This week, learn how Jenn Baxter found peace, joy and fulfillment by simplifying her life and getting rid of 80% of her belongings. After going through a string of traumatic events over the course of just a couple years, Jenn found herself emotionally and physically depleted. But instead of spiraling downward into despair, God started her on a new journey by"stripping down" and "cleaning up" her life, which allowed her to not only survive the storms, but to rise above them.
Sometimes I don’t want to write. Sometimes I attend to every other item on my to do list before I turn my attention over to the one that says, “write.” Sometimes I stare at a blank screen and wonder, “where in the world did all my thoughts just go?” So why do I keep doing it? Why do I continue this process?
Because I’m called.
It’s the same reason I roll out of bed at five in the morning, put on those scrubs and stand on my feet for twelve-hour shifts. It’s not because I always feel like it. It’s because I’m called.
Similar process applies to those hours I spend piecing together presentations for the diverse speaking opportunities I’ve been blessed to receive. I enjoy the experience with the people, but the discipline to develop something for them is a commitment I am called to.
See work isn’t merely about making money. It’s about much more. It’s about what we’re called to do. What fulfills our purpose, what we can contribute, what gives us value and a sense of self-worth. It’s the reason we give extra without expecting to see it in our next check or maybe without anyone even knowing.
Working is just good. It adds value to our lives. Think about it. What would the opportunity to rest really mean to us if we never had anything to rest from?
Several years ago I remember traveling with my husband and some of his co-workers to Los Angeles for business. The trip ended up being a reoccurring once-a-month visit over a two year period for my husband, so I was able to return a few more times with him alone, but this particular trip we were with the group and the group wanted to visit Venice Beach. One of the guys seemed so impressed with his comments in regard to the expensive real estate and his assumptions that many of the residents were trust fund kids. The potential of living a life on a trust fund just makes me feel sad.
People joke about it, but really, could you imagine waking up every day and not having anything you needed to do? Yes, we work to meet our financial needs, but the contribution made in the process is far more lasting.
I got to look into the faces of some of those making such contributions yesterday morning. Through the opportunity to speak for a group of teachers, I was given the chance to declare the difference my elementary school teachers made in my life sharing how they provided a piece of normalcy when everything else was far from normal.
School is a normal part of a kid’s life. In those times I was able to attend after the accident, I had the chance to sit at a desk and feel a little bit normal. There I was exposed to far more than a teacher’s educational instruction. I encountered acceptance, security, love and compassion- all from the individual teaching the class. It was emotional for me recalling just how very much they meant to me in that very dark season of life.
Many of us have those feelings about teachers. They are downright fabulous! But what is also pretty fabulous is that you’re called too! It may not necessarily be in what you get your paycheck for, but you’re called and your contributions make a difference.
Whether interacting with others or tending to something that makes life beautiful for another, you have abilities, gifts and talents within you to use. Using them will bring you the most satisfaction life can offer.
Proverbs 13:4 NIV A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.
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