Finding Focus

by Andrea Cooley

focus

I’m reading Million Little Ways, A: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily Freeman. Has anyone else read it? I highly recommend it, especially if you’re interested in uncovering your passion or purpose in life. I was a huge fan of her first book, Grace for the Good Girl and I regularly read her blog, so of course I had to get this book.

million little waysWhen I got the book last fall I almost didn’t want to read it right away (and for that reason it sat on the shelf for a few months). It sounds silly, but I didn’t want to read it too quickly and then be finished with it. I knew I wanted to take time to soak in her words and really process them. I read a lot, but honestly, most of my reading is mindless. I read to relax and escape. That's the reason why I don't read many non-fiction or self-help books outside of Bible studies. I guess I'm selfish with my limited reading time!

This book is different though. I grab a pen and my journal set aside time when I know I won't be interrupted to read a chapter.

As I've been reading, (I only have 3 chapters left!) I have been thinking about this blog and how I use this space as a creative outlet. I've underlined and dog-eared lots of pages throughout the book, but the chapter that really stuck with me was one about critics.

I've often said that I'm my own worst critic. My critical nature can rear its ugly head at the worst times and make me doubt everything I'm doing. My inner critic is really good at pin-pointing my insecurities. And when I start to doubt and question my ability to create or influence or do something good, rather than pushing through, I usually stop and do nothing.

I'm learning that the critic isn't bad, it's my response to the critique that matters. Emily says, "The voice of the critic forces us to face our biggest fears, and in so doing, listen for the voice of God." She says critics have hurt us so deeply because we are seeking the approval of man instead of trusting God. Everything in the book focuses around the truth that we are created in God's image and as an image bearer, it is my job to reflect his glory. I'm still processing this, but it's good stuff!

It’s time to refocus and redefine the blog and what our goals are. The Nester has a great post about why it's important to have a purpose statement for your blog, so 3 years later, we finally have one! We still love decorating and design (just look at the numbers of catalogs, books, and magazines in my living room!) and we are learning every day how to be better wives and moms and women of faith. This blog is a place for us to connect with and encourage other women. I want to encourage you to let your homes be an extension of your lives and also a reflection of your faith.

This is a faith-based, decorating and family blog. We love the Lord and we love our families and they will always be our first priority. That means skinned knees and sticky fingers take priority over posting. It also means we may post every day one week and then be silent for a week. But, if you hang around for any length of time you can expect to see lots of pretty pictures, hear quirky stories about our life, kids, and husbands, and of course learn about our latest decorating obsessions and budget finds.

With that said, here’s what this blog is not: It’s not a How-to/DIY blog. Yes, we love doing things ourselves and working around our houses and we share projects when we can, but even then we don’t always include detailed step-by-step instructions and pictures. If you’re looking for specific details on how to sew a pillow or fix your sink you’ll have to look somewhere else!

Any other bloggers out there struggle with focus or playing the comparison game? My advice is to stick to what you know and be true to yourself. It’s not worth wasting time and energy being something or someone you’re not.

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