What does your lifestyle say about who you are and what you believe?
Since I was 14 years old, my life mission has involved loving at-risk youth. At 14, I had no idea how this goal would be achieved or how to pursue it. My answer? College. I attended a fantastic University and four years later, held a Bachelor’s of Science in Family & Human Services. I described my degree as “it’s like social work, but not”. Descriptive, right?
As a high school student, my future plans didn’t extend after college. I knew that I would go to college and earn a degree, end of story (I know, you’re shocked.). While on numerous occasions I considered, “I’ll graduate, get married, then work in a girls’ group home”, I forgot one small detail: goals are not achieved without action.
Proud graduate and her sisters
When graduation rolled around, I thankfully had a plan. I knew of an available job in DC, and God prepared a way for me to work there. In DC, I achieved rock-star administrator status, but involvement with at-risk youth was no where to be found in my life. My goals were still distant. I held an undergraduate degree, but was not married, and Father Flanagan was not knocking on my door with an invitation to work at Boys Town. Solution? I enlisted my wander-lust and set off for Nashville. I hoped to find a job in a girls’ group home within the month (hey, I have a degree and I speak Spanish – what more could an employeer want?), and my life’s calling would be fulfilled.
You can guess how that turned out.
I certainly did not lack in desire and good intentions. For many years, my beliefs and intentions were honorable, but missing one key element. Experience, yes, but what I’ve actually missed the mark on is lifestyle.
My goals and dreams are wonderful, but the hopes cannot, should not, end with only an idea. My entire lifestyle must change. The way I act each day, the way I think, the way I spend my time and my money, are a reflection of my goals and who I serve. I can have all of the good intentions in the world, but if my lifestyle doesn’t show what I’m about, nothing will ever be accomplished.
Imagine for a second what this world would look like if Jesus lived his life with good intentions, but never left the carpentry business. Jesus was called to lead people, and he did just that. Not only did he lead, but he did so without hesitation because he knew his mission.
How is my lifestyle changing to accomplish my mission? Through research, volunteering, and pursuit of being a foster parent. As a foster parent, my life will change drastically. I am preparing today to be a foster parent soon, keeping a specific time period in mind. I hope to never be the person who says “someday I’ll be a foster parent” or “someday I’ll do xxx”. Someday will never come. Make someday happen today.