Living from the Inside Out

by Deborah McCormick Maxey

We have a precious little Yorkie that is great about letting us know when she needs to go outside. Of course, without delay, we follow Maxi’s wishes. But I’ve diagnosed her with attention deficit disorder. Once that door is open and she trots out, all seven pounds of her switches from, I gotta go! to Hey, what’s going on out here? Wait, that’s a squirrel! Someone is walking on mystreet. Someone is on my lake?

Maxi’s list of distractions is too numerous to mention. We’ve developed the habit of saying, “Focus.” But it falls on deaf ears. After she’s scoped out her domain and barked a sufficient number of times—with such voracious barks that her whole little body shakes—she will often remember that nature called. But not always. If it’s cold or rainy, Maxi wants back inside before she’s completed her tasks. Then she stands, just inside the door, waiting for her treat.

Only when the treat isn’t forthcoming does she remember, oh, that’s right, I gotta go. So, out she goes again, performs the task that internally called her to start with, and receives her reward.

Oh, how I can relate. I pray for guidance, work on projects I internally believe the Lord has called me to, and, the next thing I know, I’m wrapped up in that world out there. I’ve started researching things that don’t pertain, shopping online, making coffee, and answering emails.

I hate to admit how easy it is for me to get distracted and act like Maxi. I should have more discipline to limit my time on dilly-dallies. You know the ones: a puzzle on my iPad, watching a YouTube video with hubby, deciding it’s a good day to bake something—even though I’ve scheduled the time as work hours.

That’s how outside pressures of the world can bear down on me. I’m acting like my pup. I’m living from the outside in. I’m not responding to the inner call on my life any more than Maxi does.

But if I turn it around, step back, become still, and ask God for guidance, I can recenter. “What would You have me focus on, Lord?” Then I apply obedience. Sitting in my chair. Behind my keyboard. Focusing. And the flow begins.

Living from the inside out: focused. Peace, motivation and a sense of accomplishment follow. My reward.

When I focus on Christ as my center, my inner Commander, I reconnect. I want to live from that place. I want to be in His will. Me and my Jesus. Directed internally. Doing what He wants me to do.

Isn’t this exactly what He has asked of us?

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 (KJB)

This article was brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: A licensed therapist, Deborah McCormick Maxey repurposed her life when she closed her counseling practice in 2020 to joyfully invest her energy in writing Christian fiction,devotions, and her website that focuses on miracles.  

The Endling: A Novel by [Deborah Maxey]

Deborah’s debut novel, The Endling, has just been awarded the Golden Scrolls Fiction Book of the Year! Native American Emerson Coffee is the last surviving member of her tribe. When US Marshals inform her she’s being hunted by a mob hit man, Emerson declines their offer of witness protection. But when three innocent children become caught in the crosshairs, Emerson must decide if she will risk it all—her mountains, her heritage . . . even her life—to secure their safety. 

Join the conversation. Do you struggle with focus?


5 thoughts on “Living from the Inside Out

  1. This devo managed to squeeze out a chuckle and nod from me this busy morning. Thanks for the great reminders, Deborah!


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