Own Your Life:
"They sought God EAGERLY, and he was found by them.
So the Lord gave them rest on every side."
In Sunday School we've been studying the power of a prayerful life. I can honestly say that for the last 20 years of my life, I've lived a prayerful life. I wish I could say that for the past 46 years of walking as a Jesus follower that I sought after Him with a prayerful life, but I did not. I'm not even sure I knew how.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14
Every New Year I begin with a word or a phrase that I have been especially prayerful over. One that would shape my life in this New Year. A word that defines my life.
Looking at that Vision Board brings tears to my eyes....not one thing on it didn't come to pass. It hangs in our closet to remind me of God's faithfulness to us when we choose Him and His will above our own.
We've lived in Texas for 1 year now. We've adjusted well to retirement and being together 24/7/365...in fact, we love being together. We like one another's company....I'd choose to spend time with Bob over anyone else, hands down....well, except for maybe the 2 little guys in the photos. My heart explodes when I see them. No one could EVER of prepared me for being a Nana!
I have spent 15 months asking God repeatedly....WHY here? Why this little poor rural area of East Texas??? WHY Grapeland Texas?
I'm starting to see it....I'm starting to understand my calling in "retirement". For 46 years of walking with Jesus I have had a heart for the poor. It could be that He made that a part of me because my family went through some very very very difficult financial and personal times when I was in High School. But my heart aches for the poor and the homeless, the sick and the dying. I know what it is to live in poverty. I know what it is to have parents addicted to alcohol. I know what rage and abuse look like from a front row seat. BUT I also know that God does restore the years lost to the locust!!!
Grapeland Texas has moved up from being the poorest county in Texas to being 8th!
Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
I'm sure that's why I had a heart to go to India twice and love on all those little orphan boys...I'd go back in a heart beat, but I truly don't believe God is calling me there. God was preparing me for the works He had prepared in advance for ME to do....right here in Grapeland Texas. Of course you'll never see my name in the papers or the headline news...God forbid that. I just want to make a difference, even if it's in the life of just in 1 child. I've started by volunteering once a week just listening to children at the Grapeland Elementary read.
Our Sunday School teacher is the President of the School Board and he told us that the Texas prison system determines how many prisons to build by whether a child can read by the 3rd grade. I about broke into tears...my heart broke...I failed 3rd grade...I was one of those statistics! I told him right then and there that when they started up the reading program, I'd be there! There isn't a Tuesday that goes by that I don't sit there with those kids and say in my mind...will it be you. And I vow to not let it be on my watch.
I walk a couple miles about 4 days a week and I listen to Audible books....that way I can get more done! You know, multi-tasking! Two miles and 1 or 2 chapters!
A few weeks ago I started a book I bought years ago....Own Your Life: Living with deep intention, bold faith, and generous love. Yep, that about sums it up! That sums up what my heart has been telling me.
My 2018 Vision Board will be Own Your Life or Intentionality...however that word has been way over used in the last few years...but it still applies. I have many things I'm praying about and all of them will go on the board. You'll see dining tables, you'll see children, you'll see art, you'll see gardens....God can and will use anything in our lives if we offer it to Him as a sweet sacrifice. Nothing is wasted with God. Nothing.
I am very excited to see how God chooses to use me in 2018 as I Own My Life!