Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thinking About Purpose

"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands." Psalm 138:8

When I saw this verse this morning, it did a few things to me all at once. First, I kind of shook my head and thought, of course that's the verse this morning. Then I read it again and that first part really sunk in- The Lord WILL fulfill his purpose for me- and that just seemed to sink in and give me a little boost this morning.

What made me laugh was that I had a really vibrant dream last night. Lately it seems I've had a lot of rapid fire dreaming. I vaguely remember them in the morning- but it's been a while since I had one like this. The dream was about houses. We were living in our new house, but while we were living there, we knew it was temporary while we were waiting for our real house to be ready for us. The day was coming close, and while the biggest part of me was not happy because we had to move again, I was so excited to explore our new house. It was so big! There were three floors- with a bathroom on each floor- and so many rooms and spaces. There were so many extra rooms that we were thinking of rooms in terms of what we'd do in them. There was a sewing room and a craft room and a school room and a library room- so much space. The kitchen space was also massive, and had an extra kitchen space next to it. And what I remember about the dream was that I'd posted on my Facebook wall to all our friends that moving day was coming- that the day was the 13th, and we were really hoping to have a lot of help.

When I woke up, my first thought was that I really hope that was not a dream about physical things, because I would really loathe the idea of moving. There's a reason it takes us so long to decide to move from place to place. There's nothing fun about it- we hate the process. But then the more I thought about this dream, the more I thought that moving to a new house- a new space signifies a great change. Could there be a great change coming to me or my family of a spiritual significance? That could very well be. See, the last few days, I've been a little extra reflective. God's brought us to where we are for a reason, and I've been gently asking God to show me what that is. Oh, I know He blessed us mightily by giving us a home in the very city we wanted to be in- and we're so in love with our new home and our new city. But I don't think that God put us here just to make us happy. Oh, we'll take the happiness and the joy, but what is our purpose here? That's what I've been asking.

And then I have this dream about change possibly coming and then I see this verse that says that God will fulfill his purpose for me, and all I can do is nod my head and say "Okay God. Bring it on."

I've been thinking a lot over the last few weeks about my purpose. I just wonder sometimes if I do enough. Is it enough that I'm spending every waking moment with my children? Guiding them and molding them and helping them to learn to become lovers of God? Is it enough that I spend my days attempting to be some kind of domestic diva- baking, cooking, sewing, gardening, learning to do as much with my own two hands as I possibly can? I just wonder sometimes- and I do try really hard to not compare myself to others, but sometimes, when you talk with other people and they go on and on about all the places they volunteer or all the ways they try and serve at church, and it almost makes me wonder if I'm doing enough. Almost. Because I know that when God gives my heart something new to pursue, I'll pursue it. And I could get more involved and do more within the church body too- but I kind of think that my purpose is not so much to get more involved within the body- as I should be doing stuff out of the body.

This is where I've had a bit of a challenge on my part. Because just how does one do that? well, you start with what you know and what you do. When I go grocery shopping, instead of getting annoyed with the slow cashier or slow people in front of me in line- I exhibit my patience, and I am friendly with the cashier and the people around me. When I'm actually shopping, when that short person can't reach the things on the top shelf, I happily get their item for them. Hey- being all food-centric, I've struck up many a conversation about a particular ingredient or vegetable, encouraging other people to cook away. When we go to swimming lessons, I see the other parents getting frustrated with their kids, and I make it a point to not do so with mine. I encourage them and cheer for them with every small victory. And I don't walk past other people like they are vapor. A simple smile may just encourage someone that day. When we're at dance classes and I hear other people complaining, I actually make it a point to not complain, to point out the good things and try to be encouraging.

I know to not speak negatively about anyone or anything, so that's where I start. I simply don't. And I know how to be friendly and how to smile- and that's where I start. It may not be much, but you know, I can't help but think that someday, one of those moms is just going to need to talk to someone, and they are going to remember me, sitting there being all positive, and they are going to wonder why that is. I have two purposes right now at this point in my life. One purpose is to raise my children in the best way I possibly can. And the second purpose is to take Jesus with me as I go about my day. I don't have to do anything special to fulfill that purpose- I don't have to spend my days volunteering and packing every minute with activities- I just need to have Jesus with me at all times. When I take my kids for a walk to the park, we take Jesus with us, and maybe a door will open up while we are there to share Him with someone else. That's purpose.

It could very well be that in the weeks, days and months ahead, my purpose will change or shift. But when it does, God will give me the sight to see where my purpose has changed, and He will give me the tools needed to accept that change and to ride with it. God doesn't just send us off to do a task without giving us what we need to accomplish the task in the first place. In my dream I had, we were very excited about this new house we were moving to- we were very excited about the change. And in the real world, I can feel myself getting excited at the thought of change. I'm looking forward to seeing what He has in store for us, and I pray that He will prepare us properly to accept that change when it does happen.

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