Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MAD with Words - An Offering

Well, it's time to get back to the blog. I've really missed writing and so I have made a commitment to blog at least twice a week - Tuesdays and Saturdays. Since Joe has meetings, for a few hours and away from home on these days, I will have the house to myself (except for the dog) and I can ponder and write - sometimes even at the same time. It seems I have a lot of words fighting to find their way out of my head; so, we'll see where this takes me.

These past few months have flown by and have been full of challenges - mostly good and some a bit harder than others. It's been a time of change, a time of growth and a time of trust. It seems my life has been all about these things lately - personally and professionally. Maybe it's just my mid-life adjustment (change or fine-tuning, if you like) that has me stirred up.

I've also been challenged in the recent past with this thought. What am I doing to make a difference? A difference in my life and in the lives of others. It's a pretty heady question. You know, if I ask other people if I make a difference - they always respond with an "absolutely, you do!" For some reason, I'm needing a tangible response - How do I make a difference? Why do I make a difference? Why Is it important for me to know I make a difference? Have I made a difference to you? I want to make a difference!

Recently, I read the book by Max Lucado, Outliving Your Life. Talk about making a difference and motivating me to get moving. I sometimes think the challenges we face are just too big for one person to do something that can change the course of the outcome. Max Lucado talks about how one person can be the inspiration for great change and for great significance - in thought, action, response - even by doing something that seems very small. It struck me that I do have the ability to make a difference. I just have to be willing to take the risk, jump in and see what happens. Outliving My Life means more than leaving a legacy. It's leaving an imprint on this world and through my relationships so that lives are changed forever - through love.

Courtesy of Photo Bucket

Every morning I read Ann Voskamp's blog, www.aholyexperience.com (double-click on the Holy Experience link, under Inspiration, on my sidebar). Her honesty absolutely touches my heart. At this time, she is writing very eloquently about how our words make a difference to the people we encounter. And, how we should take our "words" seriously before they are spoken. Our relationships are built on words and they carry power - the power to build up and the power to tear down. A. Word. The power to make a difference in the lives of others. Since I've been reading her blog I've been pretty quiet. I've been so scared to open my mouth for fear the wrong words are going to come out and I will mess someone up forever. I'm just kidding; however, it has made me think about choosing my words carefully, thoughtfully, lovingly and before I speak. I've been thinking about what word or words have impacted my life? And how my words have impacted others - especially my family.

I also listen to the K-LOVE radio station (97.3 FM in KC) on my way to work in the morning. They, too, are talking about "words" and choosing a word for this next year that will exemplify your life for 2011. Even my boss came to me the other day (she listens to K-LOVE, as well) and challenged me to pick a word for 2011. So, after tossing the idea around for a few weeks, I have settled on my special word.

My word is "Offering". I'm praying that God will give me an awareness of situations where I can be an "offering" to Him and an offering OF Him - an offering of my thoughts, my words, my actions. I want to focus this year on being aware of His presence in the people I meet and in the situations I encounter as I go through the moments of my day.

I looked up Webster's definition of Offering and this is what it says:
 something offered;  especially: a sacrifice ceremonially offered as a part of worship
I love how Webster always seems to use the very word to define the word - that is so confusing to me. I don't know that I necessarily believe an offering has to be a sacrifice. However, I do like the part about being offered as part of worship. Is there any better way to offer Praise and Worship to God than by offering thoughts, words and actions on His behalf? My definition of offering - to give with love. So, that is my word.

My house is full of words. I love words. I have words on my walls, words on the rocks around my plants, words on pictures and signs, words on my bathroom mirror, words in the mass of books I have on my bedroom floor.  I have words everywhere I look. Words that are important to me, words that define my life. And, I want my words to matter...

So, two birds with one stone - I pray my offerings make a difference.

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