Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Two Faces of Change

About every four years my husband's former company would ask him where he saw himself next. If he identified a new role, they'd look for ways to make it happen. Often the change was a God-send. Once he even said, "I'm dying inside, I need a change." We as a family took big leaps by job transferring, and he did too in his change of roles. 

Change is something we all sense we need now and then. I'm well acquainted with the craving for change and also the activity of change. We've job transferred as a family. We've owned four homes. We've put out old furniture in favor of new furniture. I've changed my office around steadily--like every three months it seems because I bore easily. 

Two Faces of Change 

Change initiated with a sense of adventure is good. When we job transferred, we thought of it as an adventure.  But even then, I lost all that was familiar and I missed "home."

Changes that just happen to us as a consequence may not be as positive or easy to go through. 

It's fair to say change has two sides--opportunity and loss.

Change always comes with a loss of some sort. There is usually something to let go of. It might be a routine, a familiar environment, relationships, possessions. The last time I changed my office around, I put my desk in the opposite corner of the room. My perspective was changed. It looks good, but within the first few hours I missed my old familiar spot. Why? Because it was the corner I chose when we moved into this home six years ago. Many changes occurred in that corner as I lived virtually through my computer. 

Change is often hard. I was surprised how changing my office made me feel. It was the same feeling I got when my children left home for university. When they left, part of me missed our old family of four routine. I had no choice but to let the old go and to embrace the opportunity the change presented. Getting through change really becomes about attitude. It becomes about seeing potential. 

My husband would never have made such big career shifts if he hadn't seen what might be in it for himself. The possibilities included the chance to learn something new, practice a new role, walk through new doors, receive more financial rewards, and expand himself to be used more broadly for the good of the company he was loyal to for 23 years.

As Christians we can rest in the peace of knowing God is always in control and he is a God of change. 

Ephesians 4The Message (MSG)

"To Be Mature

1-3 In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere." 

Deut 31:6 (NIV) "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Life Purpose

The coach training program I studied under is called Life Purpose Coaching. It focuses on finding meaning in life, not just managing life. 

Purpose includes what we do, but is not only what we do. If purpose is what we do as in our job or being a mom, then what does that mean when our job changes, our children move out, our role is taken over by someone else, or we become disabled and can’t DO any longer?

Purpose is more about what we and whom we are: Author Robin Chaddock puts it this way, 

”Jesus encouraged us to build our houses on solid foundations, 
and one of the most solid foundations we can build on 
is to know who we are before we try to figure out what we’re supposed to do.”

I would add to that, building a solid foundation is also about knowing who Jesus is and being able to trust him to guide you. It is being able to have a Kingdom Perspective and to be able to see our purpose through God’s eyes. That type of perspective assigns meaning even to the mundane.

GENERAL PURPOSE FOR ALL:  There are general purposes for us all. They have to do with our character, and actions.  God calls us to be holy as he is holy. He calls us come to him. He calls us to love God and love our neighbours. He calls us to serve others, meet the needs of those around us, avoid wrong-doing, and spread the message of his love. This general purpose encompasses all it means to be his follower.

UNIQUE PURPOSE FOR ALL: There is no mistake that the Bible points out we are all uniquely made by the Creator himself. We only need to look around us to see we are not all alike. Our physical bodies are different, but we are also different in personality, interests, skills, knowledge, experience, and so forth.

So our unique call may include a career, but our career is not our unique purpose. Our unique calling may include relationships and roles, but it is not just limited to that either.

Our unique call doesn’t have to impact the entire world, but will usually impact someone or something. 

We don’t necessarily ever arrive at our purpose the way we arrive at other destinations.  Life is seasonal and cyclical. We are ever growing in wisdom and knowledge and maturity. We are ever growing in new experiences and changes in direction and relationships. So Where Does One Find Her Unique Purpose?

I have found my path through challenging myself with questions, assessments and identifying my personal values. I have spent time dreaming, acknowledging my talents, developing them, and finding ways to release them. It’s taken trial and error, taking risks, and weathering rejection and disappointment.

My search began with trying to

  • reinvent myself - after working and motherhood I wanted something new and fresh to be involved in. I wanted to find out what was under my Clark Kent disguise.

  • revive myself - women get lost in all the good things we do and think we need to do and be. Parts of us are put on the back burner, smothered, or merely changed.
  • find myself - I hoped that through all life’s experiences and with time that I’d progressed as much as the world had and I needed to find out who I was now.
  • find an outlet - Yes purpose is about self awareness, but it is in using it we complete the cycle of fulfillment. 
  • God says faith without works is dead. So to, gifts and abilities without expression is dead.

Rather than go on, let me help you gain insight for your journey by asking a probing question:

What is your definition of success? God has planted within each of us the definition of success that is fitting for us. If we default to other people’s definitions, we will continue to be out of sync, we lack peace and will remain lost and dissatisfied.

Examine your definition of success. This definition will help you make choices that will assist you in taking steps that help you fulfill your purpose. 

What is your idea of success in each of these areas?

  • health
  • finances
  • relationships
  • community involvement
  • spiritual life
  • contributions to the world
  • beauty and fashion
  • home decor
What is your specific contribution to each area?

How do you communicate? How do you help? What inspires you the most?