Living on Purpose Takes More Than Planning

Living on Purpose

Photo: Pixabay

“Just being curious, do you use a daily planner?” that was the question I posed on Facebook. I asked because I have seen so many planners promoted on social media and wondered if people other than business folk use them.

The answers varied from Live by it.  No I really don’t.  To the use of calendar, sticky notes, Excel, Google Calendar, Trello, Asana, and one dear friend admitted to having Planner ADD.

I’m not big on planning every detail of my life as I like space for spontaneity. Lately I find myself being challenged to live more on purpose than by the seat of my pants especially in the realm of writing.

On Purpose

Recently I read an article, I’m not busy, I’m focused by Jeff Goins @goinswriter. In the article among many other gems he tells how he blocks off two hours a day to write; now that’s focus. He writes on purpose not IF he gets the time.

Mark Batterson in his book The Circle Maker mentioned a question he is often asked by aspiring authors,  “What does it take to write a book?”  His answer was, “Sleep deprivation.”  When he is in a book writing season he sets his clock to get him up several hours before his norm and spends several hours pounding on his keyboard before he puts on his pastor hat. That’s dedication!

When my daughter puts her mind to something she does it wholeheartedly. Wanting to kick back into a fitness program she signed up for an evening class, then after a few weeks added a 5am spin class. All this on top of a full time job and a family; I think she must follow after her father more than me.

Wishing something doesn’t make it happen.

I can get lost in reading articles about writing and get engrossed with online writing/blogging groups. All of which are helpful and I come away feeling encouraged and informed, though sometimes not sure if I can rise to the level of which they speak. But one thing remains; a blank page!

Jeff Goins, Mark Batterson and my daughter inspire me as well as my self confessed ADD planner friend and others. Yet, all the talking, reading and planning and inspiring in the world will not put words on the page, it will be forever blank until I sit and pound my keyboard.

After taking a short break from the world of writing it is time for me to get focused, exercise a writing muscle or two and alter my sleep pattern if needed.

Dreaming and planning are important stages and should not be hurried, rather they should be saturated in prayer every step of the way. I have a tendency to stay in the dreaming and planning stage longer than needed. What about you? Is there a vision, dream or desire the Lord put in your heart that needs to be acted upon. Is it time to put meat on your God inspired vision?

Whatever you do,work from the soul.

Photo: Annie Spratt, Unsplash

As you and I go forward putting meat on those dreams, I pray we will do it to bring honor and glory to Jesus.

Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [ that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done for the Lord and not for men. Col 3:23 Amp


Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

If you have been encouraged by this post feel free to share it with a friend or two (or more).







What Do You Dream of Doing Someday?

Photo John Salzarulo

Every year after Thanksgiving dinner either my son-in-law, or my son, will get the Christmas tree from a high shelf in the garage and place it at the far end of the kitchen, where it awaits my attention.

And there it sits, snuggled neatly in the long oblong box held together with more packing tape than is sold in most stores.

I want to open the box and erect the tree, but dishes wait for me (full dishwasher). So I dutifully fill the sink with hot soapy water and one by one utensils, pots, pans and the plastic plates used by the little people of the family are cleansed of all evidence of the meal.

And the tree sits patiently in the box.

Family have long gone. It’s late. I’m tired. There’s a good movie to watch and I relax in the recliner next to my husband.

“Are you going to put the tree up?”

With weary eyes I glance over to the long oblong box, sighing I reply “Someday.”

Someday I Will?

Someday I’ll write a book. Someday I’ll lose the extra pounds I have gained. Someday I’ll learn to swim. Someday I’ll ………….. ( you fill in the blank).

I like how Kelly Johnson author of Being Brave: A 4o Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You writes on Day 30 of the devotional. I quote.

“Someday is rich with promise and possibility but does not require immediate attention. Someday allows one more episode of Netflix, another half hour of Facebook, or another season of prayer for discernment and clarity. Someday is comfortable and safe. Someday lets me off the hook.”

Tomorrow is Not Promised

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27:1

When I was young, someday was a hope for the future, a dream yet to be fulfilled. We expect to live long lives and so put our dreams into the someday box only to be viewed on special occasions. We procrastinate because we think we have all the time in the world. We don’t. We are not promised tomorrow, let alone next year.

