Are Your Roles Trumping Your Purpose?

In my last blog I shared some inspiration I’d received from Kristin Armstrong’s book, Mile Markers, and as promised, I’d like to share with you another nugget of truth I learned from her. It has to do with our roles and our purpose.

Kristin shared how women often tell her they feel called to be a wife and mother to which she replied, “Of course you are! You have a ring finger and uterus, but what is your purpose?”

At first her reply seemed a bit crass (I feel part of my calling is to be a wife and mother) but it got me thinking. I’ve never prayed about or tried to define my purpose before. I have many roles that I fulfill but why did God put me on this earth? Is there an underlining purpose in them all?

A role is position where we have a responsibility or duty but our purpose is the reason why God created us. It is why we exist.

I do believe our roles are part of our purpose but as I prayed I realized that I’ve allowed some of my roles to trump my purpose. They are good roles but at times ones I’ve taken on solely because I hate to say no or disappoint others.

Are my present roles ones that God is using to fulfill my purpose or are they a trap from the enemy to distract me from God’s calling?

I’ve prayed about this the past couple of weeks and by doing so I realized the importance of continually asking God to reveal our purpose to us.

  1. My purpose has evolved through the stages of life, i.e. babies were born, started school and I’ve returned to work. My experiences and training have also fine-tuned my purpose over the years.
  2. I saw how God has revealed different layers of my purpose to me over time.
  3. The prayer kept me focused on God’s desires, not mine.

This was a valuable exercise. It showed me potential areas where I’m wasting my time or robbing others of realizing their purpose. Here are some of the questions I prayed through…

–       What is a strength I can give that will make the lives of others, as well as my own, better?

–       Am I allowing busyness to overshadow my God-given roles?

–       Are my roles out of guilt or true calling? (Think areas of volunteering)

–       Do these roles complement my purpose or distract me from it?

–       Am I evolving as my roles change? (new baby, returning to work, leaving work, empty-nester, etc.)

–       Am I a risk-taker?

–       Do I avoid new challenges by using “my” roles as an excuse to dodge the changing roles and purpose that God is giving me?

Hopefully these questions will help you guide and stimulate you if you decide to do the same exercise.

What are your thoughts on roles and purpose?

Are there any other questions you’d add to the list to pray through?



Living Out Lent in Life

I’m reading the book, Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reason Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong, ex-wife of Lance Armstrong. I cringe writing that because this is not how she should be known. She’s an avid runner, talented writer, and a dedicated mother devoted to her faith. It’s not solely a book about running as it is about family, friends, fears, faith, goals, etc. and how running has helped her face them all. It’s filled with stories taken from her entries from her blog on Runner’s World

The whole book has been an inspiration but a couple of her insights have really challenged me and I want to share this with you in my next couple of blogs.

One is in regards to Lent. We’re 14 days into the 40 days of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday and leading up to Easter. It is a time where Christians usually give up something to imitate Jesus’ 40 days in the desert as a way to prepare for the Easter celebration.

Kirstin was raised Catholic and has always participated in Lent. Growing up she thought it she was supposed to give up something she loved, like chocolate or wine. However, one year while out on a run, she was struck with a thought. Why not give up something each day that interrupts her spiritual connectedness to God?

What a beautiful thought.

Each day it was something different – whatever plagued her that day and took her eyes off of God – negative thoughts, gossip, not picking up the cell phone, certain movies, etc.

We have so many distractions around us – it’s even hard for me to fully focus on my kids and they are very good at making themselves known (cell phones and kid’s don’t always peacefully mix). But I serve a God who is invisible and has a bad habit of whispering when He speaks so my attention often goes elsewhere.

But it’s not just distractions. Busyness, careless chatter and television shows often break my spiritual connectedness. My eyes and thoughts go inward instead of to God and others and I waste a lot of time and energy on frivolous things.

Instead of being peaceful and strong, I’m anxious and weak – all because I’ve broken my connection with God. How many days have I wasted and not fully lived because of it?

Kristin’s idea is such a great principle that it shouldn’t be limited to Lent. So, I’m offering out a challenge to myself and anyone else out there who’d like to join me.

As a test, through the rest of Lent, each day let’s give up something that is breaking our connectedness to God. Write down what God shows you, share it with others, challenge your friends and maybe by the time Easter has arrived, it will have become a healthy habit.

Will anyone out there join me?

Let us know what God shows you during this time!