this small world of blogging and writing I have met some wonderful people.  Abby McDonald is one of them. I’m not sure when we came across each others writing path but it’s been a few years and my life is enriched by knowing her, even if it’s just through our writing and social media worlds.  And that’s the great thing about the internet, we can connect across miles even if we’ve never shared a cup of coffee or sat on each other’s front porch.

This week, Abby released her first book, Shift – Changing our Focus to See the Presence of God.

And this is what I love — For Abby, the situations and words she crafted for this book happened over time.  She wrote some of them a year or year and a half ago. And now here we are reading them today.  Neither Abby nor I knew how these words would help me.

I haven’t shared about my word for the year because really, truly, it’s a tough one this year.  I actually don’t like it but I know it’s necessary work that God wants to do in me so I’m working on yielding.  Not always willingly but I am yielding… or at least attempting to yield.

My word is “Release” — ugh, just typing it causes a lump in my throat that I’d love to swallow down and let my stomach acid eat it up.

  • Release people from my standards and expectations
  • Release regrets, disappointments, fears, and insecurities
  • Release myself from other people’s opinions
  • Release my control on situations

I’m working on this but it’s a struggle- truly!  But God is faithful. When we struggle, God brings around words of encouragement and truth so we can grow and learn.  And that’s exactly what He did with this book.

Here’s an excerpt from Abby’s book, Shift.

My expectation of what God is going to do prevents me from seeing what He will do, if I’ll trust Him. My assumption that He’s not taking me anywhere I want to go keeps me from seeing the beautiful view He’s trying to bring me up to see.

We serve a God who wants to surpass our greatest expectations, but in order to do so, we have to let go of some of the things we think we need. This doesn’t mean we can’t come to God with our desires, but we have to loosen our grip of control.  When we do, our perspective changes. We’re able to catch a glimpse of what He sees because we’re not sitting our stubborn butts down on the trail, refusing to go any further. We’re letting Him guide. We’re confident He sees what’s ahead and will prepare us for it, even if it’s not in our view yet.

Every now and then, I get it right. I’m slowly learning to look up and see where God is trying to take me instead of constantly looking down. I’m seeing that the place He wants to take me is good and full of promise. ~ Abby McDonald

When we release our grip on the controls, He is able to maneuver and guide us to better places.

When we fight against His guiding hand, we’re fighting a losing battle. Sure, we may think we’ve won and gotten our way. But when our way is not the best way have we really won?

I struggle in releasing control on my little world and my circumstances. Yet He is encouraging me to look up and toward what He has for me. If I’ll trust Him and walk in His leading, I’ll find peace in not having to control all the pieces in my world.

When we become too preoccupied with the small and momentary, we miss the big. We miss being part of something far greater than ourselves because we’re obsessing over a comfort that will be here today and gone tomorrow. (Shift ~ Abby McDonald)

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to miss what He is doing.  God has good things in our future and for our days right now.  Instead of working to control our situations, we must shift our focus to see the presence of God in our everyday lives.

If you are feeling this same way, I encourage you to pick up Abby’s book ~ Shift. It is an encouraging, practical guide for looking at our lives and situations through a lens of faith. (You can pick up her book at Amazon, Christian Book, and pretty much anywhere books are sold.)

Have a great week, friends! 


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