When I was in college a professor assigned a book called The On Purpose Person by Kevin W McCarthy. It was a fictionalized account of this guy who was down and out but got turned around when he discovered his life’s purpose.
He learned to evaluate all the different areas of his life–physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. to define a purpose for each. Then, he looked at all those purposes and narrowed them all down to the one main thing he was supposed to do.
As you read his story, you were instructed to craft the same purpose statements for your life.
It ended up being one of the most influential books I read my entire college career.
When I finally winnowed down my purposes to one, it surprised me. My main purpose–out of all the areas of my life—was to “be a good mom”.
It literally puts tears in my eyes as I type that. I had no idea what that meant at the time. I was in college! Planning my career! I didn’t want kids right away and certainly didn’t want to be defined by them.
Now 20+ years later, I’m so glad God planted that purpose within me. I’m so glad my professor helped me flesh that out of me.
That little phrase has always been at the back of my heart and mind. Even when we chose not to have kids for 7 years, that purpose was there. And once I had my first, I knew it with a different passion. Being a good mom is the hardest, best purpose I could have.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago.
I went to a leadership/Bible/ministry workshop. One of the sessions was about Purpose.
I was excited about this because as a mom of 12 and 15 year old, I really and truly see the end of my at-home, nitty-gritty parenting years coming to an end. I know, I know, you’re never not a parent. And I still have many long days ahead of me.
But, I still feel it. In 10 years, I’ll have a 22 and 25 year old. I could literally have grandchildren. Just ten years ago, I was writing on this blog about my 2 and 5 year old–and that seems just minutes ago to my heart.
And then there’s this blog thing. Ten years ago, I wrote 6 days a week on 2 blogs! (Seriously, go look at March 2011–there are a lot of posts!) In 2020, I only wrote 12 posts total. And my social media has been equally sparse and spotty.
So, what’s my purpose here? Online? As an ebook author? On social media? As a mom? a 40-something? a Christian living in 2021?
Is it maybe a little more detailed than “be a good mom”? I’ve always wanted to Do and Be for the Lord. I don’t want to waste the time and place He has for me. Purpose is something I always want.
Back to the workshop. We were given a code for a simple 3 minute quiz online. It was like any other personality test where you pick the first response without over-thinking it.
But instead of questions there were 2 word phrases to choose between. Which one sparked something in you? Which one seemed to speak to you? Which one was YOU?
I went through every level trying not to think too hard. And when my final phrase came up, my heart leapt.
It was exactly what I love.
LIGHTING THE WAY
Now, that might not resonate with you as it does with me. Because, well, it’s mine.
But, if you do know me at all, you might see it in me.
Back in the day, when I used to blog about LOST and purple and chocolate it was because I l-o-v-e-d those things and needed to make sure you knew how awesome they were, too!
I had another segment called My New Favorite where I showed all the new stuff I’d found lately and loved. I also did a Top Ten Tuesday where I wrote about the TOP BEST THINGS EVER, well, at least in my humble opinion.
Seeing into me a bit? I love sharing things that I love. I think EVERYONE should love the things that I love. I want to illuminate these things for you so you can have them, use them and LOVE them like I do.
This, of course, morphed into parenting things. I felt like I had a bit of a corner on how to tell my kids about Jesus that I didn’t see other parents doing. And I wanted to share them with you.
I love coming across legitimately good resources for you to use with your kids. I want you to pump the music I pump and read the books I read because I love them and think you should, too.
This led to me writing Truth in the Tinsel and A Sense of the Resurrection. I want you to see what I see in Christmas and Easter–that they are perfect, sparkly, glittery times to lead your kids to Jesus. And I want to help you do so in a way that isn’t hard or overwhelming. In fact, I want to give you all the resources you need to do it easily and enjoy doing it.
So. Can you see me? Lighting the way? I want to light, illuminate and ignite a passion in you to lead your kids to Jesus. I want to shine a light on things that will help you do so. And I want to give you to the course, the tools, the way to do it.
But, y’all, how cool is God?! Because this is exactly what I want to do as a mom for my kids, too! I want to light the way to Jesus. To ignite a passion in them for His Word. I want to illuminate the good and the bad, so they will see the Way they want to go and choose it with happiness and excitement!
Everywhere I turn, my purpose is the same.
Oh, and other reason this is such a cool God-thing? This online quiz? It’s from On-Purpose.com and Kenneth Wagner who wrote the book I read in college.
How sweet of our Father to reassure me of that purpose he planted all those years ago and then reiterate it again to me as a mom to teens?
So, why am I telling you all this?
I want to be a good steward of my purpose.
I want to Light the Way for my kids. And to do so, I can’t have 50 inboxes, lead multiple Facebook pages and groups, have a stellar Instagram account, tweet, understand TikTok, write blog posts, craft email campaigns and take Pinterest-worthy photographs.
I also want to Light the Way for you. And again, I just can’t do All The Things that the internet tells me I have to do to get eyeballs on my words. But I also don’t want to ignore the platform and the sphere of influence He has so graciously given me. (Which, is what I’m afraid I’ve done the past few years as life has happened and the internet has gotten more…internety.)
So, I’ve decided to close a few of my inboxes (I mean, seriously, why do we need an inbox on every single website??) and allow myself to not care about the things I’m supposed to do.
Instead, I’m going to do what my mentor Jim Wideman always told me, “Do the things that only you can do.”
I’m the only one that can Light the Way for my kids. I’m their mom. I’m the only one that can walk through the teen years with them. I’m going to do it with torch in hand.
And I’m the only one that can write on this space. You can look at a bunch of cute and funny pics on Instagram. You don’t need mine. You can be a part of encouraging, thriving Facebook groups that are better than I can lead. You can find all the great ideas on Pinterest without my help, that’s for sure.
But, I’m the only one that can share what God gave me. He has given me gifts–intellectual gifts, relational gifts, physical gifts, etc. And when I choose to join these gifts to the Holy Spirit’s power working within me it will benefit others. And if I don’t use these gifts, the Body of Christ misses out. My gifts are not for me. They are for the Church.
So, even if my gifts seem small, awkward or overly niche, I want to use them. I want to give them back to the One who gave them to me.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be working on writing here more and when I do post on social media, it will be because I feel like I must shine a giant light for you.
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