Friday, August 5, 2011

Defining a Decade

My friend Marybeth Whalen has been encouraging readers of her blog to cast vision over the next ten years. She has been challenging me to define my next decade. How do I want to be seen in the next ten years? What do I want to be known for? What kind of personality do I want? What do I envision my family looking like in ten more years?

In order to project my thoughts I found I also had to reflect over the last ten years and I’ll tell you why. Pretty much all that has happened, good and not so good over the last ten years, I never would have imagined. Here are just a few of those unexpected realizations:

• Leaving our dream home and moving to a new city
• Changing churches
• My son attending a Christian University
• My son having a precious Christian girlfriend (Oh, I imagined the Christian girlfriend, just not yet. I was praying he’d at least be in his 20’s before he started dating...LOL)
• Flying to North Carolina on my own
• Driving to Virginia on my own
• Finding my best friend unexpectedly by Walking Thru the Bible on-line
• My dad spending 9 months in the hospital
• Caring for aging parents becoming a weekly part of my life
• Being employed at a Christian Bookstore – that had been my dream job and the offer came unexpectedly
• Placing third in a writing competition with entrants from all across Canada
• Having surgery to remove a cancerous mass
• Losing my hair to chemotherapy
• Becoming friends with a dog…hahaha…I’ve always been terrified of dogs
• Speaking at Ladies Events
• Actually getting to volunteer at the Proverbs31 Office
• Attending the She Speaks conference three times
• My mother-in-law and dear friend passing away suddenly with cancer
• Taking violin lessons for a year
• Writing 365 daily devotions
• Making so many American and On-line friends
• Starting three blogs
• Decorating a guest room in our home for my BFF
• Travelling to Florida with my family several times

Those are just some of the “never imagined” occurrences. So…here’s the thing…for me to try and surmise anything over the next ten years…I don’t dream big enough. So much of what God has planned for me surpasses anything that I could desire. Even the gifts that have come wrapped in “brown paper”, the not so pretty packages that I’ve been given; they have been used to strengthen my faith and develop my character.

Often I have heard Proverbs 29:18 quoted as a basis for intentional living, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”. Vision here is not referring to vision statements or setting goals. Vision here is about hearing from God; a revelation from Him. Without guidance from the Lord there is chaos and no moral or ethical control. The NIV says it clearer: “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”

My goal in all areas over the next ten years is to daily be in God’s Word and wait on Him and listen to His voice.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

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Marybeth said...

I loved your list! God had some surprises for you for sure! Thanks for directing me to this post-- I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

Cheri Bunch said...

Look what the Lord has done! You are right on, Joy! I pray that He lets us get together several times in the next ten years! That would be Divine!
Hugs, Cheri

Theresa said...

I love how you looked back and then moved on....I might do that too. Thanks!

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Sweet Joy,

I believe as long as our short term and long term goal is to press into Jesus with all our might, we will have a wild and glorious time. Loved your look back!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Reading over your list I saw a few things that I had not known about before. I didn't realize you had been to She Speaks but twice. And a few other things. Never realized you had left your "dream home" and moved to the city. Was that because of your husband's work? I'm sure whatever comes your way in the next ten years you will handle it well.

God bless you, Mississippi

Anonymous said...

What a great idea. It seems this is precisely the perfect time to dream of what could be in the coming 10 years. New season, new blank page. Thanks for posting this.

Fields of gold said...

This is encouraging Joy! I like your past thoughts and future goals. You've inspired me to do the same!!

Praying for you.

xoxo, Sam