Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 17: Walking It Out




Have you heard the R&B song, Walk It Out? If it weren't for the bikini clad babes in the video, I'd post the music video here. Since I'm trying to maintain a PG rating, I'll just tell you about it. Now my guess would be that the rapper Unk, who headlines this single, had no spiritual intent behind this song when he recorded it. But back in our Strong Tower Bible Church days, my husband Anthony and I used to say the chorus of Walk It Out would be the perfect closing to a great sermon. After all, isn't that our job as hearers of the Word? Once we've received a Word from God, we've got to walk it out.

So that's what I want to talk about today. And it's funny, I'm writing this with no agenda and very little planned. I'm not sure what I'm going to say. I honestly feel depleted after sixteen straight days of blogging on PURPOSE. I've studied the Word, I've combed through some amazing books, I've researched other people of purpose and I've quoted some folks that changed the world. And now, on Day 17, I gots nothing. No, for real.

But hang in there, and we'll see what God has to say today.

Another reason I'm feeling depleted right now is because it's summer. It's 200 degrees outside (slight exaggeration), we've been traveling a lot (did I mention road trips -- with four kids?), and the kids' camp is now over. Also, our church is moving to another building, which has been heavy on my hubby's mind and heart for the last month.

Now except for the 200 degree weather, all these things are great. Our travels have taken us to North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee and Indiana. Just last week I shared a birthday celebration with my family for my Mom. She was totally surprised to see us in Indianapolis at the Kappa Alpha Psi Convention. It was a blast!




Our travels have also afforded us time with Anthony's side of the family and with a bunch of friends that we haven't seen for years. This has truly been a summer of reconnection for me.

And the kids being home is a blessing. We've been reading more together (C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia), studying the book of John as a family, cooking out, and watching family movies together.



And as for the move to a new church home -- this is a total answer to prayer. Since we joined the Conway campus of Mosaic Church, we've been worshiping in another church's fellowship hall. It's been a blessing, but it was time to move. Now we'll be in the heart of a diverse neighborhood (racially and economically), and we can hardly wait to begin impacting that community. Our first service in the new building is this Sunday (today, by the time this posts), so please pray for us!

Why do I mention all this to you? Because, like I discussed on Day 5, I feel like there's another big elephant in the room. Some of you may be feeling this today. You may have been thinking this every day you've read my blog.

How in the world do I focus on my PURPOSE in Christ while I'm in the muck and mire of daily life?

Let's be real, y'all. Life is busy. Life is hard. Life often feels like we're moving from one "have-to-do" to another. They don't call it the "daily grind" for nothing.

Can I make a confession? Just a couple of days ago, I began sinking under some emotions that I haven't had in quite a while. My husband was busy doing his thing -- preparing for the opening of our new church building, meeting with church staff, taking calls and answering emails from people who really needed him. He was doing ministry all day long.

And what did that same day look like for me? All day I was feeding my kids, refereeing arguments, feeding my kids, instructing them, feeding my kids, playing games when I didn't feel too playful, feeding my kids, washing laundry, and again, feeding my kids. On an average day, I probably look like a short-order cook and a maid. Granted they've got their chores and everyone's holding down responsibilities appropriate to their age. (At this very moment, my three youngest are cleaning their rooms and bathroom, while my oldest is cutting the lawn.) But I can assure you, the way my life looks most days is not exactly what I envisioned sitting in my philosophy, Spanish and journalism classes in college.

I'll 'fess up, y'all. That particular day, I didn't feel like the woman of PURPOSE that I've been preaching about here.

And your life may look similar. You've got a bunch of kids. Or you've got a full-time job. Or you've got both. You've got bills. You may have some debt. You've got responsibilities, and sometimes it feels like they're oozing out of your ears!

So shouldn't our lives look like the people I highlighted on Day 13, "Passion-Filled People." Shouldn't my life look like Soledad O'Brien's? Shouldn't yours look like Beth Moore's or T.D. Jakes'? Not necessarily. As a matter of fact, I'm sure there are days when Soledad, Beth and T.D. struggle to feel purposeful too. After all, they pay bills, do paperwork and call repair people to their homes too. And I can only imagine the responsibilities they have to their "fans" (for lack of a better word). People expect them to sign autographs, take pictures with them, answer fan email, make television and radio appearances, serve on non-profit boards, speak at grade schools, and who knows what else? Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it.

So what's the bottom line? We've got to find our deepest PURPOSE somewhere other than our occupations, ministries and aspirations.

I believe PURPOSE is more of a mindset and heart condition, than an outward display. Let me break that down. Living with PURPOSE means that everything I do, I am doing:
  • Because God called me to it
  • With a sense of purpose in my heart
  • With a belief that God is receiving glory, and others are being blessed
  • Knowing that my reward is in heaven, not here on earth
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24
So basically, we cook and clean and wash and work, knowing in our hearts we're being purposeful, even when we don't feel very purposeful. We do it to bless others, and more importantly, to bless God.

When I write a magazine article, a devotional, a poem or my blog, I am living out my purpose, and I feel like I am. When I do my homemaking thing, I am living out my purpose, even though I don't always feel like I am. I have to live in truth, not my feelings.

I encourage you to do the same. While you're discovering your purpose or already living in it, remember that your purpose extends to everything you do according to God's will for your life. Choose today to live according to God's truth and not your feelings.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32
I'm going to walk according to the truth, knowing that my purpose is truly in Him. Will you walk with me?

Purposed For Him,

Carla

p.s. I guess God had something to say, huh?

12 comments:

  1. Excellent post friend. Love you, and your honesty.

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  2. loving this post, carla! yes! "i have to live in truth, not my feelings." PREACH IT! i needed to hear this because i was about to go by a "DING!" bell to sit on my counter..."ORDER UP!" thanks for sharing...loved the encouragement of TRUTH.

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  3. Thanks Michelle! Love you too.

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  4. Thanks Whit! You are hilarious! Do those bells come two for the price of one?! I could use one too. :-)

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  5. I love when God works things out in our brains and heart. He loves you Carla and today you are doing his purpose!

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  6. Great post, Carla. I'm walking with ya!

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  7. Thanks for sharing. I needed to hear that. After traveling and experiencing more exciting things than my "daily grind", I need to be reminded to live by truth and not emotion.

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  8. Thanks Monique and Jennifer! Appreciate you walking with me!

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  9. Julie, thanks for reading. So glad God spoke to you, like He did me.

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  10. Hi Carla! I got excited reading this a little while ago because I thought to myself "THANK YOU GOD, for sending me the same message through different means!" What you say here about the little every-day-things we all have to do and how not everything seems like we are actually doing something "with PURPOSE and for the glory of God"... well, that is just like this song I have stuck in my head from K-Love, by Steven Curtis Chapman. I tried to see how to put a link here for that song from YouTube, but I failed ("technologically-challenged"), but the song is called "Do Everything"... about exactly what you say here. I have heard this truth before but hasn't clicked until this BIG click I felt now: Everything and anything we do we should do it for the Glory of God... even housework and being servants for our families. WOW! How appropriate (as I continue to de-clutter/ organize all our stuff here at our house). Luv Ya! (See if you can find this song on YouTube, with lyrics. It's a nice sticky song- "Do Everything"). Hugs :-)

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  11. I was too tickled at the fact of you referencing the song "Walk it Out" and was doubly impressed that you knew the artist (as I don't). I've loved reading your blogs during my copious free time. Very challenging, convicting, chiding, and just about any other "c" word you can think of.

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  12. I love the way you let *us* in and see you as you are- in real life! Its so important we allow others to see what life is really like!

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