When I Grow Up…

As a kid, I remember the anticipation of Christmas morning as some of my most exciting moments.  Specifically the year my sisters and I decided to stay up allnight and wait for Santa. For days afterwards, my dad told the story of how he looked over to find my eyes closed and, speaking up, he said, “Cindy, are you asleep?” to which I promptly sat up and responded, “No sir. I’m just resting my eyes!” 

Fast-forward twenty years and it was even more exciting being on the other end. What joy to watch your kids come to the tree Christmas morning with sleep in their eyes only to discover that coveted toy they had been hoping for since Thanksgiving. (Okay … I suppose that dates me. Nowadays Christmas retail rolls out commercials midsummer! But I digress.) 

So…  what gets me excited these days? 

Let me explain.  

I believe we were each created to make a difference in our own world and we do that best in the areas of our gifting. Let me say it like this…God created me different from you. He put gifts in you that I don’t have and vise versa. 

Lets look at the Proverbs 31 woman. 

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

I used to wonder if her level of perfection was even attainable. After all, the whole thing opens up with verse 10:  A wife of noble character who can find?Maybe it’s not really a question but a statement! Maybe her perfection is not really attainable but a goal to somehow aspire to. The proverbial carrot dangling out in front of us. 

But y’all… the secret to her success has been there all the time.  We only have to read to the end to find it. Verse 30 is not top secret:

“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised”.”

She is successful because she is devoted to the Lord.  She is excited about her day because she loves the Lord. 

“Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load.” (Galatians 6:4-5)

We Are Uniquely Created

You have a purpose that I cannot fulfill and I have a purpose you can’t fulfill. Even the Proverbs 31 woman wouldn’t have been able to fulfill what you and I are meant to do.  (Thank you very much! 😜) We were created to honor and worship the Lord, and He has given us specific talents and gifts to do just that.

When we are doing what we were created to do….and learn why we are on the earth sucking air…that’s when we find fulfillment….that’s when we have excitement in our days.

Last week, as I met a friend for coffee, she asked me, Cindy, how do you know what your “gifting” is?  How do you figure it out so you can walk in it? (Is it elusive like the woman in Proverbs?) 

My first response was to tell her to simply try new things until you find what makes you tick. BUT isn’t that kind of like saying… Just go read your Bible. The answers to life are in there!   Well… yes they are! BUT really?  That’s the best you’ve got?

I keep reading thingshere, there and yonder, seemingly at every turn, aboutWhat were you before life happened to you and defined who you have to be now?   I think this happens more often than not in women. We were created to be helpers (all the way back to Eve), and in our heart’s attempt to help those in our lives, we abandon who we are to take on the needs of those around us… our husbands, our kids, our extended family of parents or siblings and even our friends.

As I sat there over my coffee that afternoon, I asked her… What did you want to be when you were a little girl? When you think back to the time before life happened to you, what were your desires?   She answered almost before I got the question out. I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to help people. Life certainly happened and she didn’t choose medicine as her career. (Although it’s never too late) What she is doing today is attending Highlands College to learn how to do ministry. BECAUSE she likes to help people! The root of her little girl heart to be a doctor.

So if you are asking yourself the same question, What am I passionate about? What gets ME excited? I encourage you to ask the little girl inside of yourself. And like all of us, life may have altered the course of your life, but go to the root of your heart‘s desire and begin in that wheelhouse.  

You will find yourself excited to get up in the mornings. 

What gets you excited?  Read along with us for the next few weeks as we explore purpose and passion.

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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is ten years new to Birmingham, Alabama.  Her sweet husband of 38 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.

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