misplaced focus

Sep 26, 2011

The day started off great. Time in prayer. Time in His word. Ready to take on the day. Determined to be filled with the Spirit (check out the “Abiding Fruit” study). Also decided I would not nag, correct, direct…I would enjoy my boys for who they are and love them well.

Not even a half-an-hour into my day…fighting, whining, complaining, asking for a snack when their breakfast dishes still sat on the table, arguing with me, using harsh words.

I lost it…my joy.

They won…I surrendered.

For the rest of the morning, including what was supposed to be my favorite excursion of Fall (trip to Arboretum to see the pumpkins), there was complaining, fighting, whining. I was angry, annoyed and exhausted.

At 10:30 they asked for lunch…too hungry to do anything else without complaining.

While eating my 2 yr old kept wanting to run away. When we finished he did run away…falling on a massive ant hill pile. I scooped him up quickly brushing off the little evil ants that were biting all over his hands & legs.

We finally found a castle that they were enjoying exploring when my 2nd child announced his need to use the potty. And my 1st child announced loudly that my 3rd child had a dirty diaper.

This was supposed to be fun. When do we get to have fun?

As we drove home in the car our Seeds Family Worship, Seeds of Character, CD was playing. I was reminded why it wasn’t fun.

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5

I had misplaced my focus.

My focus was on my kids. On their complaining, their whining, their continual needs.

As a God-centered mom, who loves God with ALL her heart, soul, & strength…that should be my focus.

How can I be consumed and overwhelmed by their negative attitudes if ALL my heart, soul & strength are focused and consumed with God?

Imagine if I ignored their bad attitudes and didn’t continually correct them for each bad choice. Instead I focused on my God and how He is worthy to be praised. He created the whole earth and everything in it. He has a hope and a plan for my future. To prosper & not to harm me.

Don’t you think eventually my attitude would rub off on my boys? If instead of my focus being on having fun and having well-behaved, easy boys, I was dwelling on the majesty of my Father…don’t you think my morning would have gone differently?

The next portion of Deuteronomy says this…”These commandments that I give you today are to be on your heartsImpress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. ” (Deut 6:6-7).

There it is. The wisdom I needed that day. Instead of focusing on my children’s failures. I should have been loving God. BEYOND THAT I should be impressing on my children how much I love God. Talking about God’s glory as we walked through the Arboretum. Showing God’s love, mercy & grace when my children are far from perfect.

This week my goal is to change my focus. To move my eyes upward. To love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, & strength. From the overflow I will love my children well. I will be filled with His Spirit to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness & self-control.

Linking up with:




  1. Momma Kristi

    Your words touch my heart every day! Thank you for your honesty and transparency!!!

    Love you friend!!

  2. Hannah T

    I’m sitting here in bed reading this as I nurse my baby. I’m overwhelmed with conviction. Thanks for the encouragement and reminder. I have a 2 1/2 year old also and it has been a challenging season. My focus has definantly shifted at times and been on her performance. I’m going to work to change that today. Hope you have a wonderful day!!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      thanks for sharing your own struggle hannah. I hope that you were successful through God’s strength & power to love Him well today and let everything else go. =)
      Did we meet at the Mamas Write conference? your name seems really familiar.

  3. Ashley Cating

    Needed to hear this today…feeling overwhelmed and not capable at the job head…but, if all I get done today is focusing all my heart, soul, mind, and strength on the Lord, then it’s been a good day, right?!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      oh that is a great way to look at it ashley…redefining the success of our day by how well we loved the Lord instead of how well we handled our children & the chaos. look forward to seeing you tonight!!

  4. Stefanie Brown

    I so appreciate your transparency, my dear friend. Turning trying moments into teaching moments takes grace. You’ve got it, my friend!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      wow! thanks. had never thought of it that way. makes it seem so much more meaningful. grace is a big theme right now in my life…so i appreciate the compliment greatly!

  5. Clare

    Thank you for your words Heather. My big focus at the moment is to have a more loving attitude (to everyone in my family – picking up the mirror instead of the magnifying glass stuff, not blaming or reacting with anger and frustration, but controlling my reactions to respond lovingly) and this is the ultimate way to go about it! I so love your posts and your honesty about what you are feeling. Thank you for sharing – your honesty truly helps others on this challenging but wonderful path of parenting 🙂

  6. toshowthemjesus

    Sounds like too many of my days! That is one of my favorite passages. When I am focused on loving God, everything else lines up. Thanks for your honesty and transparency. I needed this!

  7. Misty

    Oh I needed this post.. been struggling this week with my children. Everyday I start out so focused on God (So I think) then it quickly changes, to them. Their tantrums, whining and fighting. Thank you for helping shift my focus back to Him and encouraging me along the way.

  8. petejessnewland

    I actually just started blog hopping via Women Living Well and found you. I got online just now – frustrated, tired, & weary of being a mom. This week I have yellow more than I ever have at my children. This is NOT how I want to be, but man, they are wearing me down. Thank you for your encouraging words. This is exactly what I was looking for and needing this morning. Thanks for the gentle reminder to re-focus. God will take care of the rest!

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