Throw Narrow

Back in high school, I was a Diver.  That was after years of injuries left me unable to continue in my original love, Gymnastics.  Tumbling in air with much less impact on my sore joints was perfect.  {Though the story of the time I landed flat on my back 8 times in a row when I just couldn’t get a dive still makes me cringe.}

A board and water is a lot different from the floor though, and I had a lot to learn.  One of my first lessons on a type of dive I hadn’t done before, an Inward, included the direction to “throw an arrow.”  It came along with hand gestures- starting with the arms above the head, and slicing them down to come together in front of you, making a V.  So it made sense.  The end of an arrow is a V shape.  So I worked on throwing an arrow.  I got pretty good at it.

Until one day I repeated the words back to my coach, and got a laugh.  Apparently, he was saying “throw narrow” all along.  You see, when you throw narrow, you can jump straight up and still have the force of your arm movement push you out just enough to clear the board.  You focus your effort on that narrow space, and you have success.  If you throw wide and jump straight, you’re likely to hit the board.

It’s been years since I’ve been on a diving board, but the story came back to me yesterday as I thought about my focus.  I’ve been jumping straight- meaning, I’ve had great effort and intent.  But I haven’t narrowed my focus.  I’m throwing all I can into all there is, without the focus needed to stop banging my head on the board.

Throw Narrow.

I’ve already decided to give up a few small things I’m doing, and am considering what else I can do to narrow my focus.

I’ve also realized that for me, throwing narrow means focusing on reaching women.  My story of struggling through the loss of my brother, my husband’s chronic illness, and juggling motherhood and work will best be told if I focus narrow, where I can best be used and heard.  I didn’t really like that message I was hearing from God- after all, I have always had stronger relationships with guys (something to do with my sarcastic self I guess).  But God used a few things this week to show me where my narrow is.

Two of those things are these simple interviews I shared on other sites in the past week.  They forced me to stop and really think through some questions that are simple, but have tough answers.

Journey for Earth

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“You don’t have to make it big.  You have to make it matter.”  – Jon Acuff

What could matter more in your life if you had a more narrow focus?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!


My "fabulous" artwork

My “fabulous” artwork


  1. I love this insight, Anita. I also LOVE that quote from Jon. It seems absurd to me that just those few words could sum it all up. The story that you have to tell and the hope that you have to share DOES matter. I can’t wait to see the ways that God is going to continue to use you to bring His light into the lives of women who so desperately need it.

  2. God has taught me to reach out to women as well. By putting out our own truths and becoming vulnerable, we can grow closer with each other. Narrow is good, just don’t get too narrow. 😉
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    • Being vulnerable is the hardest part of that- but necessary. And I’m not likely to get too narrow, since my tendency is to always try to do it all, but good point!

  3. You are a very strong woman,may God help you through this and strengthen you to keep on keeping on.

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