Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017: Purpose In Each Detail of Life

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Well, another year is coming to an end. As I reminisce over the past 12 months, I think about the ways in which my word for 2017 (PURPOSE) has helped me look at my life from a new perspective.
So much of my circumstances have been beyond my control, yet I found myself being emotionally controlled by them. 
I have learned a lot about other people and have tried to understand why they may do what they do or say what they say. I have learned to stand strong when I have had to make an extremely difficult decision, not being influenced by unwarranted guilt,  sympathy, or a desire for a closer relationship, but to do what is best for me.
I have learned that, as I look into the past and the future, both have a purpose and hopefully each continues to shape and grow me in a more positive way. Life definitely isn't all peaches and cream. Much of the time, I don't even understand why things happen the way they do. But, because God is in control, I must just do the best I can and leave the rest to Him.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou

A few things I have learned about purpose and God's purpose for me...


When facing mid-life issues, it’s time to ask, “What is God doing in my life? What gives us meaning and satisfaction? From whence do we derive our purpose for living?" The challenge of locating new sources of fulfillment and joy when jobs, careers and our children no longer dictate how our time is spent and give shape to our identity. Our early and middle adult years do not adequately prepare us for the new role of being an older adult. Shifting out of the role we are groomed for and into the unfamiliar role of retiree and then elderly person may make us question our purpose.


In the past we were younger and, in some ways, more vibrant. We had more energy and required less sleep. We didn't worry about what we were eating or how we felt. But now our bodies are talking back and forcing us to be concerned about our health.


We may ask ourselves, what is the meaning of all the seemingly irrelevant details in the cosmic (much larger) scheme of things? Suddenly, we begin to question what we have been doing all this time. We cannot find purpose in the mundane routine of life anymore because we’ve gotten a taste of what is beyond it. We may have deeply held concerns about the worth and value of our life and whether we did all that we might have with the life now slipping away.

It seems that we can all find ourselves on something of that merry-go-round in life. Same thing day after day, after day punctuated by the odd happy event and the odd crisis. Whatever that may look like in the life that we’re living, we may be asking ourselves, ‘What’s it all for? Why am I doing this? What’s the point of it all? Sometimes we don't feel purposeful because  we don't feel we're living our calling because our calling comes so easy to us that it doesn't feel noteworthy.

Yet the simple little ways we go about life, blessing others, helping others, pleasing God, getting errands done, doing chores, and using our skills, are all part of fulfilling our life purpose

Real purpose—the kind that enables a parent to persevere through different stages of parenting—is birthed in everyday decisions. In those quiet moments where the choice to persevere overrides the desire to run. 

With each difficult encounter, we have a choice: to seek out the the easy, safe, self-protecting path wrought with temporary pleasures, or to stand firm in faith and character, regardless of what God allows to come our way. 

Our role is not to question the when, where, and how(we will never find a definite answer anyway) and to start living in—making the most of—the now (Ephesians 5:16). In other words, God has a purpose in every encounter and every stage of our journey, whether we’re standing in line at the grocery or folding towels at home. His purpose, and our calling, is quite simple: to know Him and make Him known. Only Christ can satisfy us to our core, can bring purpose out of even the most frustrating situations, and can lift us from our petty lives to freedom and adventure.    

Everyday life presents opportunities for our growth in holiness. God can use the ordinary moments in our life to glorify Himself by conforming us into the image of his Son. 

As I attempt to joyfully and humbly give my time and energy to cook dinner for my husband or help my mom with dementia accomplish a task, I lose nothing and gain everything. Living in the reality of this gospel and the future promise of glory motivates me to love others as Jesus loves. I have received mercy in Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 2:10). I must be confident that what he promises for me in the future will come to pass. That’s faith.

To seize life is not an easy task but it is probably one of the most important ones I can do for myself! To seize life requires focus, preservation, determination, and inspiration. But most importantly, it requires being still long enough — in this busy world — to hear God’s voice. It requires dropping what I have been doing and following a nudge in my heart! Also, it may require not listening to what other’s have to say about what I should be doing with my life. He will seize life — my life — and guide it but I have to be willing to listen, drop life, and follow. 

“I know that you can do all things,
    and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Job 42:2

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Psalm 138:8

God made everything with a place and purpose;
    even the wicked are included—but for judgment.

Proverbs 16:4

This vision-message is a witness

    pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
    And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
    It’s on its way. It will come right on time.
Habakkuk 2:3

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I'm praying your year has been a blessing and a deep learning experience, as well...

As I anticipate another year ahead of me, I am thinking about a new word to embrace. Watch for my first post of 2018 to see what that word will be!


You may find me linking up at any of the blog parties listed on the left sidebar.

Friday, August 11, 2017

How To Find Your Purpose: Everyone's Got An Answer

It's mind-blowing to me, as I strive to seek what our purpose(and more specifically MY purpose) is, how many people say they have THE answer....and literally dozens of different answers are given. Yet, so many times any one answer leaves me hanging(often sending me into a spiral of more questioning and confusion.)