What is the Someday thing you have been putting off? Maybe it’s a conversation with a friend. A college course you would like to pursue. A ministry you would love to work at, or perhaps you dream of owning a coffee shop where prayer is offered.

I get it, sometimes our dreams have to wait, we have periods in life when others come before our dreams. Most times we (me) use putting others first as an excuse to procrastinate. Usually procrastination is due to fear of failure or perfectionism.

Either way they are both excuses for our Someday.

I’ll close with a question from Kelly, “What is keeping you from doing the Someday thing now? If it isn’t possible now, what steps could you take to move closer to making that thing a reality sooner?”


Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

Kelly Johnson’s book Being Brave can be purchased through Amazon. It would make a perfect Christmas/Birthday present for that hard to buy for person in your life. In Being Brave, Kelly invites us to consider a new way of thinking about being brave and challenges us to seek a greater intimacy with God and the people God has placed in our lives.

Note: I do not receive compensation for books purchased as a result of reading this blog post. The above, other than direct quotes, are my own thoughts and I feely and whole heartedly recommend Being Brave: Kelly Johnson.




Inviting Friendship: Part 1

Three times, through three different people over a course of a few days the same message came to my attention.  It was one of those listen closely moments.

The subject was that of being a friend, maintaining friendships and reaching out to others in friendship. Which is something I don’t do well, at least not as well as I would like.

Wise Words From Three Wise People

Rick Bezet in his new book, Real Love in an Angry World encourages us to show hospitality, love each other, see the potential in others and give honor.

Christine Caine in First Things with Christine, says “I cannot imagine venturing through life without great relationships! Our courage often comes from the encouragement of others, which is why we’re not suppose to live this life alone.”

Ginny Heisler, a friend from church posted on Facebook (I have her permission to share with you), she wrote;

“I have come to the conclusion that group texts, social media comments and Snapchat stories have given us all the illusion of friendship. Sit down with me and have a cup of coffee while we talk about our dreams, fears, struggles and triumphs. Have dinner at my table, I’ll cook. Play cards (or chess) with me in the park. That’s friendship! That’s how you build a relationship. That’s how iron sharpens iron.”

I get it we all need friends and we need to be a friend. The problem I find is that we are all so wrapped up in our own little worlds. I know I am! We are on the move, running to and fro work, taking and collecting the kids from school, attending church small groups and trying to have a home life. Seriously folks! Who has time for real friends?

I have a lot of friendlies in my life. You know, the people who are more than acquaintances, but don’t quite make the real friend status. We know each other’s name, we pass pleasantries when we run into each other at the grocery store or church and that’s as far as it goes. Friendlies!!

People need real friends because so many of them don’t have real families anymore.” Rick Bezet

We live in a mobile society, no longer do we live our entire life in one town where everybody knows everybody. We move for a variety of reasons, sometimes it’s because of family dynamics, a job change or simply because we are adventurous but, the outcome is the same. We don’t have roots with our new neighbors!

“Friendship starts with an invitation.”

Developing acquaintances into friendlies then into real friends takes time. It takes effort. It takes commitment. It takes planning. Not all acquaintances will become friendlies, and not all friendlies will become real friends. But it is worth the effort, one I am willing to invest in. Will you join me in proactively reaching out in friendship to others. I mean what’s there to lose? At the worst they will remain acquaintances.

Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other. John 13:34 Msg

When Jesus lived on earth he was a people person (he still is), he was approachable, friendly and kind hearted. Don’t mistake those qualities for a push over. He spoke to the crowds, but he also went out of his way to speak to the one. He poured into the lives of his disciples, he knew their potential even when they didn’t. He reached out in love.

Isn’t that what we should do? See the potential in others and invest our time and energy by encouraging them. By being there when they are going through a hard time? By laughing with them when they celebrate? Isn’t that what a friend is for to share the bad as well as the good times? To lend a listening ear and a tissue when needed? To want the very best for them and to love them through the ups and downs, and if we are honest with ourselves isn’t that what we want in a friend?

Until next time


Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance

What has helped you to make new friends and maintain the friendships you have? Feel free to comment, we learn by sharing.