The REAL Purpose…

The alarm went off at 5am, I pressed snooze and back to sleep I went, hoping that another 10 minutes of sleep would take away all my tiredness but knowing it really wouldn’t.  Next thing I knew, it was 6am…ugh…slept through the snooze again.  I woke up quickly and my day of insanity started.  Making sure the kids were up and getting ready for school…that they were moving along and getting what they needed done…as they dragged their feet every step of the way.  My stress level was already at 60% even before the day had begun and I felt it climbing as the seconds went by.  So goes most of my days lately.  There is not a day that I don’t feel stress.  Now, the big things don’t stress me out…not sure why…finances, sickness, the craziness of our government, etc…those don’t cause me stress.  Maybe that is because I realize they are too big for me to deal with or control…they are better left to my big God who can do anything!  But, it is the day-to-day stuff, the situations that are right in my face that cause me the most stress.

I have been struggling to make time for God and studying His Word lately, and I knew this was not helping me in the “stress department”.  I was looking for something structured but flexible that could help me to draw closer to God.   Proverbs 31 Ministries was starting a new online bible study, using Tracie Miles books called “Stressed-Less Living”.  Obviously, in my present stressed-out state, the title of the book caught my eye.  After looking into it more, I realized that it might help me with my present struggle.  The study seemed to provide structure and flexibility…I was sold!

As I was reading the first chapter this past week and doing the homework assignments, there were a few things in the book that Tracie said that hit me like a ton of bricks.  She wrote, “So if the truth be known, all of my stress was really self-induced”.  Oh boy, did that hit home.  Was I actually causing all of my stress?  Did the finger that I was pointing at everyone and everything else, really need to be pointed at me?  How convicting!  Well, that really opened my eyes to what I had been blaming my stress on….my kids, not enough time, other people’s schedules, expectations of others, etc.  After thinking  and praying about it, I realized that in trying to control everything around me, I was creating the stress inside of me.  Yuck…I didn’t want to admit that.  It was so hard to own up to that, but I needed to.

The next line in the chapter that jumped out at me was, “You have complete control over whether you spend life stressed and depressed or happy and fulfilled, despite the circumstances you face”.  Well, that seemed to go along with my discovery that all my stress has been my own doing!  I have tried to teach my kids that the only people/situations they can control and changes is themselves, but obviously I seem to have forgotten that for myself lately.  I have some learning to do and I am excited!  I am praying that as I learn to keep my stress in-check, I will be able to teach my children to do the same thing.

I am looking forward to these next 11 weeks or so, as I continue on this journey of letting go and letting God.  I am excited to be studying, learning and growing in this online study along-side over 6000 Christian women located all over the world.  How amazing technology is…it can truly be a blessing at times!

Find the purpose for our life…

Purpose…how do we find out what our purpose here on earth really is?  What does purpose mean?  Well, when we look it up in the dictionary…oh wait, there are no dictionaries in my house anymore, let me just google it. 🙂
Purpose: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. 

So, my question is: how do I find out what my purpose is here…what is God’s plan for my life?  I mean, He must have a plan, right?  Well, God never does anything by accident and all that He does is for a reason…His actions are always deliberate.  I take comfort in that, knowing that there is a reason for everything that happens in my life even if I can’t see it, know it, or may never know it.

I do find it hard sometimes though, when I see those around me who seem to have “arrived” in life, that seem to have discovered their purpose.   Don’t get me wrong, I am truly happy for them.  It is wonderful and so reassuring to see God working in the lives of the people around me.  But, if I am not careful, I can take my eyes off of God and off of what He is doing in my life and “strands” of jealousy start creeping their way in and I begin to listen to their lies.  The lies tell me: You’re obviously not good enough or not spiritual enough, You haven’t been praying enough, God doesn’t find you special enough to be worthy of His attention, and the list goes on and on.  I start to feel deflated, depressed, and the doubts start to take hold of me.  It is in that moment that God’s voice whispers to me and tells me that I AM precious to Him and He DOES have a plan and purpose for my life…but I will know it in His time, not mine.  I am always amazed that God can correct me in such a loving, tender way.

I was thinking about my purpose lately and I am still wondering what it is.  I see glimpses of what I think it may be and honestly, I was hoping for more…an “important” purpose, one that would be known by others.  But I know that desire is worldly and vain and I am learning to find contentment in what God wants me to be right now…in this moment.  It is so important to learn to live in the present.

I was actually discussing this very idea of what my purpose was today with a close friend of mine.  As we were talking, I was thinking about all the “greats” in the world…all the people who have made history in one way or another.  They all didn’t just arrive in the spotlight, it took effort to get there.  God has a purpose for me, but I have to be willing to work with Him to achieve it.  I have to be pliable and moldable…like the clay on the potter’s wheel.

God reminded me today that maybe…just maybe…my purpose here on earth is to help those around me, those directly in my life, achieve their purpose.  How convicting and exciting that thought is!  God has partnered me with an amazing man who is my husband of almost 18 years and also my best friend.  I am learning every day how to be a better wife and friend to him.  God’s purpose for me as his wife is…to respect and love him, encourage and support him, and to be there with him in all the ups and downs of this life.  I have also been blessed with four awesome children…all so different, so unique.  God has entrusted them to me, to nurture and teach them and ultimately, point them to Jesus…the One who died and rose for them.  If that is God’s only purpose for me here on earth, then so be it!  I need to stop judging myself by the world’s standards and learn to be content with what God has given me.  Now, I am not saying those doubts and jealous “strands” won’t try and creep their way in again…I am human and imperfect.  What I do know is that God made me, He loves me and His plans are far more perfect than mine will ever be.

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