The 3A's: Creating a Purposeful Life Through Attention, Acceptance & Authenticity


Life on Purpose: 15 Questions to Discover Your Personal Mission 

Six Ways To Discover Your Life Purpose

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” 
― Eleanor Roosevelt

God has a plan and purpose for your life. Do not minimize your importance in His plans:
 + One purpose in life is to get close to God.- 

You are created to know God (Isaiah 43:6-7)

+ One purpose in life is to praise and worship God. - You are created to praise God (Psalm 86:12)

One purpose in life is to grow in character.- 

You are created to grow in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)

One purpose in life is to tell others about Jesus’ love for them. - 

You are created to spread the gospel (Psalm 96:3)

One purpose in life is to develop your gifts. - 

You are created to use talents God gave you (Romans 12:4-8)

I'm discovering that each of us look at life through different rose-colored glasses. Sometimes that glass is quite distorted. Sometimes it seems like only a mirror reflection of ourselves can be seen. Sometime the glass is cracked or even shattered. Purpose in life is a bizarre thing. We can see it as something simple and easy to find. Or we can look at it and say purpose is a very complicated and difficult to identify. I could spend my whole life searching, but I don't know if I truly will ever discover the full extent and meaning of the word "purpose". And it seems like the old saying "the older we get, the wiser we get" isn't so true. In fact, life tends to be more confusing as I get older. Maybe because I have experienced so much in my almost 56 years. I feel like each of us has a different purpose and that purpose can change on a dime, day by day, moment by moment. Trying to tack it down to one thing, one event, one place, one person, one goal is like trying to catch the wind. It's crazy...but hey, life is a bit crazy, isn't it?


You may find me linking up at any of the blog parties listed on the left sidebar.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Purpose in Waiting On That Good Seed To Bloom

Spring is a time for planting seeds, expecting growth, and preparing for expansion; but sometimes waiting is crucial in the germination process.  This means that we should strive to be patient with our spiritual development, as God is patient toward us (James. 1:2-4).

Raising our children is like planting and sowing seeds of the precious gift of life. But, this is often a LONG calling for many parents...much longer than the 18 years required for most parents. Even though I know better, it's very hard to believe any sowing, watering, or fertilizing I did through the years(of parenting) was meaningful if I don't see flowers immediately. But I KNOW that is not the nature of plants. That's not how gardening works. A beautiful, blooming garden takes time and effort

Waiting For the Flowers to Bloom
When it seems that the blessings in my own life are few, I start counting my blessings every day. Fruit will come. But it's not likely to be today. And I don't need to keep watering and fertilizing on an issue nonstop until I see fruit. That will drown a seed. It's OK to sow a seed, water a little, and walk away. After all, any fruit is a result of God's light causing the growth. So I stand back and wait for Him to work. And seek peace in the waiting.

While We Wait 
God will make a way to grow His seeds of love! Remember who it is that we worship, and who it is that we serve!  I stand in my faith not literally, but through endurance of grace I make it through! Tribulation was never meant to be endured without God!

Embracing My Family
A family is like a garden. Older plants give seed to new ones. Some are different than others, but all have a very special purpose in their lifetime. So always admire the good things of each family member; for we do not know when their blooming will begin or ends. Today is the day we should call them, just to say that we love them. Today is the day we go and do something out of charity that we are not obligated to do. Today is the day we go and spend time with them just because.

God has a purpose. God has a plan. 
Are you waiting for a change or a breakthrough? Are you longing for a little relief or an answer to a long-awaited desire? Maybe you question why there are no flowers and green leaves in your own life. While we wait for our flowers and watch for progress, keep soaking up the water. Let your roots sink in deep. Allow the sun to shine down on the dry, crispy limbs of our lives. And wait. Our turn is coming. When God begins to produce blossoms in our life it will be better than what we had in mind in the first place.


And occasionally, the Lord lets me see how it really works. 
He hath made everything beautiful in His time. Ecclesiastes 3:11a

Listen to Waiting On That Good Seed To Bloom(Podcast) - learning to wait and see the good seed that was sown in God’s love to bloom and be a blessing to others (and you too!) is not easy to do, but the reward is worth the waiting, no matter the amount of time it takes.

You may find me linking up at any of the blog parties listed on the left sidebar.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Purpose-Filled Life: My Bucket List (if God wrote it)

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe."
EPHESIANS 1:18-19 
Each of us are here for a reason and chosen for a purpose… Understanding our identity in Christ gives us purpose. God’s purpose is always unique and always makes our ordinary lives extraordinary. Our shared and primary purpose can be lived out in 5 ways: 
  • We were planned for God's pleasure
    • so your first purpose is to offer real worship. (Colossians 1:16) - Worship, while it can be an intentional choice, is generally a result of witnessing something 'awesome,' or awe inspiring and proclaiming His glory!
  • We were formed for God's family
  • We were created to converse with/become more like Christ,
    • so your third purpose is to have a real relationship/discipleship(Acts 17:27; 1 John 2:6) - To be a Christ-like people, we must also have the mind of Christ. This is vital to our ability to respond to God’s call and challenge as His people.
  • We were shaped for loving/serving God and others
    • so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry.  (Mark 12:30-31;  Ephesians 4:11-13)- God is looking for opportunities to reveal His glory through His people. 
  • We were made for a mission
    • so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism. (Mark 16:15) - This is the Great Commission to the whole Church, to share the gospel with unsaved.

