Why Purpose in Your Life is Seasonal

There are a myriad of reasons why our purpose in life is seasonal and changes with time. Some of them: physical abilities, health issues, additional experience or education, moving to a new location, etc. Sometimes we need to involve ourselves in a purpose for a short time to not only give something, but to receive something …

When my daughters were younger, I was a stay-at-home mom. While I loved that privilege, once they were both in elementary school, I felt a tug in my heart to do something. I didn’t want a full-time job, but I did have a need to contribute.

We lived in the Minneapolis area at the time. One day, I happened to come across a notice in the newspaper that the Dakota County Sexual Assault Services were taking applications for women who wanted to become volunteer advocates and support counselors for sexual assault victims. I’ve never been personally affected by that type of crime, but I felt a nudge within to apply.

After I was accepted into the program, I went through months of training before being allowed to take hotline calls. I was good at it, and my involvement grew. Over time, I took crisis calls, provided one-on-one support counseling, trained new advocates, facilitated support groups, and was hired as an assistant to the director.

 Most of the advocates weren’t comfortable working with teenagers, but that was my strength, so I was often called by high school nurses in the county to counsel teenage girls who had been date raped or molested by family members. Another advocate and I provided presentations on sexual assault to hundreds of high school students. I sat on a board for Child Protection Services with other service providers and collaborated with women associated with domestic violence programs.

My eyes were opened to a world that existed outside of my safe cocoon. I was able to offer compassion, support, and understanding to hurting women. But I received their appreciation for a listening, nonjudgmental ear—their trust—and the honor of participating in their healing process.

After three years of my involvement with the services, my husband was transferred to a job in Seattle. After arriving, I was encouraged to apply to the sexual assault services program provided here. As much sense as that made to some people, in my heart, I knew that season was over … It was time to move on.

Change can mean having to let go. We like to stay in our comfort zones, so the fact that purpose is seasonal can be scary. It can also be exciting! If I’d never risked applying for that advocate position, I wouldn’t have grown or experienced the blessings I did through that experience.

Heres another reason to get excited. If were not in a position to do exactly what we want to today, or even next year, it doesnt mean that well never be given the opportunity. We arent stuck in the same season forever! Our situation can change! And in the meantime, we can take steps to help make that happen.

As you move into another season, if you cling to what you had before, you may miss out on new, wonderful opportunities. Let go and be open to what God has for you today!

Please share your experiences. Have you gone through a change in season? Are you facing one now?


Meme - It's Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been

I hope you enjoy this week’s meme. You’re welcome to share it with friends and on your social media sites: Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.

To save it to your computer, right click your mouse (if you’re using one) and “save as.”

Purpose Uses Our Talents and Skills

No one likes to fail. Falling flat on your face can cause bruises, and I’m not talking about black and blue marks seen on the outside. Wounds to the self-esteem are far more difficult to heal.

My first marriage ended in divorce. My choice, which led to overwhelming guilt. I’d always believed that Christians stayed together—until I couldn’t. 

First priority was to make sure my daughters were okay and getting all the love and support they needed. The second was getting my life in order, and that included figuring out what direction I would take on this new path. Feeling a little beat up and misunderstood by people who were hurt by my decision, there was a driving need to find something that would help me heal, feed my soul, and make a difference in other people’s lives. In my desperation, I made some mistakes. I’ll share one—but only one today.

 I’ve been drawn to the arts since I was a wee child, and over the years I’ve been connected through music, theater, painting, and writing. At the time of the divorce, I was involved with a teen drama program at my church as an assistant director—more of an administrative assistant/youth leader. I loved working with the teens and watching them discover their talents as we pulled off productions of Godspell and Narnia.

A romantic at heart, I came up with the brilliant idea of developing an after-school drama program for inner city kids. Peter, the director for Narnia, loved the idea and we began to research. I talked to a co-worker and several people in my church who were interested in helping us start such a program, and we formed a “board.”

Wise Peter spoke to pastors in Seattle who were honest with him. Although they welcomed our ideas, they said wed fail unless we moved into one of their neighborhoods. Without taking that action, we’d be viewed as “white-folk do-gooders” and not be accepted.

