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Friday, February 24, 2012

Purpose is a continuum


Oh, but I have missed being able to come and share with you on this blog! Truth is that life has tried so hard to get in my way these past few days. Somehow in the course of everyday, so many things have happened that make me think ‘Oh, I need to share this on my blog’. What didn’t happen though was me being able to actually find the time to write a blog. Yep, it has been an amazingly busy week!

For the past three days however, God has been reminding me that He asked me to be ‘intentional’ about my life and the things I would do this year. He reminded me that He asked me not to move without hearing from Him, and then in that His quiet way that just hits the spot, He told me I had been trying to take the wheel from Him which is why I had had such a frantic couple of weeks. Hmmm!  Needless to say, I have had to very quickly do a mental shifting back into ‘auto transmission’ and I already feel so much more rested for it.
In this place of rest, I found myself remembering something I had read in my precious second-in-importance-only-to-my-Bible  copy of Woman, Act Now. You don’t have a copy??? Girl, pls go get yourself a copy like yesterday. It’s an amazing book by my Coach, Mentor, Sister and Friend Coach Anna McCoy (www.womanactnow.com). Each time I flip it open, there’s fresh word that ministers to my life and purpose as a woman, as a child of God.

And that’s what I found myself thinking about ....’Purpose’.

Methinks too many of us are walking around trying to ‘find our purpose’ in life. Truly, a lot of us are walking around in an overhang; a perpetual sense that there is so much more that we ought to be doing; a constantly underlying haze of dissatisfaction with whatever the ‘status quo’ is at any point in time. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a group of people and from their conversations they appear to have a clear picture of what their lives are about and just where they are going. If we are not careful, we leave their presence with an increasing sense of hopelessness at our own apparent lack of direction. Frustrations sometimes begin to build and manifest in our relationships and reactions to various situations that come our way.

In this hazy state, we are unable to think clearly; we may try to be ‘at least’ thankful for some of the blessings we see around us; but in our heart of hearts, we carry a quiet grudge against life and the seeming unfairness of our situations. Been there, done that! And No, it’s not the greatest of places to be.

Purpose.... for some is clear and static. We usually think of purpose as that ‘One thing’ that when we begin to do, we will be satisfied and fulfilled daily for the rest of our lives. However, Coach Anna McCoy said in her book Woman, Act Now and I quote: ‘Purpose is not tangible; it is movement, direction’.  She went further to define purpose as ‘Desire of mind and heart directed for the fulfilment of godly instruction’. And then the icing on the cake, the ‘Aha!’ for me; she said ‘Based on my new understanding of the word purpose, my responsibility has become to direct my passions, and, when I hear or know what I am to do, persisting until I get it done. If I succeed in following the instructions I have received, I am living my life on purpose. It is purposeful.’

Wow! What an awesome revelation; a final solution to any such purpose-oriented pressure’s as I may ever have had. Why? Because, I have gone through times when I felt I was in my element – doing exactly what I wanted and needed to be doing at that time; only to suddenly get ‘bored’ and filled with a sense of dissatisfaction about... well....everything really, at that point in time! For me, the futility of the constant quest to ‘find my purpose’ has been laid to rest. I get it now! And as I write, I am reminded by the Spirit that when He spoke to us at a retreat late last year, He said we should not worry about the concealed will of God, but just walk in His revealed will and the concealed will would be made clear to us.

I think how Coach Anna’s words align perfectly with what God said. Perfect confirmation, if you ask me. I understand now that purpose is not static; it is evolving. Purpose is not necessarily that ‘one thing’; it is a series of ‘one things’ that God will have you do over the course of your life, according to the gifting and abilities He has put in you. I understand that the end of these ‘one things’ is that  God will use me to fulfil His purpose and, as long as I am fully persuaded that I have heard from God and I am walking in obedience to His instructions, then I am fulfilling purpose and I will remain in a place of peace.

I understand that God is a God of seasons, and that when His instruction is for me to move, I need to yield and move into His next assignment for me. To do this and maintain my peace, I realise that I must be attentive always to the voice and the leadings of the Holy Spirit, so He can guide me into an understanding of what He wills for me to do.... into His purpose for my life in the new season. Yes, I must be intentional about being led of God, and only in doing this will my life be purposeful.

Interestingly, my mandate from God and my anchor word for 2012 is ‘Intentional. I see now a clear link between living the life of purpose as God defines this to be for me, and the intentionality of remaining fully submitted to the Spirit. I’m excited about this year and the rest of my life, and your life.

Have you been trying to figure out what your purpose in life is? Be at peace, my sister. Come back to the place of ‘Zero’, that place of total submission where you allow God to take absolute control. Trust Him at His Word that He has plans for you, and that His plans for you are great. Ask Him to speak to you about what He wants you to do, and ask Him for a heart that will be willing to obey. Ask Him for clarity, so that the noise of life will not distract you.  Choose to live your life ‘on purpose’ sis. And as you submit, the Lord will help you. He will help me!

