Friday, February 04, 2011

On a mission

I have never had a mission statement, but I've always thought it sounded cool. You know, to be able to say, "Yeah, my mission statement for life is _______________," and then say something super-spiritual that perfectly (and ideally) sums up my relationships with God and others. I've tried to think of mission statements. I've tried to narrate my calling as a person. I've mentally written, edited, and scrapped many different mission statements all without really putting too much thought into it...or much prayer.

I was reading a blog the other day written by a woman with 7 kids on how she manages her home. I have one kid and a small 2 bedroom apartment and I have trouble managing my own home, so of course I wanted to glean any tips and tricks I could. She talked about chores, and about meals, and about schooling, but what stood out to me the most was toward the end of her post. Someone asked her how she was able to balance time with the Lord with her busy life and she began to talk about her mission statement.

She and her husband are extremely gifted and passionate evangelists. They love to entertain guests and show them the love of Christ in their home. At the same time, the Lord has seen fit to bless them with seven children who need her nurture and care. What started as a passing comment by a friend ("You were made to have babies") turned into her mission statement - "I've called you to bring forth life".

What a mission! What a statement! What a grand and humbling calling from the Lord.

See? This is why I want a mission statement!

I read another post yesterday entitled simply "Designing your Mission Statement" and the advice she gave was to list your roles and give a brief description of them in order to better understand the jobs God has given you as a person. She says, "Ask yourself this question: what are the important roles in my life?"

I am:
A daughter of the King
Nathan's wife
Judah and baby's mother
Bible study leader

Then she suggests that you move on to "dream" - to make goals for yourself in each of those roles.

Abby - to understand myself as a person. To know how I think, what my hangups are, my strengths and my weaknesses in order to be the "me" God desires.
A daughter of the King - to know God more fully and more deeply. I want to be constantly learning, constantly growing, constantly understanding more about the Lord than I did yesterday.
Nathan's wife - I want to support my husband in whatever way he needs. I want to be his biggest cheerleader, his best friend, his faithful champion, and his trustworthy confidant. I want to help him know the Lord more fully because of his relationship with me.
Judah and Baby's mother - I want to protect his health, foster his learning, and challenge his understanding in whatever ways I can. I want to be a faithful instructor about life, people, and most importantly the Lord. I want to help him see and know more about the world around him and the God who created him.
Homemaker - I want to run a place of peace and order. I want this to be a place where everyone, family and stranger alike, feel safe, nurtured, and free.
Bible study leader - I want to help people see and know God more fully. I want to help people get excited about the truths of Scripture, and I want to challenge and encourage them to apply those truths to their lives. I want people to be constantly deepening their relationship with the Lord, and I want to use my passion to spur them on to growth and depth.
Friend - I want to be a person of encouragement and grace. I want to be life-giving, not life-sucking. I want to feel the freedom to love others and to be loved by them. I want to be a source of peace for them.

The next step is to "Define your roles" - look at each of the roles above and think of 3-5 ways you can meet your goals in those areas.
Taking 15 minutes each day for myself (writing, a bath, reading, etc.)
Journal through FANOS (feelings, affirmations, needs, ownership, sobriety) at least weekly

Daughter of the King:
Bible study and journal every day
Quietly listen to at least one worship song every day

Nathan's Wife:
spend one-on-one time with him talking through our days every day
Ask how things are going at work and at school
Talk about the sermon every Sunday after church
Pray for him every day - ask how I can be praying for him and tell him how I've been praying for him

Judah and Baby's Mother:
Spend time every day praying with Judah
Spend time every day talking about and showing Judah God's creation (including the new baby)
Sing worship songs with Judah and teach him Scripture
Being intentional about affection and family time with our kids and in front of our kids

Spend time learning and applying how to live healthier lifestyles (meals, exercise, sleep habits, etc.)
Invest time in saving money
Keep the laundry done and the kitchen clean
Have a guest to dinner once a month

Bible Study Leader:
Spend time every day in whatever passage we are studying that week
Spend time every day praying for the girls in the Bible study
Have one-on-one time with someone from Bible study once a month

Talk to one in depth and at length once a week
Give/send a card or letter to someone once a month

This blog post has taken a couple of weeks to write, process, pray through, and evolve and in that time I feel like God has really been making it clear to me what His purpose is for me at this time in my life. I feel like I can clearly hear His words to me, His heart for me, and the mission for which He created me. You ready for this?

"I have called you to encourage and cultivate growth."

Physical growth. Intellectual growth. Emotional growth. Spiritual growth. God has called me to spend my life growing, I have been made and redeemed to lift others up and to help them grow.

So let it be written, so let it be done. I am now a woman on a mission, and I have found great freedom from things (perfection, for one...being Susie Homemaker, for another), and freedom to things (like spending the entire morning in our pajamas rocking out to Justin Roberts "Songs from the New Testament").

If God has given me a purpose, and if God has given me the means by which to fulfill that purpose, and if God has given me the opportunities to fulfill that purpose, then why should I go about my life wondering if I'm really using my time wisely or if I'm doing "enough"? "Enough" is doing the things God has given me each day to humbly reveal His glory in my life.

"Enough" is what I plan to do today, and I'm going to start by encouraging my son to eat something other than yogurt. I feel like we are both going to do some growing this afternoon.