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FOCUS in a Busy World

Several years ago my pastor gave a sermon series about living the life in a busy world [I don’t remember the exact title], but it made a huge impact on my life. So much so that I went back after the series was over and made more notes to FOCUS on the details. It was at that time that I believe God was talking to my heart. He made it clear to me that I needed to simplify by life with FOCUS. Every year since then I have prayed for God to give me a word for the year. My first year was FOCUS. Everywhere I went the word seemed to pop up — devotional, books, work. Even today, I pause when I see the word.

It’s taken years to get here, but I think I’m in my Happy Place now! There are still crazy times but they are easier with new habits and a new lifestyle.

I’ve read on other blogs about the “Favorite Apps That I Can’t Do Without” or the “Product of the Year”. Reflecting back on how I reached my “Aha” Moment, I realized I DO have apps and products that have made my life so much easier. These apps and products are my favs! I am not being sponsored or paid to share these ideas. They just speak to my heart!

My MUST Have Apps

Planner Pro — My digital calendar, task, and notes organizer. If you love your paper Franklin Covey Planner [or something similar—like my Plum Paper Planner], you are going to love this app! It is easy to use, simple appearance, quick glances at day, week, month view. You can find it in the App Store.

Money Wiz — If you ever want to get an handle on your finances, this app will do it! This app was amazing in putting things into perspective. We were able to see all of our finances in one app! And the reports and charts were an eyeopener. Staying on top of your finances in today’s world is a must! Check out this app. https://www.wiz.mon

AnyList — Be still my heart! I am a certified list maker. I have to disclose that information up front. This app has taken all of my thoughts and put it into one place for lists. No more sticky notes. The thrill comes when I can click it off my list. The one thing this app has done for us, that simplified our lives, was the grocery shopping list. This app is awesome for that reason! This has allowed us to make a grocery list throughout the week. When it comes time for shopping, we share the list on our devices. We have our list showing in aisle order [unless the store decides to move their merchandise around] with a picture in case my husband doesn’t know what I’m needing, description, price, quantity, and store. You can even shop the store online and add it to your shopping list. If that isn’t enough, the app has a menu planner that is amazing! AND your favorite recipes can be imported. This app is not only for grocery shopping. I use it for project management, fitness routines, and more.

Giftster — My Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, Any Kind of Gift List. I LOVE shopping! But time is valuable. This list is shared with my family. Everyone lists ideas of things they would like for these occasions. The lists includes pictures, links, prices, sizes, etc. If you decide to purchase it or plan on purchasing it, just click the correct button. The person on the list doesn’t see that it has been purchased, but others will know not to buy it. It’s still a surprise. At least, returns are not necessary. I’ve been known at times to use the list and still purchase something that will compliment the gift as an additional finale.

My Products of the Year

Lotus Trolley Shopping Bags — While in the parking lot one day, I noticed a lady picking up her groceries in bags with wooden handles straight from her cart to her car. I thought — I NEED that! What an awesome idea! Since my husband and I have started using the Walmart Plus features, we now Scan and Go right into our shopping bags! By using our AnyList for our groceries and Scan & Go, we are in and out of the store within minutes for all of our weekly shopping needs. Each one of these bags can hold a lot of groceries! They have one for refrigerated items [even have a pocket enclosed in one for eggs]. Bringing them into the house is a breeze. Grab the handles. No fallen over plastic bags. And no more plastic bags! When it is time for grocery shopping, we just grab the carrier holding all of the bags together. They fit right into the shopping cart. So easy!

Plum Paper — Planner & Notebook — As I’ve said before, I’m a planner and list maker. My 2023 Plum Paper Planner and now my 2023 Home Project Notebook has arrived. When I was in high school [50 years ago!], the girls would purchase our “Red Book” to keep our assignments. Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t think any assignments were ever written in the books. By the end of the school year, we had homecoming buttons, “I AM LOVED” button, ticket stubs, love notes, doodles, stickers, programs scattered all through the book. It was like a yearly journal of events. My Plum Paper Planner is used for the same reason—the births of my two grandchildren, my father’s obituary, color scheme to my office, birthdays, anniversary, and a section as a reflection for the day. I also have a before profile photo for my attempt at weight loss. This year, I’m so excited to see a dream come true by building my Home Project Notebook. I will be sharing it as I get it prepared. This notebook will be used to keep my information for every room of my home. When shopping, I will have the measurements of each room, color scheme, FOCUS point in the room, shopping list of things needed, pictures of each room. This will allow an easier way to make sure everything works together. I love being able to see the puzzle coming together with the finishing touches.

It is such a Blessing to be able to see life in a different way. To be able to enjoy every minute without the stress of the hustle and bustle this busy world deals us. The Joy of standing in the middle of your home thinking —“I’ve Got This!” is overwhelming. Step back. Take a deep breathe. Enjoy life! Time doesn’t slow down for anyone. Before you know it the years will have passed you by. Cherish your memories; don’t let the world’s race steal it from you. Just as the words from Elton John’s Your Song says —“how wonderful life is when you’re in the world”. FOCUS on the important things in life—each other.

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