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Two days ago I was driving to Walmart.  The same Walmart I’ve been going to for the last 3 years……and I missed the exit.  Everyone who knows me knows I am NOT good with directions.  But even still, I know how to get to the Walmart I’ve been to at least 100 times.  So how did I miss the exit?  In a rare moment of driving the car all by myself, which doesn’t happen too often when you have 4 kids, I had the music up, I was singing, and on top of that my thoughts were drifting.  The kind of drift where you imagine you’re the person singing in the music video and that the song is about your life.  Totally transparent moment right there.  I know I’m not the only person who has ever done that, am I???!!! Anyway, I’ve been so distracted lately.  Granted, I have a lot going on right now.  This is a busy season.  A heavy season.  My emotions are maxed out.  My patience feels more like thin ice.  My attempts to multi-task have left loose ends falling through the cracks.  I feel pulled in so many directions.  And I’m frustrated.  I can’t seem to muster up the energy to do the things I want to do and get done.  And I find myself drifting to things that will get my attention off of the heaviness life is bringing right now.  Things like checking social media several times a day and wandering, random thoughts.

I want to focus.  I want to play with my kids, get my house clean, write, and spend time with people.  But instead I find myself irritated at how loud my kids are, surrounded by piles of laundry, closing my computer in frustration almost every time I sit down to write, and canceling plans because other unexpected plans seem to keep popping up.  I get distracted in my conversations, distracted in my prayers, distracted in my daily activities.  And I don’t like being this way!  I’m annoyed at this girl I feel like I’ve become lately.

I think it’s safe to say I’m overwhelmed, and in my attempts to overcome this I’ve just been trying harder.  Trying to be more.  Trying to push myself more.  And I know this never works!!  Yet, I’ve still been doing it.  Why??!!!

There is a story in the Bible where Peter, one of Jesus’s disciples, steps out of the boat he is in and begins to walk on the water towards the Lord.  He is doing something incredible.  He knows Jesus.  He had personally watched Him do miracles and change impossible circumstances.  And here he is now walking on top of water!  Crazy.  But the reality of his current situation (which involved some rather large waves) quickly overwhelmed him and he took his eyes off Jesus.  Matthew 14:30 actually says, “But when he saw the strong wind and waves he was terrified and began to sink.”

I realize that is where my distraction lies.  I’ve been staring at the “wind and waves” in my life a little too much.  And they’re o-v-e-r-w-h-e-l-m-i-n-g.  I’ve been told twice in the last month that my mom probably wouldn’t make it much longer, and then both times she pulled through.  I’ve watched as her appetite has waned to the point of just a few bites at every meal.  I’ve fed her, helped her stand up, walk, use the bathroom, and get dressed.  I’ve sat beside her when she’s been in so much pain, and I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) not to cry as the pain medicine has sometimes made her forget who I am or what’s really going on.

I am definitely not doubting God’s existence; I’ve already been down that road before in life and I know in every fiber of my being that He is real.  But my focus has been more on the circumstances.  It’s easy to let our focus stay there.  I mean, after all, it’s what we are seeing and feeling.  It’s what’s right in front of us.  But I know Jesus too.  I know that if I can keep my eyes on Him that He will help me to rise above the waves that are threatening to pull me under.  I’ve personally seen Him work in my own life enough to know that He can get me through anything.  Yet when I forget to “fix my eyes” (Heb. 12:2) on Him I DO get terrified, and frustrated, and distracted…..and I begin to sink.  I begin to sink into despair and loneliness and grief and anger, and while all of those are normal feelings, it’s not where I want to stay.

So as I’ve called out to God like Peter did that night, I’ve heard the three little words from that verse in Hebrews over and over again in my Spirit…….”fix your eyes.”  See no matter what we’re going through, we have the choice as to what we fix our eyes upon.  Yes our physical eyes are going to continue to look at and see what’s in front of us, but where are the eyes of our spirit looking?  Are they closed?  Are they wandering?  Are they looking at the circumstances too?

Maybe the season you’re walking through right now isn’t as heavy as mine.  Maybe it’s heavier.  I’m not sure.  But I think regardless of what you’re going through or what I’m going through, we could all use the reminder to FIX OUR EYES on JESUS.  As that verse goes on to says, “He is the author and finisher of our faith.”  He gave us the faith we have, He can and will increase that faith if we’ll allow Him to….if we’ll draw near, and He’ll continue to enable us to get through each and every situation we face.

When we find ourselves distracted in the midst of busyness, in the midst of life, in the midst of pain, in the midst of decisions, we need to pull out that spiritual compass and make sure it’s pointing to Him.  Those three little words (fix your eyes) have been playing on repeat inside my mind and I hope you will begin hearing them in yours as well.

Because when we FIX OUR EYES on Jesus, things like the demands of motherhood are not as exhausting.  No maybe my kids don’t get any quieter as they’re running around the house, and my piles of laundry don’t wash themselves just because I’m focused on Jesus, but my attitude changes.  And my attitude definitely sets the tone of my own life and of my household.  So even if my home is in chaos, as long as my attitude isn’t,  it’s going to be ok.  Fixing my eyes on Jesus, fixes my attitude.

When we FIX OUR EYES on Jesus, we find strength to keep moving forward.  No the hard situations we may currently be in don’t just vanish because we focus our attention on Jesus, but we find a strength that goes beyond our own to continue to persevere.  Fixing my eyes on Jesus helps me to not actually give up when I’m feeling like I want to.

When we FIX OUR EYES on Jesus, offenses lose their sting.  No I might not automatically feel like forgiving the person who caused the offense, but putting my focus where it belongs also helps to remind me that the offense is not as big of a deal as it might’ve felt like at first.  Fixing my eyes on Jesus fixes relationships.

When we FIX OUR EYES on Jesus, our families are stronger.

When we FIX OUR EYES on Jesus, love fills our hearts….and our mouths.

It’s taken me a long time to finish this blog this time around….because I’ve been distracted by life and singing out loud in my car, but my goal in writing this is to hopefully remind myself and you to not let our circumstances keep us stuck.  Sing in the car or scream in the car if you need to when you’re by yourself…..have your moment, but let’s remember to place our focus on the One who knows how to get us through those moments.  When we FIX OUR EYES on Him, it really does fix things.  Whether our current situations are mended or simply our hearts, things do change.  And distractions…..thankfully, they begin to fade away.