Category Archives: Purpose

Happy Birthday, Mamay!

Today is Mamay’s birthday. This adorable boy is nine years old and I’m so proud of who he is.

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He lives in a small village in Haiti where life expectancy is 49 years, annual income averages $400 (making it the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere), literacy rate hovers at 45% and unemployment is stagnant at 40%.

But this boy wakes up with purpose each day as he puts on his school uniform, sits in a classroom, is fed a meal, and learns. He is learning. He is receiving an education that will help pull him and his family out of the despair of impoverishment.

Jared Bernstein is an economist and senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and he says “economists may disagree a lot on policy, but we all agree on the ‘education premium’ — the earnings boost associated with more education.”

Education is a key to eradicating poverty. And we have the privilege of sending this precious child to school through sponsorship at Mission of Hope.
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One of my most holy moments was when I met Mamay for the first time.
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Sweet, shy, funny, creative Mamay. We were both a bit overwhelmed by the experience, but Jesus met us there and helped form a bond that stretches over an ocean. Every letter we get from him has a picture.
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(Note to self, send more drawing supplies!)

He’s quite the artist! Just like my husband, which is special. See, he’s become a part of our family.

We’re taking the kids to serve at Mission of Hope in October so that they and my husband will also have the awesome opportunity to get a Mamay hug, maybe kick the soccer ball around, sit in his classroom and just be with him for a bit. He’s a special kid.

If you want to make a difference in another special kid’s life, consider sponsorship. Pray about it. Please. And see what starts to happen.

When you want to say yes

I said no to something this week I really wanted to say yes to. Worse than that, it’s something I initially thought I could do then had to bow out. I hate that. I hate disappointing people. Ever been there?

If I’m not careful, I can start to believe my identity rests in what others think of me. I’m a people pleaser. And that’s ok. I like being nice. It’s how I’m made. But I need to remember that this quality comes from God and that my identity comes from him, as well. So as much as I regret disappointing a friend, she’d even agree that not following a prompting from the father would be an even greater disappointment.

That prompting is to breathe. To rest and wait. To let him pick the opportunity. That’s my word this year. Opportunity. And I’m a doer. So I just started saying yes to everything. That was my response. But if I’m not saying yes to the right things then I’m still in disobedience.

My verse I’m meditating on this year is 2 Corinthians 13:11.

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I think it’s the maturity part he’s working on right now. And I’m trying to be joyful about it. It’s not always easy.

Anyone else need to do the hard thing? Take a deep breath and say no to something?

I encourage you. We’re in this together.

Purpose

I’m a work in progress. I get that. I know that. I wrote a whole post on that. But I’m also a task-oriented, high-capacity achiever that isn’t too familiar with the virtue of patience. I like roller coasters and planning the next big thing. If I sit still too long I get twitchy. So after a career that’s spanned broadcast journalism, corporate communications, PR, advertising and human relations, I currently find myself in a ministry season. Woah. Slow your roll. That’s right, folks, I work at a church. The people are wonderful and I get to live out a passionate mission of helping people find Christ. And yet, I still wonder what my purpose is in life. Did I mention I also turn 40 this year? I’ve spent months telling everyone who asks that it’s not a big deal, it’s just a number, that I like birthdays, but I find myself searching for purpose everywhere in all the places. So perhaps I doth protest too much? Whatever the reason, new job, new stage of life, I’ve spent those same months turning to God asking if I’m fulling my purpose in life.

Purpose is a curious thing because it means so many different things to so many different people. Each of our purposes are unique and purpose can be fluid. What I’m called to today may not be what I’m called to tomorrow. But being who I am, it’s the today that I’m seeking answers.

Stick with me. Reflection is good. I’m not very good at it because it takes uninterrupted time and I’m like – squirrel! But our church gives each staff member time for reflection and solitude. In fact, it’s mandatory. I’m on solitude today and I’m so glad I’m forced to do this because as I’m reading through a bible plan on joy, in 3 John 1:4 I hear “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”

Talk about purpose. Thank you, Jesus. Being a mother is intentional. It’s rewarding and full of joy. It’s hard but it’s God’s work. It’s purposeful.

I may not have patience, but God does. Because these things I know. This is not a new discovery, but a gentle reminder. I’m a mom and that’s holy. I’m not only a mom. That is not the whole of my story. I’m also a wife and daughter and sister and friend and leader and co-worker and volunteer and wanna-be writer. But I’m also a mom. And there is purpose in that.

Just yesterday I asked the kids to pray for me as I would be telling that life story to our staff group. Out of the mouths of babes.

Taylor: Lord, help my mom not be nervous when she tells her story today.
Trey: And God, help it make sense and help her explain Jesus good. Amen.

AMEN. These are good kids. They are God’s kids. And Lord, please help me not screw them up.

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