Where is Your Focus? – Larissa Rudeen

I am so pleased to welcome Larissa Rudeen back for another of her inspiring guest posts.

Where is Your Focus?

by Larissa Rudeen

What are you spending your time on?  What are you devoting your life to?

Anyone who knows me knows that I love playing guitar and writing songs.  Ever since I had my first taste of being up on stage and playing in front of a live audience, when I was 10, I have had this childhood dream of becoming a professional musician.  For over 10 years, I spent most of my free time completely focused on guitar, sometimes practicing up to 4 hours a day.  I was determined to make this dream become a reality, at least until one sunny afternoon in August 2012 when I walked into my room to find my guitar music strewn all over the floor.  Some of it was torn into tiny pieces, while other songs had complete pages that were missing, which I never found.  As I sat there, picking up the torn pages, it suddenly hit me, “Do I want to wake up in 50 years and realize that I’ve wasted my life, chasing after this worthless dream to become a famous musician?  Or, do I want to wake up in 50 years, knowing that I’ve devoted my life to something worthwhile that will make a real difference in the world?”

I challenge you, today, to think about that.  Take an inventory of your life, and the things you’re spending your time on.  Perhaps you need to make some changes.

Copyright © 2014 by Larissa Rudeen

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. 

What we have done for others and the world remains.”

~ Albert Pike ~


About kaystrom

Kay Marshall Strom, who am I? Well, I’m a traveler, a railer against social injustice, a passionate citizen of the world. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a 21st century abolitionist who speaks out against slavery of all kinds. I am a beach walker and a gardener and the off-key singer of songs. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Most people, though, know me as a writer and a speaker. So here is a bit more about that part of my life: Of my 43 published books, seventeen have been translated into foreign languages, and two have been optioned for movies. My writing credits include magazine articles, books for children, short stories, television scripts and two prize-winning screenplays. I love to write, and speak, about topics close to my heart. I speak at seminars, retreats, writer’s conferences, and special events throughout the country. And because I enjoy travel, I even speak on cruise ships. Because I don’t see how a writer can really reflect another people and land without spending time there, I’ve been trekking through India, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nepal, Sudan, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, Japan and South Korea, tape recorder and camera in hand, to gather stories from the world-wide family of God. Thanks to my “virtual friendship” with John Newton, 17th century slave ship captain turned preacher, I traveled through Ireland. In West Africa I toured an old slave fortress off the coast and saw a tiny set of baby manacles bolted to the wall. I was struck dumb. From that horror came a story question, and from that question, my foray into fiction: The Grace in Africa trilogy. Come join me as I travel and rail against injustice. Maybe you will choose to be a 21st century abolitionist too.
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9 Responses to Where is Your Focus? – Larissa Rudeen

  1. Trudy Kutz says:

    God has gifted you with both your music and your passion to make your life count for Him. It will be exciting to see how God brings balance for you and uses both of those gifts to make a difference in the world.

  2. Gary Lane says:

    Focus divided is my life. Caring for mentally ill in my home, increasing business for Figaro’s Pizza, family, friends, union, and missing Valley Covenant Church while getting used to Newport Presbyterian. Divided focus does fit. Taking breaks to be with friends and family creates treasured moments. It is great to read of your adult development Larissa! So sorry about the music being destroyed. Your compositions are a personal expression of your inner self at specific moments in time. To loose those is to loose chunks of reminders of significant events of your life. I hope you can start using Sibellius http://www.sibelius.com/home/index_flash.html so that your unique creations can be saved in invisible hard to damage locations and of course be available to print off anytime you wish. Music may or may not lead to a great public career, but music remains an ever challenging personal expression and outlet for renewing and expressing ourselves. I have enjoyed hearing your heartfelt and poignant songs.

  3. kaystrom says:

    Thank you, Larissa. You have inspired many people through your writing, just as you have through your music. I agree with Trudy. God will use you through both. And who knows what else?

  4. B.J. Taylor says:

    Inspiring post, indeed. Thank you both!

  5. I’m no musician, but I’ve enjoyed playing at the piano. Still, I remember the day I asked myself if I were willing to invest the hours it would take to get really good. This hard question made me realize I prefer to write. Then in the divorce my ex got the piano (because he IS quite good) and I have rarely touched one since.
    However, I went on to write a Christian book on divorce (Moving On: Coping with Divorce). In addition, many people say I’m very good at leading Divorce Care where piano metaphors serve me well–knowing when to play the class with a light touch and when to perform with boldness. On that stage I know I’m making a difference in the world.

  6. Carolyn McCready says:

    Wow – what a great post, Larissa. It’s a bit of a heart breaking story to imagine you coming in and finding so much of your music in pieces, but the message you learned from that is important. I am personally challenged by your words to consider what I am doing with my life and bringing that back to God to direct me. I do agree with Trudy and others – God has gifted you with music and it will be wonderful to see how he uses that in your life through your years. It may be different than you imagined but I know it has made you more creative and sensitive and “in tune”. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. kaystrom says:

    Thanks you again, Larissa, for your heart-felt post. We will be looking forward to more from you!

  8. Steve Bilynskyj says:

    Larissa, thank you for sharing how God spoke to you through a devastating experience. I believe both your musical talent and your heart for others are gifts from the Lord. And God helps us learn to use His gifts in the ways He wants most. God bless you as you focus on making a difference for hurting people, and I trust that you will find your music fits into that new direction in some wonderful way.

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