Thursday, November 30, 2017

Life Purpose Happens Daily

I just read another woman's post on 'life purpose.' It was a Facebook post and I hesitated whether to "like" it or not.

Many have their own idea of what finding life purpose means. I've traveled that road of discovery over many years now, and I have my own 'take' on it. 

One of my takes is to not get too bogged down on it. Some seem to think we each have one big purpose. That one big purpose is what people are always trying to figure out--what big thing God wants them to do--what big rewarding door he will open. That idea can bog women down for years though, in my opinion. 

Most of us have many little purposes to fulfill. Not all of them will be pleasant either! (When I cleaned my preschooler's pants, I was living my purpose, but it wasn't pleasant!)

Most of us are already fulfilling them. If we abide with God, we know he directs our steps without a doubt. We merely need to stay involved. 

The author of the Facebook post suggested we identify our purpose, write it on a piece of paper, put it on the floor and practice taking steps toward it. 

I'm sure this exercise has some merit. It might be helpful for setting steps toward goals. But as for identifying one big life purpose to walk toward, makes the tiny purposes we fulfill daily seem like they don't count. 


Sometimes we don't feel purposeful because no one has acknowledged our contributions. Sometimes 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. 

If you are hung up on yours, why not start a habit of listing what you accomplished in a day whether in your own home or with or for others. Learn to appreciate the small tasks. 

You may not receive earthly reward or recognition, but you are storing up treasure in Heaven!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Seek God and all Will be Added

I love listening to Joice Meyer, do you? I often watch her show before I go to sleep. 

On the show I watched last night, she offered advice that I found very freeing. It went something like this:

Don't go out seeking, 
seek God and all will be added to you. 

She went on to say, present your requests to God--tell him the desires of your heart, then leave them with him to work on.

This was freeing to me because in this fast-paced world, I often feel I'm not doing enough. I'm not helping enough people, interacting enough, bringing in enough paid work, not earning enough, and so on. In an era of constant self-improvement, I'm often looking for what to improve on, never quite arriving. 

The words "don't go around seeking" are what brought me peace. Women in my network often go around seeking for the next new thing to get involved in. I often go about searching through online job boards because I feel discontent. Going about "seeking" becomes a life of striving. 

I'm going to let this advice simmer and seek God and contentment more this week. How about you?

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Re-thinking Ministries for Women

Churches are leaving huge gaps in serving the people God has put under their care. 

All through life women are trained to pursue higher education, to apply themselves, to take on leadership roles, and to live a life of purpose. 

In the church, women are too often left to bring the cookies, man the coffee table, teach Sunday School and sit quietly in their seats. 

But a pulse of every God-created woman's heart is to live a life of purpose. For some, for a time, that purpose relates directly to being a mom. Some are career women who rely on child care, others are at-home moms. But BOTH moms are working moms. Both are challenged from every direction. Both want to be known by their own name, not as so-and-so's mom. All women have a need for significant purpose. 

I'm drawing on my memory and experience in search of ideas for what I found helpful at various phases and what I wish would have been in place. Perhaps your church or women's ministry can adopt some:

1. Certificate courses. Most women like ongoing learning. 
I took a Sunday School teacher graded course where I received a certificate afterward. Another course taught by a counsellor was a "Heart's Course" where I was taught how to minister to others. Another was a Networks course, trained on being a consultant to help people find their unique ministry (which never did quite transpire). I also took a SHAPE instructor course. 

2. Leadership Training Courses.  I was working on creating leadership training modules. I think the women would have flocked to such training. The idea was to help women identify and develop their God-given skills and find niches to use them. (It wasn't embraced by my women's ministry team, and now the course is stuck in an old computer.) Women of school-aged children and empty nest children especially would benefit from this training that helps them see a potential pathway before them. 

2. Recognition and promotion. I moved churches a lot due to moving geographically. I offered to lead a Bible Study at one church but was told I had to be "mentored" to do it their way. I get it, but it was a turn off. I turned down the role. I need to be free to fly. Most churches have too much red tape. If they keep doing what they've always done, won't they keep getting what they always get? No change = stagnation in today's society. 

3. Topical discussion group. We don't want to dwell on topics forever, but in balance with Bible studies, women need safe places to share their own life challenges. I suggest age-specific, life challenge specific groups. Where, for instance, do 48 to 55 year old women fit?

Well, that's just a bit of thinking off the top of my head. Hope something helps you.