Stay. In. The. Pool.

Sit and stay a spell….these thoughts today Jesus has been teaching me fervently the last couple of months.  Grab a cup of coffee, tea or comfort drink of choice because you won’t want to miss out on this truth today.  If you want to receive updates each time I post you can subscribe in the top right corner.  And as always feel free to share this news with others.


Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.
Proverbs 13:4, NLT

Sometimes God calls us to do hard things.  But I think God has a purpose in it all…doesn’t He work like that?!

I seem to be continually in a season of learning this…the art of doing hard things.  When I was younger I remember my parents telling me that if I wanted something, I had to work hard for it.

School didn’t come easy for me.  Like…at all!

However, I wouldn’t trade my college years when God taught me the benefits of learning to  push through when the hard things seemed to always be knocking at my door.

God challenges us to make us stronger…more refined.

Those challenging times can be crippling sometimes too.


It is during these hard times that I have a tendency to want to quit, give up and forget it all.  I think it is the laziness that lingers in all of us.

Have you ever been there? Can you relate?

Leading a 14, 10 and 8-year-old daughters to do their school work, chores or just being kind to one another can be challenging. Many days I tell them they just have to buckle down and do those hard things.

It is a lesson that is just a part of life.

Many times we get distracted and lose focus on the task at hand. We don’t stay in the moment because it gets too hard.  There are too many “things” pulling for our attention to complete our tasks.

We have to make it a habit to continue on…focus… even when its hard.

We recently read an article that we have been continually going back to to re-examine and hopefully learn some great truths from.  If you really want to be challenged today then hop on over there to read the entire article by clicking HERE.

swimming  [271_365 One Day One Photo]

Ann Voscamp wrote on her blog something that I could totally relate to in doing hard things:

But the thing is: I want to read a book when I should be making dinner, check pinterest instead of pin another load of laundry on the line, clean the bedrooms when I should be doing science with the kids.

The thing is: Habits are hard but they make life easy.

The thing is: There are no habits without the habit of being focused. Ceremonies necessitate focus — no bride gets distracted half way down the aisle.

The thing is, it’s what Phelps said: Stay in the pool.

Michael Phelps said that the way he trained to be one of the greatest athletes of all time — was to stay in the pool longer than anyone else.

To stay at it when everyone else got out. To stay focused when you’d love to be distracted. To do the next thing when it’s not the easiest thing. To not flip over to Facebook or turn on the TV or check Twitter or pop into email.

The most successful are the ones most focused and the greats are greatly focused. There is never any fruit without focus.


Oh, how it is so hard to stay focused when you’d love to be distracted. The other things that are going on around us seem more inviting.  But they really aren’t that inviting – they just aren’t the thing that we are supposed to be doing.  To do the next thing when it’s not the easiest thing.

“There is never any fruit without focus.”

John 15:5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Learning to stay in the pool is a life lessons that Satan would LOVE for us to fail at.  That is his job.  To try to get us out of the pool.  Spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

So today, as we do hard stuff, we have the timer set for just 20 minutes at a time to work on staying focused for those 20 min. –  then when that 20 minutes are done – we take a 5 min. break.  We will increase our “stay in the pool” time a little each time.

I learned about this Pomodoros method one year ago and it has radically changed my life.

Practices that involve us learning to stay in the pool can help us to accomplish our physical goals, our spiritual goals, but even our educational goals.

Don’t get me wrong…I am a master at multi-tasking, but I am finding that it’s not a quality that I want to hang out my shingle on all the time.  Sometimes, it can decrease my ability to do anything well.

Ann shows this statistic from this article.

“So, a study at The British Institute of Psychiatry showed that checking your email while performing another creative task decreases your IQ in the moment by 10 points.

This decrease is the equivalent of the effects from not sleeping for 36 hours—and exhibits more than twice the impact of smoking marijuana.”

{That is staggering!  I don’t need any more effects like I already get from losing sleep!}

I had several chances to share this simple technique of “staying in the pool” quote many times in the last several weeks.  I think it has helped many others stay the course  with whatever God is calling them to do – even when it seems hard.

Just when I think my thoughts are so lame that I want to share here on the blog – God gives me something else to confirm that I was right on track.

I was picking up some contacts from my eye doctor’s office the other day and saw this quote from Joyce Meyer.  I now have it printed out and I read it every day.

What is the Promise?

The promise is, God will never ask you to do something He hasn’t already given you the ability to do.  And your part is to focus on what you can do and then trust God to do the rest.  

He can give you ideas, inspiration, fresh wisdom – but He won’t do your part for you.  Your part is to love people, to have a great attitude and to be faithful and consistent.

Learning to stay in the pool,

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Photo Credit


  1. Amy, thanks for the reminder to “Stay in the pool” Exactly what I needed today. I was praying for you and your family yesterday and thought I hadn’t heard any news lately. Thanks for the update and God’s blessings to you and your entire family.

  2. This was wonderful!!! I have truly been having focus problems recently and I sure needed this today!!! So happy for you and your family!!! God is so good!!!!

  3. Dear Amy, there was no ‘triple like’ button but if there was I would have clicked it today. Loved this post and knew you wrote it just for people like me who needed to hear this word at this time on this day. Thanks for being such a great blessing and for helping me to remember that God is not merely good – He is simply awesome!!!

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