Friday, October 5, 2012

When I Grow Up

What do you want to be when you grow up?

We ask little kids that question all the time.  I asked my teenagers this as they've prepared to leave our nest and head into the world.

Pushing really close to the half way mark of a century, I'm still wondering about the answer to that question for myself.  Not sure I have the answer yet, but a few things I do know:

- I want to challenge myself.  I don't want to settle in and sit in a rocker on the front porch and watch life happen.  How do I do that?  Practically, here's part of it:

I run.  I was never athletic growing up - quite the opposite, but I've learned I'm capable of much more than I ever dreamed, if I'll push.  I want to keep finding ways to better myself, get stronger, accept more challenges.  So I'll keep pushing - hopefully, until someone digs a hole and y'all push me in it. :)

I read.  A lot.  And while I read all kinds of books, I like to occasionally push myself with something a little harder.  -- Right now I'm reading Les Miserables - pretty sure that's what I'll still be doing when y'all dig that hole I mentioned earlier :) --  I want to keep learning.  I want to better myself professionally.  I want to pursue national certification - as daunting a task as that seems right now.

I interact.  My personality says to be a hermit, but I know, from first-hand experience, that's a bad route to take.  So I force myself to keep developing friendships, building bridges.  I've made some amazing friends pushing myself in this area.

- I want to make a difference.  I want to know that people's lives are better because I was here.

I want to know I've made a difference in the lives of my family and I know without a doubt that's the biggest reason we're here- there is no greater calling than to invest wisely and well into the lives of our children.  But as huge and important as that task is for us as parents, I believe there's more.   I want my kids to see that it's also about reaching out beyond our family unit and helping to be part of bigger change.  I want them to take risks, so I must take risks.

We have friends that have adopted, and started all over, when they're right on the verge of an empty nest.  We have friends that foster and experience the heartbreak that brings over and over and over again.  We have friends that invest all that they are in the poor and the homeless.  We have friends that have given up the luxuries of America to reach a people group that may not be reached otherwise.  Because they want to make a difference - they love - they take risks.

If you've read anything I've written, you know my heart is broken over human trafficking, so I continue to seek where God can use me in that area.  Right now, it's with fund raising.  Once again, I beg you to consider joining me in my marathon to raise money for O.A.T.H.  Look them up.  Read the stories on their page.  Let it break your heart - and be part of the change.

Andy Stanley says, "Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone."  That's my heart right now - my very specific prayer.  That God would lead me to one that I could invest in - pour into and help bring change to their individual life and to the generations that will follow them.


Now at this point I'd like to offer a disclaimer, lest those who don't know me well think I have it all together. There are days when I never get out of my pajamas, refuse to answer the phone, alternating between NCIS marathon and chick flicks, and eating chocolate and potato chips;  when my family has to step over my lump of a body to fend for themselves in the kitchen.

But I want the trajectory of my life to be moving forward - to be telling a story...


- I want to write a good story.  I want my life to tell a story that only God could have written.

This one's up to Him.  I want to keep my heart open, my courage high, my life flexible to whatever He says do.  I know His story will be way better than mine.

I want His story.

What are you doing to write a good story? (And I'd really like to hear from you on the answer to that question - when we challenge each other, we all write a better story.)

BTW - here's a freebie - If you haven't read A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller.  Find it somewhere and read it.  If that doesn't light a fire under you to let your life tell a good story, nuthin' will. :)

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