Keeping Our Focus

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Focus.

How many times do we start off doing one thing, and end up distracted, pulled away, unable to complete what we set out to do? If you’re like me, perhaps this happens more than once in your life.

Sometimes distractions can be a good thing, but often they are not. Distractions might pull us out of the doldrums and lead us on to something meaningful. They might also lead us away from something worthwhile to something useless.

Because Baxter has problems with inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, his trainer has identified him with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. ADHD. As an elementary school educator, I dealt with ADHD children, but never expected I’d have an ADHD dog, although it does make perfect sense.

Baxter tries to focus and follow commands. He really does, but like Pie told me when he was young, he only has so much good in him. Once it’s gone. It’s gone.

Several ways we’ve found to help Baxter is to redirect his attention to what he should be doing, give him a time-out where he can compose himself, regain control, and simply rest, or kneel beside him and stroke his head.

In the book of Nehemiah we read of the gigantic task Nehemiah began in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem after the city was destroyed by the Babylonians. He faced opposition, ridicule, planned attacks, calls for special meetings, espionage … numerous distractions all designed to keep him from completing the task the LORD placed on his heart to complete.

Still, Nehemiah was faithful. He kept his eyes and focus on God. He was committed to completing the work set before him. He didn’t let all those outside distractions stop him. It would appear Nehemiah did not have ADHD.

Sometimes when we are called to complete the work God’s given us to complete, we get distracted. We get pulled from the task. We lose our focus. Maybe we have a little ADHD going on. Maybe it’s Satan’s strong pull to keep us from the work God’s called us to. Who knows? Whatever the reason, our loss of focus allows the work to go unfinished.

At those times it may be wise to keep our eyes on Jesus, take a time-out, draw close to the One who has the power to keep us focused and allow him to comfort us. We need to go to God in prayer, compose ourselves, seek his clear direction in what to chase and what not to chase. Then we can ask him what distractions are from him, and which ones are not. After all that, we are able to simply rest in who he is, and who we are in him; his Beloved child who he loves with an everlasting love.

Do you have difficulty completing tasks you set out to complete? If so, how do you overcome that tendency?

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I sent messengers to say to them, “I am doing important work and can’t go down there. I am not going to let the work stop just to go and see you.” Nehemiah 6:3 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Grab Hold of God’s Promises

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I’m finding in order to grab hold of God’s promises for us, first we must trust him enough to release what we grasp in our hands, or mouth, as is the case for Baxter.

As I mentioned earlier, Pilot and I have a new puppy. At twelve weeks Baxter is quite interested in gnawing on stuffed animals, sticks, and rocks; when he isn’t gnawing on Pilot or me. The trick is to re-direct Baby B’s attention from what he shouldn’t be chewing to something he should be.

In order to do that, Baxter must release what he is holding and grab what we offer him. Sometimes he tries to hold onto a stone and grab a stick at the same time. That, however, rarely works.

While contemplating this, I thought of how sometimes we hold onto things that aren’t good for us, like Baxter chewing on rocks, and try to grab hold of God’s promises at the same time.

We aren’t so sure we want to exchange what we have for what God promises. We want it both ways.

Jesus paid the price for an abundant life to those who belong to him and claim him as Lord, yet we often settle for less. We shortchange ourselves and chew on rocks, refusing the good things God offers.

Baxter may understand he can trust us. He may understand what we offer is good. He may. I don’t know.

But until he trusts us to the point he willingly drops the harmful things he picked up, and grabs hold of what we offer, he won’t enjoy the rich, full life we have planned for him.

We may understand we can trust God. We may understand what God offers us is good. We may. I don’t know.

But until we trust God to the point we willingly drop the harmful things we’ve picked up, and grab hold of what God offers us, we won’t enjoy the rich, full life God has planned for us.

Chief says Baxter is one lucky pup for having us as his owners because of how spoiled he will be with everything we want to give him. Like Baxter, those who belong to God are indeed blessed above all others because of how much God wants to give us.

Anything you need to let go of in order to grab hold of God’s promises?

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That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)

 I wish you well.

Sandy

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Newest Puppy Family Member

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

One of our neighbors told Pilot and me we are weak, and can’t say, “no”. She is absolutely correct. We are weak, and we can’t say, “no”. At least when it comes to cute puppies.

If you recall, March 31, 2017, Pilot and I said our last good-bye to our sweet Bear. At the time, we told ourselves we wouldn’t even think about getting another dog until six months passed. Well … like Cindy said, we’re weak.

Pilot and I returned from our trip to Florida for Tom’s memorial service June 14. As I caught up with email June 15, I noticed someone in our neighborhood posted a message nineteen hours earlier about two rescue puppies he needed to find a good home for. When I clicked on the attached picture, I caved. Truly. But I resisted the urge to place the phone call.

I wasn’t really sure we needed to add a new family member at this point in time, and in fact was pretty sure we didn’t, but several texts later between Pilot and me, Pilot made the call to inquire about the dogs. One puppy, a female, remained. The male had been adopted.

Although we’ve had females before, this time I wanted another male. Even with that, it was arranged for me to go see the puppy.

I enlisted the prayers of a friend for discernment in this matter, realizing God may have already made my decision easier by eliminating the male from my choice.

Good thing I rode my bike to look at the puppy. That way I couldn’t take HIM home with me. Yep. Pilot misunderstood. The female was adopted out that morning. The male still needed a home.

After Pilot returned home from work that evening, we both went to see the puppy.

We’re weak and can’t say, “no”. That evening, at five-weeks-old, Baxter Black Quandt became our newest family member.

Although we know human lives are much, much, muuch more important in God’s eyes than animal lives, in our defense, we looked upon Baxter as one of God’s creation. An abandoned orphan who needed rescued.

I’m sure Baxter will be appearing in future blog posts, in fact I know he will. A post about redirection is forming as I type. 🙂

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Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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