Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Quest for Purpose

Almost two weeks ago, I began a quest for purpose.  I'm thankful to Falen at Upward not Inward for introducing me to the Chazown Experience.  It was exactly what I needed.  Chazown is from the Hebrew meaning dream, vision or revelation.  Finding your Chazown is about fulfilling your purpose, the one God had in mind when He created you. 

I didn't realize that I needed to find my vision as I thought I had things under control.  I was certain that I knew what the next steps looked like in my life so I set off on a brand new journey.  The thing is, nothing was working out.  I didn't see any results, all this extra stress had been added to my life, I was even more confused than I was when I began the process and I could not figure out what was going on.  I really thought that God was directing me on this new path and when I didn't see any results, I began to feel let down and I started to give up.

Then, I found the Chazown Experience and I had an epiphany:  the past six months had happened just as God intended.  It isn't that things didn't work out - they just didn't work out the way I had thought they would.  Everything that I had experienced was to direct me to this realization:  my work life is not the area I need to be focusing on right now.  I have been feeling empty and disconnected but it isn't because of my work (the type of work that I do is actually directly related to my purpose).  It is because I do not feel that I know God like I want to and I have not been living a lifestyle congruent with my values.  These are the two areas I need to focus on:  my relationship with God and my physical life (exercise, reducing stress, finding balance).

Total light bulb moment.  Now, the other three spokes (financial life, relationships with people and work life) are all important as well but it would be too challenging to focus on all five areas at the same time.  I chose the two spokes that need to be my focus right now and I was completely amazed that work life is not one of them.  What about the journey I had embarked upon last April?  Do I regret the hard work, tears and stress of the past six months?  Not at all - everything has led me here, right where I am meant to be.

Through the Chazown Experience, I identified my Core Values:  authenticity, compassion, family, honesty, humor, integrity, joy, patience, servant leadership and thankfulness.  I also realized my Spiritual Gifts:  compassion/mercy, discernment, encouragement, faith and writing.  I was given the opportunity to reflect on my past experiences and see how they have shaped me into the woman I am today.  These various assessments lead to developing a purpose statement.  Mine is: 

To encourage others to reach their full potential by helping them embrace their strengths and find their voice.

How freeing.  My next step is developing a plan to reach the goals I have set.  I'm very excited and I feel like I am on the right track.  I'm not just seeking my purpose but I'm being purposeful.  It is a level of intention that I have never felt.  We walk so many different paths in our lives and so often it feels as though we are walking in darkness.  For the first time, I feel like my path is lit.  I can clearly see the path, the varying twists and turns and my vision of what is at the end of the path is clearer than it ever has been before.  Of course, I don't know exactly what the future holds and I know that there will be challenges but I have been given the gift of realizing God's vision for my life.  This process has been life changing and I highly recommend it to others.      

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

God, Be My Energy

Physically, I'm exhausted.  I have been feeling this way for quite a few days now.  I am awakening both mentally and emotionally, though.  This is good.  I just need my body to catch up.  This morning, as I got into my car and headed to work, a quick prayer passed through my lips: 

God, give me energy.  Actually, I mean please BE my energy. 

You see, I realized that I need Him to help me.  I can't do everything on my own.  Yes, I take two vitamin packets per day along with antioxidant supplements but they aren't enough.  I need His life force to be the energy that I am lacking.  I will wait for the strength He has planned for me.  Isn't it comforting knowing that we aren't alone?  That God has our backs?

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not grow faint.
Isaiah 40:31
Full of Life


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Note to Self

Work is not always like this.  It's the busiest time of year.  Breathe in and breathe out.  Embrace the exhaustion you are feeling and remember your purpose.  When you start getting freaked out and overwhelmed, close your eyes and visualize happy children.  Children asking and waiting for caring adults to become their friends, to mentor them. 

As you drive all around town and put lots of miles on your car, think about the families you get to meet.  The parents and caregivers who are courageous enough to ask for help.  The volunteers who feel like they are being called to impact their community.  The boy who craves a positive male role model and wants a mentor to teach him to fish.

Teach him to fish.  Play basketball with him.  Show him how to control his anger.  Set boundaries for him and be there for him even when he doesn't notice. 

You don't have the energy to clean your house or paint your nails because you are needed elsewhere.  This is the time that others need you more.  This is your purpose.  Take it all in and savor it.  Open yourself to all of it.  The smiles, tears, laughter, frustrations, stressors, anxieties, hugs, singing, overbooked calendar and even the red tape.

You keep praying that God helps you find your purpose.  Maybe you aren't noticing what is right in front of you.  You are running away from something very important.  It's lingering within you.  You just haven't grasped it yet.  You haven't fully embraced your purpose.  But it is there.  Waiting to be developed.  Hoping to be appreciated.  Get some sleep.  Tomorrow is a new day.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Psalm 143:10

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I find it really difficult to do nothing. As I'm sitting on my sofa, listening to music and drinking a margarita, my mind is going in a million different directions. I want to just sit and relax; however, I am very easily distracted. I've picked my laptop up four times in the past 20 minutes and I keep putting it down.

Am I distracted because I am contemplating my future or how I might make various dreams come true? Or are the distractions just excuses to keep me from being in the moment? I hate that my mind races. It's exhausting.

My stream of consciousness in the past 20 minutes has included thoughts about: decorating our new camper in a beach theme, knowing that I really need to put clothes away but not even attempting to, my dog looks so cute that I have to wake him up and give him some snuggles, I feel like reading a book but I'm not sure what I'm in the mood for, it seems like a perfect time to cut up a watermelon, I feel like creating a new website but I'm not sure what I want to do, I wonder what it is like to go on an air boat ride, I don't know what business idea to focus on, I should finish the children's book series that I started three years ago, I don't know how to move forward with my photography, we planned on having shrimp and fish for dinner but I don't feel like cooking, I feel like watching a Twilight movie but I can't ask my husband to watch again, we ran out of milk for our coffee tomorrow, I can't just sit here - what's wrong with me?

Do I have ADD? How does one truly relax when life is so short? There's too much to do. There are too many distractions in this world. How do you deal with them all?