“You exhaust me.”
A few weeks ago, a dear friend said those words to me in a text message. You. Exhaust. Me. YIKES. Now, you know how we’re told to listen to those we trust and value……this came from one of those people! I truly haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
I’m not sure I really know how to rest. I can’t watch a show or a basketball game on TV without also trying to read, research, write, Noonday, etc. at the same time. I don’t sit still well. All I do is think of all the things I should or could be doing. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember.
Life feels full. But is it full of the right things? The best things? The things that will make me a better wife, mom, pastor, friend, etc.? I can’t think of anything I spend my time on right now that I could stop today without feeling sad about. I’m not saying that my friend’s words meant I’m doing too much. Maybe compared to you my life isn’t busy at all – perception is not always reality, right? But what her words did help me do is evaluate what I’m doing and when.
Something I’ve really been struggling with lately is direction. At times I feel like I’m kind of all over the place. When you lack direction or clarity, it gets hard to decipher what the non-negotiables in your schedule should be. Our church just finished a series all about purpose, and it included a challenge to write a personal purpose statement. Here’s what I came up with, after spending way too much time on it:
“I will empower others to intentionally chase after the life that God has for them, creating moments of joy and showing them empathy every step of the way.”
I think I spent so much time trying to compile this statement because I want it to be the lens through which I decide what will be a yes and what will be a no in my life. If I’m going to be a part of your life, here’s what I’m promising to do:
- Empower. God has given me the desire to push others to do things they never thought they would do – to serve and love others in ways they didn’t know they could.
- Create joy. If I have even the slightest chance to bring a smile to someone’s face, I need to do it. Laughter is an essential part of my day, and I love seeing others find happiness in the tiny things.
- Show Empathy. As an enneagram 2, I am at times strangely in tune with other people’s feelings, and can far too often carry the weight of their struggles and concerns. At my very core, I want to shepherd and guide others to their utmost potential, and showing true care and concern may be what they need to take that next step.
If I can do those three things, I feel like I will be stepping into what God created me for. I don’t want anyone to look at my life and think it’s exhausting. I want to live a full life that shows me playing my tiny role for the kingdom. Purpose is found in the places where only I can make a difference - the kingdom work that won’t get done unless I say yes to Him. So I will empower. I will create joy. I will show empathy. Starting now!
What are the things that only YOU can do? The people that only you could lead to Christ? The places that only you go and see a particular need? How will you step into what God created you for?