If this were a marathon, I'd consider this my first mile marker. In case you're reading my blog for the first time this month, I've committed to blog everyday for the month of July. Yesterday, I completed Day 10, so I'm 1/3 of the way to the finish line!
I've got four sisters-friends that are joining me in this endeavor. If you have yet to read their blogs, do so today. I've thoroughly enjoyed following along with their "31 Days" journeys. They have shared many treasures from their hearts and from the heart of God. I promise, you won't be disappointed.
Their blogs can be found at the following sites:
Monique Zackery: 31 Days of Victory @ http://www.moniquezackery.blogspot.com/
Sheryl Griffin: 31 Days of Hope @ http://www.sherylgriffin.blogspot.com/
Michelle Discavage: 31 Days of Wellness @ http://www.chelled.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Lain: 31 Days of Freedom @ http://www.parentpassion.com/
For the next ten days, I'd like to get practical about finding one's purpose. We'll discuss talents, spiritual gifts, passion and personal calling. I honestly don't know where God's going to take us, but I sure hope you hang on for the ride. It's gone be good (typo intended)!
|My Baby Girls: Jada, 3 and Joelle, 6|
Can you remember the time when you were a little girl or boy? Your hair was in pigtails or afro puffs. Or for the guys, it was overgrown into your eyes or in a seventies afro. (Those of you still in your twenties have to come up with your own images. I can't help you out much!)
No matter how old you are, you can probably remember a time when your purpose was enjoying life. Think especially about the days of summer, when having fun was your main goal. School being out, you were free to run and play and jump and climb. You had responsibilities around the house, but everyday you dreamed of adventure and excitement.
Now without over-thinking or analyzing your response, answer this question: what did you want to be when you grew up? Stop for a moment and ponder your answer.
Now if you're like me, you may have several answers to that question. I wanted to be an airplane pilot. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a judge. The list is almost endless of the occupations I'd considered by the time I turned ten.
So, like me, you may need to dig a little deeper. What kinds of activities did you most enjoy when you were a child? What could you have done for hours on end, if you'd had the opportunity? Stop for a moment and ponder that response.
When I answer that question, I get a lot closer to the thing I was made to do. And by that I mean why I believe God created me. Of course He made me to be my husband's wife and my children's mother. He made me a daughter and a sister and a friend. There's not just one role that I'm to fill here on earth. But I do believe God gives each of us a distinct mission in this world beyond our family relationships.
And that role taps into the very desires He put into our hearts as children.
As a little girl, I never considered being a writer. When I wrote essays in school about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn't say an author. So the first question above doesn't unlock any answers. But when I answer the second question, I discover a hidden treasure. From as early as I can remember, I've kept notebooks and journals that I filled with poetry and short stories. As a child, I created commercials for products my family often used. During extended-family gatherings, my cousins and I would write and perform sitcom episodes for our parents. (I'd love to get my hands on one of those Facts of Life scripts!)
Also, I'd read for hours on end. An introvert, I'd hole myself up in my bedroom and read, read, read. I became a lover of literature, long before I knew what the word literature meant. My mother says I taught myself to read at the age of four.
So finding the child within me brings me face-to-face with a little hazel-eyed girl who loves literature. She not only loves reading it, but she has a deep longing to create it. She likes to tell stories -- be they real stories or make-believe. And she loves the magic that an amazing story brings to its hearers.
Today, take the time to get face-to-face with the little brown, green or blue-eyed girl or boy within you. What could you have been found doing for hours on end as a child? Was it throwing around a football? Was it swimming in the community pool? Was it dressing your barbie dolls or styling their hair? Was it pulling out you parents' Bible and "preaching" from it?
That little child still lives inside you today. He may be all grown up now, with a family and a job and financial responsibilities, but he's still there. Ask God to breathe life into her again. Let him run and play and jump and climb. Let her be free to be.
This summer, I've been studying the minor prophets of the Bible. In the book of Joel, the tribe of Israel endured a horrible plague of locusts. And these weren't the annoying little cicadas that my Tennessee friends dealt with this summer. These locusts caused drought and the infestation of crops and plants. They were so mighty in number and force, they darkened the sky, causing what appeared to be an eclipse. When they'd finished consuming nature, they dove into homes, overtaking any food that could be found.
A plague of locusts like the one recorded in Joel leaves its victims in desolation.
So it's with this imagery in mind that God promises to His people:
"So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten."Let's be honest. Life has beaten us up a bit since our carefree childhood days. We've endured some trials and "plagues" ourselves. We've been mistreated, misused and disregarded. Life has taken us far away from the sweet babies we once were. And some of you can't even reminisce on a carefree childhood. Your innocence was stolen from you at a very young, tender age.
Today, allow God to restore the years that swarming locusts have eaten. Let Him revitalize the fruitfulness of your life. Go to Him for the nourishment He so freely wants to provide. And though the sky has been darkened, look to Him to reveal the Sun. Look to Him to reveal the SON.
Today I'm asking God to breathe life into the little girl that still lives inside of me. Will you join me in that?
Purposed for Him,