Focus On The Next Thing

It was one of those days. “Those days” don’t come too frequently any more, praise God, but yesterday was one of them. I woke up not wanting to pull the covers off of my head, my heart pounding in the sheer anxiety of facing the day. I wish I could tell you there was some super scary event on my calendar causing the stress, but no. It was just a day in the life of me.

Yesterday, I had to focus on doing the next thing. I couldn’t think about 3 things from the moment – it had to be the next thing. 

I got out from the security of the covers.
I took a shower.
I put on clothes.
I shouted for the girls to get their own breakfast.
I grabbed a cup of coffee.


That almost did me in. My mind wandered into the rest of the day. I had to get the kids to Biology class, shop for HomePlate food, and actually get to Merlo Station High School to prepare a meal for the couch-surfing kids arriving that night. The anxiety started to build.

“STOP!” I counseled myself. Concentrate on the next thing.

Keys in ignition.
Drop girls off at class.
Drive to the store.
Buy the food. 
Drive to the next store.
Buy more food.
Pick up girls.
Feed them.


Seriously? I couldn’t even fathom how I would serve at HomePlate. I crawled back in bed and checked messages. 4 volunteer cancellations for the night. What if I canceled? What would happen? I want to. I don’t want to get out from this bed. Ever.

Send out desperate plea for help over Facebook.
People I love come to the rescue.
Pack food in car.
Pack girls in car.
Drive to the high school.
Unload the car.


We arrived early enough, the cafeteria still quiet. No bustling yet. I took time to look around and pray.

Volunteers arrive.
I chop tomatoes.
People chat. 
I join in. 
I give directions to shred chicken and slice avocados. 

More friends show up. And I’m smiling. I’m laughing. We’re putting a dinner together for kids who can’t afford food. Kids who need a warm place to hang out for the evening. The crowd arrives and we serve. No longer is the focus on me, it is on them. 

The night is over and my soul is on cloud nine, just as it always is after spending time in service. Because when I get out of my head and do something, anything, for someone else, my heart is filled with the light of Jesus.

How could you not have a happy heart when this guy is around?

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