My Purpose in Life? It’s in Front of Me

A few weeks ago, I heard a speaker with a really profound message. He said that if one is searching for his or her “purpose” in life, one needs to look no further than the next task.

In other words, your purpose in life is your family, your job, your relationships. In the living of the basics, God ultimately reveals the bigger picture.

I loved this perspective. Mainly because I’m a “big picture” thinker and have often begged God for dramatic revelations and exciting happenings.

Somehow, in my mind, vacuuming, coupon-clipping, and folding laundry could never fit in with that romantic, idealized version of my “grand purpose” in life. But according this speaker, those things are my purpose. Why? Because that’s what God has me doing right NOW.

And, then, today, I was reading in a new book, Turn It Around, by Frank Santora. (Disclosure: I am working on the publicity team for Frank and his book and am being compensated for hours I work on his social media campaign. I also received a copy of the book for review and work-related purposes. Additionally, I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small commission on purchases based on my referrals.) I love the way Frank writes about this very idea.

Frank outlines David’s calling to King. David was the most unlikely candidate for King: the youngest, the shepherd. Yet his greater purpose from God was to lead God’s people. But how would he get from point A to point B?

Through the ordinariness of everyday life.

David’s father sent him to take lunch to his brothers who were preparing for battle with the Philistines. David complied, but when he got there, he discovered the Philistines had proposed a man-to-man challenge: their Goliath against Israel’s “strongest man.” David learned that the winner of the battle would be given great spoils by the King and one of his daughters in marriage. Perhaps David saw that defeating this giant would be a great way to get closer to the throne.

Interestingly, David put on Saul’s armor but took it off, saying he wasn’t comfortable. Instead, David picked up his tools of his trade: smooth stones and a slingshot. Frank explains the practice it would have taken (hours and hours) to become a perfect shot with a slingshot. Frank writes David, most likely, passed time watching the sheep with slingshot practice until he acheived deadly accuracy and caused even the wild animals to fear him.

Frank writes:

Yet even then, I’m sure David was a lot like you and me—questioning himself and thinking, Look at me! The only thing I’m good at is using this sling. What good will that ever do me? A sling was the weapon of peasants, not royalty. Kings and princes fought with spears, swords, and bows and arrows. Nobodies threw rocks. How could being an expert slinger possibly lead to becoming a king? 

How many times have I thought, The only things I’m good at are packing the dishwasher to capacity and getting tomato sauce stains out of shirts. How’s that going to help me? Or, I can write stuff. But who cares about writing? Who’s reading? What difference does it make? Or, what about, I’m just a mom (and not a great one at that). Really, how does it all matter? 

Well, we know how David’s story ends. He does slay the giant with those daily honed skills—insignificant, perhaps, in isolation but monumental in God’s economy! He does take the throne. He does become key in the lineage of Christ and is called a man after God’s own heart.

How will your story end? How will my story end?

Not quite sure yet. But I know what my story says NOW.

Now, I’m doing the tasks before me, honing and practicing the seemingly mundane, offering them to God for his glory and his greater purpose.

Have you ever looked at David’s story in this way? How does it affect you? 
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NOW: NaBloPoMo’s Blog Topic for June

If you are a frequent reader here (and if not, why not? Subscribe now!), you may recall that I blogged everyday in the month of November. It was a lot of fun, kind of hectic, sometimes anxiety-producing, but also an effective exercise at growing me as a writer and a blogger.

I’ve decided to do it again (that’s a post every day in June, people) this month with the folks at NaBloPoMo (that stands for National Blog Posting Month). This time’s there no prize except my own super-sense of satisfaction.

A big influence in my deciding to participate was the topic for this month. It is “Now.” I absolutely love this topic. It really dovetails nicely with all my latest efforts at intentional living. It also ties in with my yet-to-be-posted part 2 of my observations on the Lost series finale.

Now. I soooo need to be living in the now. Here’s to June 2010. This moment in time.

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The End, 3 Hours Behind, and The Library Is After Me


Oh, good gracious, it’s over.

And I made it.

I blogged every day for the month of November. 30 posts in 30 days.

Today is #30.

