"No," she replied. "Have you ever written a mission statement for YOU, for yourself?"
(OK, if you've read even a few of these posts, you know that my sarcastic humor often gets the best of me. Fortunately, my sister-in-law knows this. So, she wasn't TOO offended by my following response):
"Mission statement? Yeah...I got your mission statement...(I truly wish I could tell you the rest of that paragraph, but I fear some of you more sensitive souls might me offended.)
Fortunately, Karen wasn't offended. In fact, she laughed...out loud. Like I said, she's been around me long enough to understand.
But...her question wouldn't leave me alone. "Have I ever written a mission statement for ME?"
Well, no, I haven't. But perhaps I should, now that a brand new year has rolled around.
There's one problem. So far, the beginning of 2011 has felt a lot like the movie "Groundhog Day"...kids out of school....snow....kids out of school again...more snow....kids out of school AGAIN....one kid gets sick...OUT OF SCHOOL AGAIN.
On top of that...factor in the need to take mom's medicine to her everyday. Now, that in itself wouldn't be a problem. The problem is that, during almost every visit, mom insists on talking about very hard things that have no solutions. And, it does no good to ask her not to. What confounds me about this diagnosis called Alzheimer's isn't that mom forgets the things I wish she could remember--I understand that cruel part of this disease (at least most of the time)...No, the thing that confounds me is that she remembers the very things I wish she would forget!
All of this to say that, so far, January has held no routine...no "normalcy"...no time to sit in my house by myself and ponder what a mission statement for myself should look like.
Another friend (who I will leave nameless) said to me when I mentioned this mission statement idea to her, "You mean I get to choose my mission statement? I thought everyone else in my life did that for me."
But, I know something needs to change...IN me. For too many months, I've felt stuck, not sure what to do. And, on top of that, the things I believed with all my heart I WAS SUPPOSED TO DO have, for the most part, resulted in nothing but disappointment--Medicaid turned mom down (3 times), VA turned mom down. And, in the meantime, more than 50 "employers" have turned me down.
But...back to that mission statement.
As I mentioned, I couldn't quit thinking about it. So, I decided to do what I do when I can't quit thinking about something--I started writing. (Actually, sis-in-law challenged me to do so way before I actually put pen to paper.)
And here's what I wrote. Is it a mission statement? Not really. At least not one that would have gotten me kudos at any organization where I've worked.
But...it's a starting point. Here goes:
#1. I'm made up of heart, mind and body.
So, each day, I will do something (no matter how small) to:
*"feed" my heart (pray, learn to "abide"; risk and nurture relationships; intentionally look for ways God shows Himself to me; actively and continually practice this thing called faith)
*"feed" my mind (study God's Word; remind myself of who God says He is and who God says I am; read good books of all kinds; listen to good music of all kinds; intentionally choose to be grateful).
*"feed" my body (make healthy food choices, exercise, drink more water, not obsess over any of these things, take a few risks)
#2. I'm entrusted with certain blessings and gifts from the God who made me and redeemed me.
So, everyday, I will:
*Be a good steward of relationships. I will remind myself that "Love" is not a noun or a feeling. It is a verb. It is (in Marla's words), "Choosing to do what is best for the other person." Therefore, I will actively look for ways to truly love the people He has blessed me with, realizing that...sometimes...doing so may not feel or look like love.
*Be a good steward of the financial blessings He has given. Live frugally. Plan wisely. Invest in eternity.
*Be a good steward of time. Don't waste it on empty activities.
*Be a good steward of fun--laugh more, play more--especially with family and friends.
*Be a good steward of what others call my "talents". Write a little every day. Sing a little every day. Teach a little every day. Learn something new every day.
#3. I'm called to do the next right thing ... always.
So, everyday, I will:
Remind myself that God is Sovereign, even over the "stuck" seasons of my life. Therefore, until I see the "path", I will keep attempting to do "the next right thing", which is just another way of saying I will trust and obey (in that order).
So...there's my "mission statement"....for now. Perhaps you see holes or contradictions. If so, go write your own....I warned you about my sarcastic wit!
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade....
In this you greatly rejoice,
though for a while you've had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—
of greater worth than gold...—
may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Though you have not seen him, you love him;
and even though you do not see him now,
you believe in him....
Live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
For you know it was not with perishable things like silver or gold
that you were redeemed from the empty way of life
handed down to you from your ancestors,
but with the precious blood of Christ...."
(from 1 Peter 1, NIV)