Seeking Your Greater Purpose? Start with the Love.
A big part of my work is helping women to discover their God-given purpose. In one sense, we all have the same purpose in this life: to love. To love God, and to love each other. Our perfect example is in God our Father: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.”
John tells us that God loved us first, with the hope that we will love him in return. And love each other as he loved us. So it really is all about the love.
But what does that love look like specifically, for you in your life?
This is the question I seek to help women discover for themselves, because of course it looks different for everybody.
We know that as women we are meant to be mothers; even those who don’t have kids of their own are called to be spiritual mothers, to their nieces and nephews, cousins, siblings, friends. How are you meant to love the people in your lives? In the world?
My daughter is nine months old. The other day she was playing on the floor just fine while I was busy with something else, when she started to fuss, seemingly out of nowhere, as babies tend to do. Fine one minute, the world is ending the next.
When I picked her up, I started doing that mama-cooing thing we all do with babies, right? It’s just instinctual. (My boys have started doing it too. I don’t know how much is instinctual with them, or if it’s because they’ve heard me do it so many times. But it’s darn cute and hilarious.)
I said to her, “Shhh…it’s okay. How can I love you? What do you need?” And as the words popped out of my mouth, I realized: That’s it. That question is the answer to everything. How can I love you?
I’m not one for making resolutions in the new year, but I am constantly on the journey of self-improvement and actualization, and of course a huge part of that is becoming a better parent and creating a rich relationship with my children. This Maya Angelou quote is a guide for me this year.
When I find myself in the middle of an interaction with my children – whether disciplining or playing – I try to stop and ask myself, “How am I making them FEEL right now?” Even if they do eventually remember the exact words I said or what I did, the only reason will be because of how those words or actions made them FEEL. And what do I want them to feel?
Because when we’re loved, we make better choices, right? When we’re feeling good, when we’re feeling supported and confident and secure in who we are, we make better decisions. It’s like nothing can bring us down.
I think it’s our job as parents to show that kind of supportive love to our children and, in turn, to be examples of our holy Father’s love for us. When we know God loves us, when we feel confident in his strength (not our own), we are happier, we make better decisions, we have less anxiety and fear, more peace and joy.
I know that a big part of my purpose is to show this support to other women, to ask them, “How can I love you? What do you need?”
Is it increased confidence? Is it clarity on your direction in life? Do you need time to yourself, so maybe you need help at home with the kids or housework so you can create that time? Do you need more connection with other adults, like-minded women to offer you support, or maybe a deeper connection with your spouse?
That’s my challenge for you, as you go about the rest of your day and week: to see how you can love the people in your life. I find that when I think about it this way – in the form of LOVING someone, instead of just DOING for someone – it becomes infinitely more appealing to me! It’s not just another meal to make or butt to wipe or tantrum to patiently wait out, but it’s making those around me feel loved. And it works for everyone you encounter, not just your children. Your spouse, your friends, your mother or sister, even complete strangers.
Blessed Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Gosh I love that little woman.
That’s what we’re all called to do, whether our “things” are big or small, our love should always be great.
Itching to dig into your greater purpose even more? Get started by downloading my PDF guide, the Beautiful & Blessed Blueprint where I give you my seven-step process to designing a bold life you love!
It’s been an idyllic summertime experience. It has brought me joy and even made me love my children more, to see them running and laughing and enjoying the simplicity of childhood. When I see the viral posts saying how we need to “give our kids a 1970′s summer” again, I just shake my head. Regardless of the decade, everything we need for a perfect summer is within us.
In a book I was recently reading, the author referenced a Facebook post that was going around a few years ago. In it, Facebook users were prompted to share a list of (somewhat random) things about themselves. Things their closest online friends might not know about them, but maybe should.
The author used it as an opportunity to pull back the facade on her life and be vulnerable with experiences from her past, feelings in her present, and fears of her future that most people didn’t realize about her. It resonated with all who read it, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
It occurred to me that I could make a list for my children. 15 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Me.
When I am laughing with my daughter on the floor as she pretends I’m her baby, watching the joy unfold on my middle son’s face as I “fly” him on my feet, or feeling the comfort of my oldest son’s arms around me at bedtime, sometimes my mind will think, “I should take a picture of this.”