God has a specific purpose for each of us, a unique calling for every individual. Our secondary callings are unique and birthed out of our submission to the primary calling, as well as our gifts, dreams, passions, and personalities.

Time flies when we’re busy and life continues on, whether or not we take time to follow our dreams, calling, or purpose. That is why I recently took part in an online Bible study, called "What if God Wrote Your Bucket List?" We studied many topics and by the end of the study, were asked to write down what we felt God was calling us to do on this earth. At first, this seemed like an unfathomable task. The struggle of knowing what I desire, of God's calling for us as believers, as well as the gifts I know God has given me caused me to stress over feeling guilty and confused. But after much prayer and having some questions that were answered during the study, I realized that as long as my list connected with one of the five main purposes of God for all believers(listed above), it is still in line with Him writing it on my heart, too! I also realized that even those things that may seem impossible with man, I had to remember that all things are possible with God, and I can trust Him to provide. The list below is what I have felt called to write down for God may redirect some of the things on the list, as He leads me through life. Also, it must be said that none of these MUST take place for me to be happy and serve God. My happiness stands alone on assurance of my salvation through Jesus Christ! Here is my list(In no particular order).
  1. Experience the joy of knowing my son is saved and enjoying the unity of that bond of a common love for God for many, many years on this earth.
  2. Travel around the U.S. in a small RV with my husband (and occasionally with other family members) after retirement.
  3. Live on the road with no schedule or time-limits.
  4. See the beauty of God’s creation, from mountain tops to deserts to extraordinary natural landmarks.
  5. Take some chances with adventurous activities; try things I’ve never tried before; ie: sailing on the ocean, fishing for a large fish(bluefin tuna, marlin, tarpon, etc.), participate in a long-distance bikeathon, etc.
  6. Travel to another country - Holy Land, Italy, France, Canada
  7. Serve/Minister those in need in a disaster relief program
  8. Live off the grid for a time period - ie. no electronics, communication with the outside world, etc., and get more connected with God.
  9. Minister to and encourage moms with “different” or “challenging” children.
  10. Hear my son record Christian music in a professional studio. See him thrive in music.
  11. See my son marry a woman who loves Jesus with all of her heart.
  12. Doing more random acts of kindness(Pay more attention to people around me).
  13. Live as though every moment of every day I could not live without the Lord...having His Word and promises in my heart and mind at all times, commuting with him continually.
  14. Live, exercise, and eat healthily on a regular basis.
Proverbs 16:9 - "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."
Have you ever considered what your bucket list would look like, if God wrote it for you? Have you ever written it down? What kinds of things are on your "bucket list"? Feel free to share in the comment section.
You may find me linking up at any of the blog parties listed on the left sidebar.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

What is Our Purpose?

How do you define our "purpose"?
{This the first of several posts I will be sharing on the subject of "purpose", the word I chose for 2017. I thought I would start off with this question, just in case some of you were unsure what God's purpose for us, as believers is. This is important to know before we even consider other questions about the purpose of certain events in our lives.}

"For Christians, purpose is being and doing what God intends us to be and do: doing today what God asks us to do in our family, church, and community; being more like Christ; and then doing the distinct, bold work God designed us to do before we die!" (

Scripture reveals the "pathway" to follow. It's spelled out in the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-39) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). In The Purpose-Driven Life,  Rick Warren says these verses tell us we're ultimately made for fellowship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism, and worship.

For me, my purpose is being a woman of God and doing what he asks. My passions are meant to be godly purpose-indicators. They are the things that make my heart sing; they help me identify and complete my purpose.  The Bible warns us not to despise the day of the small things (from Zechariah 4:10). It says we need to look forward to when our Master says to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Matthew 25:21).

Some things to remember, concerning our purpose:

Every person is born with purpose
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5).

God has a purpose for everyone

“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).

God’s purpose can’t be undone

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). 

God’s purpose is the one that lasts

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).

God fulfills His purpose for believers

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).

God works through all situations to fulfill His purpose.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

God has a greater purpose in saving us.

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace” (2 Timothy 1:9).

Trust in God’s Judgment.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) 

Be in Prayer.

“And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will he hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

Be Intentional – Stay Committed – IN LOVE.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) 

Answer When God Calls.

“’For I (Jesus) was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:35-40 

In the end, purposeful living is about hope. If you can hang onto the hope that God does have a plan for your life, as the Bible promises in Jeremiah 29:11, you'll make it through the tough days of the unknown and later, the tough days of fulfilling the bold purposes God assigns you.

You may find me linking up at any of the blog parties listed on the left sidebar.