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Home > Support > Family Life > How do I stay focused when there is so much claiming my attention?
 
 
Question: I have homeschooled for 9 years now and truly love the closeness and connection with my girls. However, there are days when it seems like we can't get anything accomplished. Besides teaching the girls I also am the Girl Scout leader for both their troops, the local homeschool support group leader, on several committees with the Girl Scouts and am active in our home based business. It is important to keep a regular schedule of schooling but the last couple of years there have been so many daily distractions. These distractions aren't always just from outward sources but some are within my mind; losing concentration on school work and thinking about the other things which must be accomplished that day, week, etc. Do you have any advice on how to stay more focused so as not to take precious time away from instruction?
Answer:

Dear Mom,

Your letter was very well thought out and brought up an important issue. Like yourself, I would imagine that many homeschooling parents have gone through 'seasons' in their teaching when staying focused was difficult.

I sense from your letter that you have prayed for the wisdom to release yourself from those activities that would take you away from tasks that are priorities. It is a certain fact that many times there are things which must be done. Sometimes it feels as though everything is a priority. The Lord is generous with His gift of time and talent. Call on Him for more time because He is the only one Who can give you this gift.

Let's consider another point that I feel may be at the heart of your question. Do you feel that you are experiencing a 'dryness' when you are in your times of prayer? It is not unusual for one to be close to the Lord in prayer and in fact giving Him the first hours of the day. We are making that time a priority yet despite these worthy efforts there lingers a sense of distracted thoughts in that communication with the Lord.

This seems to happen to me when I least expect its arrival. It literally ruins all my efforts in most every task that I touch. I am unable to remain focused and together. I feel that I can not accomplish all that I have before me. What is disturbing about this is the nature of our work as parent/teacher. This requires our clear and focused attention.

I have often wondered if this 'season' is not introduced by the Tempter to derail our efforts to follow the Lord. If indeed this comes from the Tempter then there is much we can do to get back on track. First and foremost, go to the Lord in prayer. Sit before the Blessed Sacrament and allow Him to soothe your spirit. Change up your normal method or time of prayer. Ask the Lord to send you the resources necessary to weather this very short time in your faith journey.

I like to write down all that I need to accomplish in a day in my journal or on my calendar. It helps me to look at the list in the morning and readjust what is and is not a priority. Taking a pencil and crossing through those matters that I just will not be able to tend to helps me a great deal.

I have a tendency to take on more than I can do. It is my weakness and one that the Tempter enjoys using to his advantage. It takes a great deal of courage for me to tell someone "no, I can not do that for you."

If I have found that my prayer life is in a 'dry' season then it is time for me to pray all the more. During those prayer times I am reminded of our dear Lord in the desert. Though dryness surrounded Him, He was filled with the Holy Spirit. We too can be filled with the Holy Spirit despite the dryness of our situation. Suddenly, you will experience a return of your familiar focus and a rebirth in the parched desert.

I will be praying for you very much today as I attend Mass. A wise priest once told me to "Let go and let God."

Dear Jesus, let us rush to Your side every day. Send the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to order our day, with You at the center and our hearts focused on Your will. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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