All of a sudden what had started out as a simple drama program mushroomed into ideas for starting a charter school. The board met for some months before everything fizzled out. Why? Because I was in over my head. I had no clear direction; no amount of research could prepare me to start a school; therefore, I couldn’t lead them. What was I thinking?

I felt defeated and embarrassed for having brought enthusiastic people together only to see everything end in a complete flop.

My good friend Adam stepped in as the director/producer for the teen drama program at church. He let me try my hand at directing—I was awful! He was talented. Adam, a visionary, wanted us to use original work. So his mother (another close friend) and I co-wrote two full length plays, which the teens performed in our church and other locations.

Those experiences brought me back to the passion I have for the written word. You see, I believe in the power of story to change people’s lives. God reminded me that I had gifts I wasn’t using because I was trying to be someone else—and in the process, I was miserable.

By choosing to pursue a writing career, I've been able to fill a creative need within, receive positive feedback from people who have been touched by my work, and make friends I never would have met otherwise. Through launching an editing service, I've been able to mentor other writers and work from home. Truly, a dream come true!

Purpose uses our talents and skills.

It’s important to step out of our comfort zone and try new things. Those experiences can provide exciting discoveries. Don’t be so afraid to fail that you never try.

God does have a unique plan for your life. Theres no need to be a copycat. When trying to find purpose, consider the passions and skills you already have or want to improve.

I’ve share one of my stories. Now it’s your turn. What have you learned about yourself from mistakes made in the past? How are you using your talents and skills to find purpose?


Meme - Quote on Courage

I hope you enjoy this week’s meme. You’re welcome to share it with friends and on your social media sites: Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest.

To save it to your computer, right click your mouse (if you’re using one) and “save as.”

The Pharaoh's Daughter by Mesu Andrews

The story of The Pharaoh’s Daughter shows us that fear can shake or strengthen faith. But another theme that resonates in this story for me is that God can take the most unusual circumstances and the most unlikely people and use them to change lives. That’s exactly what God did with a young woman who didn’t even know him. He sees the bigger picture, and sometimes he has a purpose for our lives that we don’t initially see or understand.

The Pharaoh’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

About the book …

Anippe has grown up afraid that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any time. She’s been terrified of having children of her own ever since her mother and infant brother died during childbirth. Now of age, she’s married off to Sebak, a captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. He’s kind and though she yearns to give him the heir he desires, she’s afraid of becoming pregnant and dying.

The pharaoh wants an heir, and when his wife continues to miscarry, he orders all Hebrew newborn sons to be drowned. While her husband is away at war, Anippe finds a Hebrew baby floating in a basket past her bath house. She believes the child is an answer to providing her husband with a son—and so the deception begins …

My review …

You may know the story of Moses being left in a basket to float down the Nile. You may have heard the story of him standing up to Egypt’s pharaoh and demanding that he release the Hebrew slaves. Perhaps you’ve watched Moses lead his people out of Egypt in the movie The Ten Commandments. But what happened to Moses during the years between? What about his childhood and the woman who saved him as an infant?

Although this portrayal of Moses’ childhood is fictionalized, Mesu Andrews uses intensive research and creativity to fill in the possible missing pieces for us. The Pharaoh’s Daughter makes the story of Moses, Anippe, and the lives of the Hebrew people come alive for me. I was mentally and emotionally thrown back into biblical times. The author has the ability to put us into the hearts and minds of the characters.  It was easy for me to connect with Anippe—her desires, her fears, and her joys.

This isn't a sweet Bible story. It’s filled with action, danger, evil, treachery, and hatred. It shows how bitterness and envy can twist perceptions and affect people’s actions, decisions, and ultimately their lives.

The Pharaoh’s Daughter is also a story about love between man and woman, parent and child, and God and his people—and those willing to sacrifice for loved ones. Along with heartbreak and pain, there is also kindness, grace, and forgiveness.

Through edge-of-your-seat suspense, I was able to see God’s hand at work in a new and refreshing way. I believe there is a depth to this story that will keep impacting readers long after they reach “the end.”

Mesu Andrews’s deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for her readers. Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year for a Debut Author. Her three subsequent novels, Love’s Sacred Song, Love in a Broken Vessel, and The Shadow of Jezebel all released to great reader enthusiasm. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Roy.

 photo copyright.jpg
blogger template by envye