Monday, January 28, 2013

Finding Purposeful Rhythm

The new year is here. Almost a month into 2013, just about 1/12 of the way through, and really, I haven't begun. I feel like each week I set out to make a fresh start and each week I fall flat. On my face. A mess. So many good intentions poorly executed. Then there were sick kids, a sick mama, sleep deprivation, a mysterious set of hives driving a 7 year old crazy; and maybe the most challenging- still working on sorting out how to all be home together.

The time seems to be slipping by and the enemy will use any and all things to keep us from God's best for us.

I need a plan. After prayer, prodding and a little arm twisting, I'm recommitting, reorganizing, and reconnecting to the vision and goals I have for my life, for the lives of those young souls I teach and raise. In the midst of gearing up to start again (again) I read this post. I read and I find it hard to believe that I'm looking at exactly what I need.

{photo and manifesto credit: Ann Voskamp}

This woman seems to always be writing what I'm thinking. Her words were some of the first to make me realize I'm not all crazy and alone in this journey. And she writes this manifesto because she too keeps falling flat. Just going out on a limb's not just Ann and me who struggle on. I'm thinking there are legions of women and men who try daily to get it right just to fall and fail. Again.

Ann's 25 have given me inspiration-just in time. And the timing is too perfect to be chance. This life I'm living right now is begging for some structure. And more and more I'm seeing all this falling isn't me just being clumsy...but I'm being tripped. I sometimes forget there is a real enemy and I'm part of a grand battle. The prize? My soul, and the souls of the people I'm responsible for. 

If I'm not prepared for what may come at me, if I don't practice my strategy during times of peace, what makes me think I'll stand a chance when white flags are lowered and tensions run high?

It's what every military knows, what soldiers , athletes, astronauts and police officers fully understand:  that their lives, health and success depends upon being prepared for what they may face. And they don't just figure out what to do as stresses arise. They plan and train and prepare for all possibilities. Habits are made and focus is on the goal and nothing gets accomplished if left to whim and to chance.

This fight, this cosmic war, it's real. It's real and we're all a part of it and if you don't feel the battle wounds your're either very well prepared or not enough of a threat to be bothered with. If you're living for God you're a threat, a real and scary threat to the enemy's plans. But we know how it ends. The only question is: will we be a part of the victory or a sad casualty? It all depends on how we choose to be purposefully prepared.

Habit and focus. Each day I'll choose to be ready:  put on a posture of prayer so I can remember I'm nothing if I'm not rooted in Him moment by moment, read His word so I have it close, memorize so I have it closer. I'll stick to a rhythm so we all know what to expect. I'll practice {practice!} responding with love, to living with love so that it becomes who I am instead of who I'm trying to be. 

So I'm taking Ann's gift, her manifesto and her sweet words and I'm starting again. Still a new year. It's time. Time to set priorities and keep them, time to do what I mean to do, time to live my life with the purpose and intention that I know is so important. Habit is something we must daily put on. Although I think resolutions are a good way to set up for failure, I'm making this one. Not a New Year resolution but a Life resolution, a life committed to purpose and rhythm. To daily being ready for what comes.



  1. Forgive me if I over-step my boundary here. I've been following this blog for more then a year. Your humility in candidly sharing your flaws, failures, and struggles have been an inspiration to me. It let me know that my similar struggles aren't unique to just me.
    However, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate your blessings and successes too. Your profile says you are a pediatric nurse. I can't think of many more thankless, yet intrinsically rewarding professions. One such profession that immediately comes to mind is teaching. Indeed your profile also states you homeschool two sons. Those two things alone are amazing. Not to mention taking care of a family, a household, and the many other daily accomplishments you achieve. Plus, you do it all with such a conscientious effort. A purpose. I just wanted to say keep on progressing on your journey and keep sharing so that others can follow. That's God in you.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Like you say, none of it's me. It's all God. I'm humbled that He uses even me. There are lots of successes and blessings (I haven't posted my gifts lists in quite some time but I'm still keeping them, counting the ways He gives, the ways He saves). Sometimes the successes are a bit hard to see. They become clearer with distance. I tend to write in the midst of emotion so that maybe why many of my posts seem to highlight struggle. Thanks for the reminder to keep it balanced.


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