A Detailed Life

Ever had your car professionally detailed? I have not, technically, but it was done to the “new” cars I have purchased. The pre-owned vehicles once moved and breathed in other lives but transferred into my life with the previous owners detailed out.

Neither have I detailed a vehicle myself. Why? Because it’s tedious work. Detailing involves getting into cracks and crevices and digging out accumulated grime. It’s taking out the floor mats and vacuuming. It’s reaching way under seats and getting all the crumbs and forgotten pencils, papers and water bottles. Sometimes, it results in “that’s where that is” or “I forgot all about that” or “Eeewww!”

Detailing sort of hits a reset button. It reorganizes and renews. Changing outside appearances in most areas of life really isn’t all that difficult, but making lasting change where our inner life matches our outer life, where the details of life balance with one another, can be a real struggle. Detailing our inner lives means digging into the cracks and crevices and reaching way underneath the surface to hidden places to find the forgotten, lost and unsavory.

2014 Word 365 – Details

Details 4Detailing my life, which I consider focusing in on the details as much as the Holy Spirit leads, in 2014 will lead me to do everything I do “simply, slowly and clearly,” in essence, to get into the cracks and crevices in a way that allows for hitting the reset button in some areas and discovering new direction in others. Specifically, focusing on the details of life will help me…

  • Simplify. My natural tendency involves complicating everything. If I don’t deliberately think of keeping the details of my life simple, I get overwhelmed easily. Focusing on the details will better establish a habit of simplicity.
  • Slow down. When I read, I move quickly to reach the end in order to move on to another book. But I miss out on the processing and applying. When I write, I also do so quickly and fail to carefully consider every word. Listening, too, often involves forming responses instead of truly hearing. Slowing down will amplify the quality of the time I spend in my favorite activities and with the people I love most.
  • Clarify.  Focusing on the details will also help clarify my focus. If I can find ways to stay clear in my focus (God’s will for the details of my life), I believe my life will be simpler. I also believe I will be more productive the clearer I can get and keep my focus.

Focus Determines Reality

In Star Wars, The Phantom Menace, Qui Gon Jinn tells Anakin, “Your focus determines your reality.” Unfortunately, Anakin’s focus continually drifted toward fear, resulting in him choosing the path of darkness.

As I choose to focus on the details of life in 2014, I too realize that my focus will determine my reality. If I fail to detail certain areas in my life, I may continue down a hurried and complicated path. I may continue to find myself increasingly confused and less productive. But if I guard my focus, I can walk the path of an amplified life that produces and inspires depth of character.

Details 5So once again, as I refocus on the two verses in Isaiah given as a focus for my life almost four years ago, I realize the necessity of creating a detailed life, one that exists in immediate and thorough obedience.

DISCUSSION: How’s your focus?

Want help with your goal setting?
Check out the terrific resources offered in
New Year’s Bible Study” at Beyond the Sinner’s Prayer.

20 thoughts on “A Detailed Life

  1. Good morning and happy 2014 Kari! I like your thoughts here. I have been giving this idea of focus some thought. In fact, wrote in my journal this morning that I need to give some serious thought to 2014 and write down what I want to accomplish this year in my Moleskine. I had all the intentions in the world but Christmas time away got in the way. Sort of hard to do any thinking with a 7 year old grandson running around. Not complaining though. 🙂 Gonna check out that link you mention.

    • Sounds like you need to go for a long bike or something to do some thinking. If I recall, though, the weather might not be cooperative with a long bike ride. My point is that when I know I need to think, I have to find the space to do so. The treadmill downstairs works for me, but the shower is actually one of the best places. Just some ideas for you. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic for two reasons. First, I know it will be good for you to flesh them out. Second, I believe it will help me with my own thoughts as I seek to get into more of the details in my life. My point is, we're in this together in a way. On another topic, what's the deal with Mokeskins? I hear a lot about them, and I love journals, but I am wondering why they are so popular.

      • Unfortunately kari, i can't multi-task so riding and thinking don't quite work for me-outside or inside. I can put on movies with subtitles since it is mindles "to do" while riding. I need some unbroken time of quiet. I heard about Moleskines about 6-7 years ago. i checked them out and decided to give it a try. They are compact, They make two kinds-hard cover and soft. I like the soft because they are flexible. They are fairly thin so I can carry it with my Bible. I have even used it a time or two with sermon notes and preached outside using them so I didn't have to fumble with Bible pages flapping in the wind. About 3 years ago I bought a leather cover from Crystal Peak Youth Ranch in Oregon and it is fantastic! I also use a Moleskine calendar. They also have 3 sizes- small, large and XL. I get the large. I also get the ruled one. If you have a Barnes and Noble they carry them or go to Moleskine.com for the complete package. 🙂

        On the more important issue: I will let you know where I come out.

