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“ … and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, …” 1 Thessalonians 4:12 NIV

I grew up hearing this phrase repeated again and again. Every one of my elementary school teachers said it before every test, “Keep your eyes on your own paper.” 

The saying continues to be good advice for tests in life. It takes me less and less time to recognize what I need to do when I’m agitated with someone else – keep your on your own paper. 

That agitation, distraction, procrastination – whatever you want to call it – usually happens because it’s easier for me to look around and see if everyone else is doing their work rather than do my own. I recently checked on my husband’s progress with our taxes. I hung up fast before I criticized him for not starting yet. 

I got my clippers and garden gloves from the garage and headed to the courtyard. I cut down a dead vine that had overtaken the front gate. It’d been on my to-do list for more than a week. 

There aren’t enough good words to tell you how much better I felt because I didn’t give into my frustration over someone else’s to-do list. I got my eyes back on my own paper. 

God wants me focused on myself – not in a selfish “it’s all about me” way. He wants me focused on my purpose, the one He’s given me to accomplish, and my people, the ones He’s given me to serve. When I live right, I mind my own business and work with my hands.

Keep your eyes on your own paper. 

Is it as hard for you as it is for me sometimes? Is it as fulfilling for you once you get back to living like He wants you to? Just for today, I have a new favorite saying. 

Thanks so much for hanging out with me because we’re … 

In This Together,

I have something for you!


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