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On Changes And The Year That Was 2014

The phone rang, ushering me out of a deep sleep. I glanced at the clock nearby and noticed it was close to two-thirty in the morning. I saw my grandmother’s name on the caller ID. I immediately whispered “no” repeatedly. Then I gained enough composure to answer the call and say “hello”.

That’s when she uttered the words that made me burst into tears.

“Your grandfather’s gone.”

That was back in November.

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I don’t remember much after those first words, just how strong she sounded despite getting news less than an hour earlier herself.

I, on the other hand, think I became weak. I found myself on a roller coaster of crying fits and moments of peace that I can only say were given to me by God. And as in any case when someone close to you dies, I thought about whether there was anything I would have done, should have done or could have done. But this time, I also thought about how life can change in an instant, and wondered if I had lived with purpose, which was my one word for 2014.

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One Word For 2014

Out of a quiet, soft sleep I can hear small whimpers coming from the next room. Soon that quiet whimper works it’s way into a full on wail.

I kick my feet, wrestling my way out of my warm bed to feel the cool air wrap itself around my arms. It jerks me. And I chase the sound.

The wailing subsides as a set of small, wondrous eyes lock onto me, her mother. And I see a smile.

I take her in my arms to nurse her.

Several minutes later, I watch as she lies waywardly across my lap. Her small but strong body was limp from the overwhelming state of contentment.

Not a care in the world.

Seeing my daughter content in the quietness of slumber always gives me joy. But at times, it gives way to this uneasiness at the core of me. I worry about whether I can truly do a good job being a full-time mother and CEO of my household. And I worry about whether I can make the most of this time away from the traditional workforce.

Will I make the right decisions?

I know the answer to that question won’t be an emphatic yes. But I think I can boost the percentage if I change my perspective and focus on behaving intentionally.

That is why my one word for 2014 is purpose.

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According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, purpose can be defined this way:

1pur·pose noun \ˈpər-pəs\

a :  intention
b :  resolution, determination

I believe that, as President John F. Kennedy once said, “efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

I believe that being determined and acting intentionally will make me more effective in helping my daughter develop and shaping her world into something positive. I can also help make sure the world we call home remains financially stable and spiritually grounded.

So this year, I want my family and my Heavenly Father to be the compass in all of my decision-making. When I serve. When I spend. When I write. When I speak. And when I consider my next career opportunity.

I want to be mindful of the people around me, and a good steward of the things I have.

And above all, I want to enjoy life and enjoy it more fully.

“The best way to insure you achieve the greatest satisfaction out of life is to behave intentionally.”
-Deborah Day, author of Be Happy Now

What is your One Word for 2014? If you don’t have one, what would it be?

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Sunday Song: Called To Carry

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary, with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy Father, you have come
And chosen me now
To carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

(From “Breath of Heaven” as sung by Amy Grant)

In the week leading up to Christmas, I am thinking about what happens when God chooses you to do something great. I believe we all have a purpose, and are called to do something even though we may not know what it is or why

Mary was called to be Jesus’ mother. She was a young virgin…someone who appeared to be an unlikely candidate for such a calling.

But at the same time, she was the perfect candidate.

God saw in her what those around her could not see. They could only see an unmarried woman. But He saw beyond that. He saw potential.

Looking at Mary’s story reminds me that God sees the potential in all of us.

I’m so thankful for that because, Lord knows, we don’t always see the best in ourselves.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
– Proverbs 19:21

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
– Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

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Linking to “Sunday” at Jumping Tandem and “In Search of Beauty” at Pause on the Path