It’s been so long since I actually finished something I started (boys’ room, anyone?), that I really don’t know how to feel.

~~~

So, I’ve been about three hours behind since last night. See, I was working hard, then blogging, and I realized that I had not eaten dinner (we had had a big lunch out after church). So, I had a peanut butter sandwich at 10:45 last night. (Diet? Eating plan? New lifestyle program? What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?)

I ran around like crazy today with working my admin job at PureSafety and left there around 2 p.m., not having eaten any lunch. After I picked up the boys from school, we got a snack at McDonald’s because I was starving. So, today I ate lunch at 3 p.m.

Tonight, my meal was on time, but I didn’t get to go grocery shopping until 9 p.m.

And I blame that I’m here now, writing, on the fact that I didn’t eat dinner until 10:30 last night.

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Today, I got a notice from the library that an Angelina Ballerina book that we’ve had checked out for months is now so past due that they are threatening to turn me over for collections.

I managed to get the other books that we checked out with this book turned in on time. This one, however, got stuck on the bookshelf, and I forgot we had it.

We now owe $22 or be faced with having a collections agency come after us. I’m reminded of that “Seinfeld” episode where Mr. Bookman is sent after Jerry for a book years overdue.

So, the ironic thing is that we never read this book.

And I was going to write kind of a gripey, whiney complaint post about the library’s getting their panties in a wad over $22 (because I have issues with the library), but then I decided against it. Because—really—oh my goodness, I love the library. A treasure trove of information and entertainment at my disposal for free. Whoever came up with the library is a freaking genius.

I get so much from the library that I’m happy to admit when I mess up and give them their due.

Plus, I’m counting on the canned food trade for book fines in January to clear my account.

Turkey’s Cooking Tonight

It’s Thanksgiving Eve and I almost forgot to post tonight. But you know–I have that commitment to NaBloPoMo and all, so here I am.

Tonight I prepped everything for cooking in the morning and put my turkey in to bake all night. My feet, legs, and back are killing me, but I made a lot of head-way. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly tomorrow and I won’t be so dog-tired that I can’t enjoy my guests. As I cooked tonight, I watched this week’s episodes online of my favorite soap, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” It’s my little guilty pleasure.

Growing up, I remember vividly waking on Thanksgiving morning to all kinds of wonderful smells. We’d sort of watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade while preparing for guests. Mom always chose kind of a weird time to eat, like 2:00 p.m. (We are eating at noon tomorrow. I figure that gives us TWO opportunities to eat, which I love.) Speaking of soaps, I also remember that Mom liked to watch the soaps on and around the holidays. She used to say that she liked to see how they celebrated with their decorations and pretty clothes. It’s true. It’s always fun to watch at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Fourth of July.

I want my kids to remember Thanksgiving morning smells when they reminisce on their growing-up years.

Balancing the Demands of a Busy Friday

As I continue with my commitment to post every day for NaBloPoMo (oh, my gracious, when will this month be over???), I’m faced tonight with nothing.

Well, very little, at least.

I have a few ideas rattling around in my head, but they require work to compose. You know. Research and thought and wordsmithing (is that a word?), and well–I just can’t muster that up tonight.

So, I think I’m just going to brain-dump, a la, my diary circa 1985, which would give you whiplash just trying to keep up with all the characters and goings-on.

***

Today was nutty. I have a deadline to meet for writing a unit for Bible Lessons for Youth. It was due today. But I didn’t get it turned in today. Monday, people. Monday. I will finish it this weekend.

(And I say that here in this public forum for my own accountability.)

***

After I deposited the boys at school, I scurried to the church office to work on the books (I pay bills and balance the account–one of my four part-time jobs) and get a financial report to our officers. Then it dawns on me that:

  1. I haven’t eaten a thing.
  2. I am starving.
  3. I have a headache that feels like someone is sawing my neck at the base of my head.
  4. I have to get a book order form to Sus’ school TODAY.
  5. I have to leave for a hair appointment in 15 minutes because I look like Shaggy.

Like crazy, I rush home and change for my appointment. I decide to go through McDonald’s drive-thru (true confession time here) for a bite to eat. I gobble down 600 mg of ibuprofen and a Coke (more caffeine).

My headache eases and the appointment is enjoyable. I have just enough time to jet back across town to school and drop the envelope, then pick up the boys, then go back to school to join the pick-up line.

Whew!

I hate days like that, but also?

I’m secretly proud of my multitasking, multischeduling, most-efficient use of my time.

Some days, I really confuse myself.

***

Random parenting tip: If your child wakes screaming/crying with leg cramps, give the child ibuprofen. Get the child up into your lap to snuggle or rock. Rub the leg. Lightly cover the child in bed and/or turn on a fan to make sure the child is not too hot.

All of our kids have these from time to time, and this always works. Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s going on. I can almost time it–about 10 minutes after the medicine, the child is visibly more comfortable and can rest.

Half-way There

So, today is my fifteenth day of blogging. Consecutively. That’s every day in a row.

I’m at the half-way mark for the month of November.

Taking the challenge to post every day in November for NaBloPoMo has been interesting. So far, I’ve noticed:

  • I’ve stayed on track to put something on my blog every day. Even if it was late or something not scheduled. I’m really excited that so far, I’ve stuck with it.
  • I have actually blogged when I otherwise (if not taking part in the challenge) would not have.
  • I think the commitment to blog everyday has forced me to become more creative, if that makes sense. So, the parameter of the challenge has actually contributed to my creativity, which is cool. (I guess artists do need some type of structure in which to work.)
  • I don’t have a sense as to reader expectations this month. I don’t see a leap in my visitors for each day nor increased comments. Not sure if my readers are refreshing my blog page every two minutes to see if the day’s post is up yet or not. (You aren’t, are you? Because if you are, you better leave a comment and let me know how you just can’t live without updates from The Writer’s Block.)

We’ll see what the last half of the month brings.