Tag Archives: talents

Saying Yes Equals Success (Part I)

16 Jun

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will direct your paths.”  -Proverbs 3:5-6

I’m in the middle of reading some life-altering books right now and, no, I’m not exaggerating.  There’s no way that I can continue to be the same person after reading what these amazing authors have to share.  I have gained some special nuggets of wisdom to write about, but I have to break it down into more than one post because it will be an extremely lengthy one that no one will probably be up for tackling!

Back in November, I featured Katie Davis as that month’s featured Dreamer in the Spotlight.  I finally got around to reading her book, Kisses from Katie, and it is blowing me away!  For those of you who read that post, you may remember that she is the 22-year-old who is the mother to 13 Ugandan children.  Before I write anything else, let me just share an excerpt from her book that I just read yesterday.  (The whole book is worth highlighting, but this particular part jumped out at me.)

I was blessed.  It wasn’t because of anything I did; it was because I serve an unbelievably gracious God who will honor a willing and obedient heart.  My love for the people around me was not something I could muster up myself; it was God given, it came from the overflow of the love He had lavished on me.

I hadn’t come to Uganda with a degree in education; I wasn’t a nurse; and I certainly didn’t consider myself a missionary.  I had absolutely no idea what was involved in running a ministry and frankly did not possess the business knowledge or organizational skills required to do so.  I was in no way qualified, but I was available.

I have learned that something happens when one makes herself available to God:  He starts moving in ways no one could imagine.  God began doing things in me, around me, and through me as I offered myself to Him.  I began each day saying, “Okay, Lord, what would you have me do today?  Whom would you have me help today?”  And then I would allow Him to show me.  I would like to say that I had all kinds of great ideas about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.  I would like to say my ministry was born out of a carefully thought-out plan.  These things simply aren’t true, though.  I was walking through life one moment at a time, blown away by what God could do through me if I simply said yes.” -Kisses from Katie, page 43

Maybe after reading this, you are thinking, “I thought the title of this post is Saying Yes Equals Success and that doesn’t sound like the kind of success I want.”  It can definitely seem overwhelming and scary to think of what God may ask of us if we are open to it, but imagine all of the joy and love that would be missed out on if we continue to aim for the worldly view of success.  We have to keep in mind that God wants what is best for us.  He gave us our gifts and He wants us to use them to fit into His perfect plan.

I recently heard a great quote while watching a television show (Women of Grace) on EWTN the other day.  Two men were being interviewed about their book, Journeying on Holy Ground —Christian Strategies to Reach your Personal, Professional, and Spiritual Destinyand one of the authors, Billy Arcement, quoted Fredrick Buechner’s book, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker’s ABC.  In it Buechner states, “…The place God calls you to is the place where deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  How powerful is that statement?  Wow!  Basically, when we can use our God-given talents (passion) to help others, we have found our purpose!  Isn’t that what we all want to find in life?  Don’t we all want to believe that our lives have meaning?  What’s awesome is that each one of us has a special role to play in His masterfully-woven plan!

That’s probably enough to digest for now.  Thanks for hanging with me!  I’ll talk about the second book that I’m currently reading in Part II – What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst.  I’ll outline her five-step plan to discerning God’s voice.

above image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Discerning God’s will

29 May

Overall, I guess my blog deals with the question of God’s purpose for my life and my family.  Today at mass the readings dealt with this specific topic, so I think it is the perfect time to discuss this a little more…

Adam and I have been focused on God’s will a lot lately, especially in regards to his career path.  He is starting to make decisions based on using his musical talents to bring others closer to God.  Adam wants to be a positive artist who writes/sings about the real life day-to-day struggles that we all have as human beings and show that there is hope even when things may be tough.  So I was definitely thinking about this when 1 Peter 3: 15-18 was read today, which says, “But in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your  conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.  For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong.  For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”

I’m usually not one to throw Bible verses around, but I feel that this really shows where Adam and I are at right now.  In Adam’s case, he is finally aligning his “artist image” with his “real life image.”  I feel excited about what God has in store for us, knowing that we are trying to keep our priorities in check and we are striving to be better individuals.

One author who talks a lot about being “the best version of ourselves” is Matthew Kelly.  A book that he has written, The Rhythm of Life, is focused on this topic and encourages us to have dreams and discover our talents.  Adam is currently listening to it, since he is not much of a reader.  I’d been encouraging him to read it for the past couple years and finally I broke down and got the audiobook.  It’s all in God’s timing! Matthew Kelly is a great motivator! He also encourages parents to frequently ask their children, “What do you think God is calling you to do with your life?”  In his book, Building Better Families, he states that as a society, we often ask kids, “What do you want to do when you get older?”  Many of us grow up to be unhappy with what we are doing.  Maybe asking a different question will bring more fulfillment and purpose.

For more about Matthew Kelly, you can check out his website:  www.matthewkelly.org.

Good night!  This mommy needs her sleep!