New Year’s Day this year was a typical Cincinnati winter day. Gray skies graced the horizon and cold winds swirled around causing all to zip up their coats in defense. Inside the day carried an air of familiarity as it began with church because it was Sunday. The similarities separated there when part of my family and I walked into my older son’s church in a wave of support since he was preaching this particular day. Our home churches would have to wait for the next weekend and instead we opened ourselves to receiving what God had prepared for the New Year.

Starting off the new year with hope and belief that the possibilities outweigh whatever you ended 2016 with, gives you a sense of renewal. The slate is fresh and the days stretch out before you with endless dreams. You don’t need to have everything figured out on Day 1 but have 365 days to explore and get to know your why. Many times we are in a place of knowing our what but have not figured out the why that steers our passion.

This year is my year of purpose. An intentional seeking of my identity in Christ and what He is calling me to do. I can list out the what in my life without too much problem. I am a mom, a writer, speaker and a teacher. These identify pieces of me that then carry me through each day. But if I am honest they don’t speak of those deep recesses that God calls to surface in my life. I am missing what connects me to God and makes me whole. My why is not always clear in my what.

My son challenged us in several ways on New Year’s Day. He taught about the importance of knowing your why so you end 2017 better than 2016. He illustrated the difference between our what and why through a youtube clip of comedian, Michael Jr. I will include it at the end. You will be glad you watched it. Lastly, my son left us with words to clarify our own purpose. He quoted Michael Jr. and shared…

When you know your why, your what has more impact because you are walking in and toward your purpose.

What I am learning already in the first three weeks of 2017 is helping me to clarify the why that changes my what to a path of purpose and passion.

My what tells me I am a …

Mom, but what does that look like when your children are grown? How do you minister to them and grow in motherhood when dependence is now independence? I am still discovering my why in this new season.

Writer. I hang out here with all of you several times a week. I am recognizing how writing is a passion and a ministry. But I ask myself how does God see me in this why?

Speaker. I have a deep desire to empower other women in their own faith walks. I hope to affirm each woman in knowing their why. I pray that God continues to open the doors and show me the way.

Teacher, but how do I hold onto an identity when I am retired from that profession? Can my gift of teaching look different in this season of my life? God has the answers and my heart is open to receiving them.

I love the challenge that is shared in the video below to know your why. When my son issued a similar challenge, I knew my year of purpose moved to a new level.

Our what loses intensity when we do not connect it with the passion of our why. Seeking God to show us who we are and how He will lead us quenches our hunger and thirst.

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare. Isaiah 55:1-2

Embracing my identity in my what while striving for my why!

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