        • Everyone processes things differently. My husband and I are VERY different in the way we "think." Interesting about the Mokeskins. Have seen them at B&N but never bought one. I get easily sucked into the huge selection of journals they have there. Like books, I tend to have too many on hand waiting to be used. Thanks for the details!

  2. Your focus determines your reality. Great statement and great post Kari to start my morning with. There are a few details left over from 2013 I need to clear up today so I can focus on the here and now. Your post challenged me in this area. You words flow from a courageous wise hearted woman. Thanks for encouraging me.

    • Thanks, Betty. (By the way, sorry for the delay. Having technical issues as I update & refresh my blog's look.) I have been cleaning up details from last year also, which is a struggle with family around more. At the same time, I love having them home with me. Thank YOU for the encouraging words. I needed to hear them.

  3. Kari, What a great way to apply your word for the year. I'm looking forward to following along with your journey. As we talked about yesterday at CMB – I could really use a dose of detail focus, and your words . . . simplify, slow down, and clarify. Let's just say, thank you – I need this. I love how the Lord uses us to teach, guide, and strengthen one another. Blessings for your journey.
    My recent post Someday We’ll Laugh About This Day

    • I love how God does that too, Betty, and it's the main reason I stay active in online communities as well as in face-to-face ones. I'm glad to have you on this journey, my friend, and you have my permission to hold me accountable in the areas of simplifying, slowing down & clarifying.

  4. I like how you have put it here Kari. Detailing and resetting. I know I do best when I put down the details on how I want to approach something in life and then work those details. It does lessen confusion and adds clarity.

    • Having a plan makes a difference, even if we don't follow the plan exactly. Shoot for the moon, at least hit the stars. (Sorry for response delay. Not sure why I didn't get a notice on this comment.)

  5. Love your word, thought, and application here. Amazing how your 3 points flow together and in and out of one another. I think sometimes we try to simplify without clarity and can hamper things. We can try to slow down but we never simplify. Having all these in place brings that right balance as we trust Him. I am probably busier than I've ever been, but I also recognize the need to slow down, organize, and simplify. I have to do it. Gotta put the joy into life (or allow it, maybe I should say)! Thanks Kari.
    My recent post 2014: Year of Overcome

    • Applying some basics regularly makes a huge difference in getting and maintaining a balance life. Busy isn't always bad, and it's also relative. The question is, "Does it allow us to live out love for Him, love others and love for self?" (based on scripture, of course). Thanks, Jason.

  6. Details…God is in all the details of our lives.

    I can hear myself as I read your post.

    In 2013 God gave me the word DEPENDENCE. I don't have a word for this year. Perhaps I was too chicken to ask for a new word this year as last years word nearly tore me apart. I'm still braking, I'm still learning, I'm still growing. I'm still in need of complete dependence upon God.
    While I will continue to learn this in 2014 (and throughout my life) I am also going to try and learn to REJOICE through the pain.

    I look forward to hearing more about what God is doing in you. God bless.

    • Details is really an extension of my word from last year, "amplify." Just felt like I needed to do more with the idea. So hard to trust God to just do the work & to not try and control it. I sometimes try to control by simply not asking, but that's failing to submit, which isn't good either. We are in a process of being perfected in this life, that's for sure, and we have to trust that He know the way. Thanks for your honesty & transparency, TC.

  7. Hi Kari, Thanks for including a link to my blog at the bottom of this. I was reading my way merrily through your blog post and all of a sudden noticed my own blog on there. Fun! I love that you have a different focus each year. I'm such an indecisive perfectionist person that it would be way too intimidating to choose a word for the next year – but I love the idea of it! I do love this time of year and thinking about all the opportunities and possibilities of what I want to do during the new year. Am trying to decide what book to write next! Are you still thinking of writing a book?

    • My pleasure, Barb. It was a good fit for my topic, and I absolutely love it when my blogging friends and I connect like that. Well, in my own perfectionism, I have to admit that "details" is really a more intense focus on "amplify," which was last year's word. So, it's really amplifying amplify, if you will. Actually, I have two drafts of books, one fiction and one NF. The fiction book is a big old mess because of it being my first attempt, so the first editing go-around will actually be a complete rewrite. I'm planning on doing that in February. The NF book is my editing project for January. I have plans for several other books. Thanks for asking.

    • I wouldn't say it's about ready to go, but it's much further along than the fiction book. After the first major edit, I will have some beta readers (I've had one already), and then do another edit. My goal is to have both of these books ready to publish by end of October. Not sure if I'm going to focus on the traditional or non-traditional route. I have a dream of having a traditional publisher with an actual book, but I know that is very difficult to do these days. Likely, I'll end up hybrid, but I am not sure which I'll focus on to start. Any advice is welcome.

    • A saying that has become a detailed part of who I am fits well with your comment: Small things done over time add together to make a huge difference. Plus, Scripture extols the importance of being faithful in the small things in order to be trusted with bigger ones. We tell our boys that often.

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