Be blessed, for you are blessed


 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Healthy, Wealthy & Wise

Flashback 9years ago: There I was, as I saw me - not particularly slim, but very well rounded and shapely. ‘A full-figured woman’ would be the appropriate expression, I believe. No one said anything about my weight, not even my hubby – precious man that he is; and besides, I had four children didn’t I? As I slowly spread into a size 20 (UK no less), I walked in the assurance that I still packaged pretty good. You could have knocked me over with a feather when a friend I hadn’t seen in a while came calling and she was a fraction of her previous size. Whatever she had done, I wanted the same and so first thing on Monday I presented myself to her dietician, paid in full for the program, and spent the next  few months of my life in a high-exercise, healthy food, radical lifestyle change. Was it tough to let go of my chocolates, cakes, ice-cream, et al? At the beginning yes, but I had the image of my friend as a clear vision of what I wanted and knew I would be able to achieve; and I wasn’t letting go of that for anything! 7 months later, I was a HOT (if I say so myself, lol) size 12UK. Awesome! Total lifestyle change, total wardrobe change, and I was absolutely loving the new me! I was good for about 5years.....then I rediscovered my sweet tooth and began an indulgence back into the pure decadence of chocolate that has seen me slowly expand from a UK12 to a large UK14. Truthfully, for most of 2011, I found myself buying 16UK (as the saying goes ‘Hips don’t lie’ and mine were sure yelling the truth from the mountaintops. Sigh!). Anyhow, I knew with a certainty that I needed to take back control but lacked the staying power and kept giving in to the cheese cakes et al. Something I had read a couple of years ago began to reverberate in my mind during the last half of 2011 however; so much so that when TW -  a women’s lifestyle magazine I write a column for, announced their next Fitness Challenge, I signed up in a flash. For the past two weeks, the team and I have sweated it out at the gym and on regimented meal plans. It’s tasking, but I am absolutely loving the results. My skin is glowing, I am full of energy, and I am sleeping like a baby...... plus, I am several pounds lighter already. I have a ‘Wow’ vision of a new me by the end of the 3-month program. YES, I can! We got a call yesterday to say that a relative had been in a coma for a couple of days, so hubby and I headed out to the hospital. As I watched this man struggle for breath, and watched the several mostly elderly patients in the ward struggle with one thing/pain or the other; I recalled that my sister-in-law who is a nurse back in the USA, saying how she’d had many patients who  worked hard all their lives so they could enjoy their wealth in their old age, and then because of poor lifestyle choices that compromised their health, rather spent their wealth trying to buy health in their old age. I thought that was quite profound and as I stood at the foot of the hospital bed this evening, I found myself thanking God once again for good health and for the ability to do some of the simplest things that we all take for granted daily. I thought of my decision to be part of the fitness challenge. I realised that the Lord had actually been speaking to me for so long about my health and I hadn’t been paying enough attention. In that hospital yesterday, I repented and strengthened my resolve to see my new lifestyle change through to the end of my time here on earth. If my body is the temple of the Lord, I figure I should make a concerted effort to keep it in a shape that is good and fitting unto the Lord right? I realised that if I truly believe this (and I do), then I need to have respect unto my body and build it up as I do my spirit. Faith without works is dead right? So as I have faith and trust the Lord to keep me in good health up to a ripe old age, I need to do my part (the works) to maintain the ‘house’ that He has put my spirit and soul in, for this my time on the earth realm. My in-law died this morning; in a flash, he slipped away. In one of his coherent moments earlier on, he had said ‘I won’t get out of this bed’ and ‘So I will die in this bed?’  I reflected on this all through last night, and went to the gym this morning with a renewed zeal and energy; thanking God that I am still able to ‘get out of my bed’. Indeed, this experience has been a reminder that time is short and we only have today to begin to make the changes that will allow us a better, healthier tomorrow – spiritually and physically, financially, mentally, etc. ‘In old age, he shall be fat and flourishing’. ‘He shall still bring forth fruit in old age’. How can we bring forth fruit in old age if we are unable to ‘get out of our beds’? My sister, are you feeding your spirit and neglecting your physical body? Pls rethink it sis, and take a stand. You may not become a Jane Fonda, Leslie Sansone or a female Billy Blanks overnight, but pls do something. Today...NOW, is as good a time as any to start. Let’s wise up about our food choices, intentionally incorporate reasonable amounts of exercise into our routines regularly, and get enough rest to keep our bodies functioning at optimal level.   God did say that His desire above all things is that we should prosper in our bodies even as our souls prosper right? Let’s not unwittingly make this scripture of non-effect in our lives by our own hands (or is it mouths?). Think through your lifestyle choices, and make the right changes while you still can. The Lord will help us! We will live healthy, wealthy and wise; glorifying God in our bodies, His temple. Be blessed because you are. Shalom  

About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.