A word photographers around the world are well acquainted with. After all, it is vital to their art form. Accidently lose your focus and an image is ruined. Understand focus and a whole world of artistic language opens to you. 

black and white photo of couple at the Lincoln Memorial

With a twist of my wrist an image will flow from blur to crisp. Transforming through every state in between. Sometimes the blur is purposeful and powerful. Blurry shapes draw the viewer close, asking them to interpret the form before them. Other times it is the subject in sharp focus that has the greatest impact. The crispness of a bright smile, the sparkle in a lovers gaze.  Whatever is in focus will be seen clearest and fastest. Your eye zeroing in on what it can make sense of first.

Newly engaged couple shows off ring
Couple kisses

Focus is of the utmost importance.

So why then, would a photographer, this photographer to be exact, be so upset, about FOCUS being her word for 2023. Because truly, I was upset about it. 

Well-dressed man and woman climbing the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

I argued with Holy Spirit for several weeks, trying to convince Him it was not my word. Surely there was a better word for me. Maybe “Beauty” or “Freedom”. “Vibrant” or “Adventure”… but alas, He was persistent. Showing me in multiple ways that this was my word for 2023; and it was an important one.

couple on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

When I first heard it, “Focus”…I heard “work”. Feeling the blegh call of intense mundane tasks I was being called to. Boooorrrrring…give me adventure, give me beauty…or at least a word that encompasses that. Not JUST work. Like a child being told to “focus” on their homework or some chore (like doing the dishes) my attitude dropped with my smile and a teenage snarl took its place.

couple kisses in D.C.
blonde couple sits on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial


Noun: A center of activity, attention or attraction (emphasis). Directed attention.

(Direction): adjustment for distinct vision.

Verb: To cause to be concentrated. To concentrate attention or effort –

The concentration of attention or energy on something (

The Merriam Webster definition settled my soul. “Adjustment for a distinct vision”, directed attention…

couple sits beneath a willow tree

What first felt like an invitation to a year of dreary work was transitioning to a beautiful invitation. An invitation to fully embrace a distinct vision. To run after dreams with centered actions and specific view.

Praying over this word revealed my deep need for it. It is time to say “no” to some things so my “yes” can hold the weight needed to accomplish others.

I am very easily distracted, always looking for a way out of mundane tasks. Simple and complex work all fall prey to my wandering eyes and scattered thoughts. The world within my phone caters in a direct way to this. Little hits of diverting entertainment that have slowly become addicting. Scrolling through between times. Losing time in others lives while mine wastes away in the distraction.

This word, this is my invitation.

A year of focus.

A year to settle my gaze on healthy aspirations.

A year to pour all my attention and activity into the realization of dreams.

A year to throw off distraction and run free from all that tempts time.

It is a year to re-learn focus.

So, this year I am placing purposeful blinders on my eyes. Stepping away from social media to cut ties with what has been filling my time. 

You may see me here and there, checking in or sharing something worthwhile.

I’ll still be posting on my journal and emailing out seasonal updates, but the daily media check-ins will be on pause. 

The mindless scrolling is at an end.

A couple leans against a pillar of the Lincoln Memorial

The invitation to spend a year focusing must begin with a point to focus on and so today I say goodbye to Instagram. 

Hoping to meet my creative self in the quiet. 

Hoping I still like what I see.

A year to create unhindered, un- influenced by the influencers of our day.

Couple hugs and laughs

Picking up my phone I settle my finger on the bright pink and purple icon. The shaking announces it’s ready for my choice.

One tap on the – and it’s done.

My year of focus has begun.

Couple pose in front of the Lincoln Memorial statue

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written MUSINGS

Virginia based, Jesus loving, free spirit who specializes in intimate imagery and words that empower women and re-ignites passion for Christ.

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