Hope Creates Lifetime Goals

Because I recently achieved one of those milestone birthdays, I meditated and prayed about God’s will for me in this new season of life.Hope word

The answer came as a whisper to “Check out Psalm 92.” Within the Psalmist’s words, I found a description of what I want to be and do in the years to come.

Of course, only God knows the extent of my timeline and the eventual plan he has for me.

But the Psalmist recorded some practical and wise advice that I plan to journal through and cache within my goal-setting process.

  • Flourish in the courts of our God

Whatever I do and wherever I am, I hope to flourish – to do my work with simple trust and hearty obedience, to finish well and make a difference in the Kingdom.

  • Grow in grace and bear fruit in old age

Jesus didn’t face old age, so we don’t have a divine model. But we can look at examples from Scripture to find out how to grow old with grace.

Noah accepted new assignments even when they seemed improbable and a bit crazy; i.e. building a boat while rain was just a weird unknown.

Elizabeth trusted God for the impossible and discerned how he was working in the world she inhabited; i.e. she mentored the mother of Jesus and trusted that her own womb bore God’s messenger.

John wrote the words that would encourage and inspire believers for centuries. Did he realize that one of the greatest hooks of all time would come from his pen? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was from God and the Word was God.”

  • Be full of spiritual vitality

I want to be so filled with the Spirit and emptied of myself that the love and compassion of Christ precedes me into each room. I want my eyes to portray love and my voice to echo with the truth in a way that draws people to its life-giving source.

  • Rich in trust, love and contentment

I don’t want to be a saint who spends time griping about my aches and pains or the state of the country or the problems of younger generations. I want to be an example of what life-long trust in the God of the universe means – sharing his love while grateful for the breath of each day.

  • A living memorial to show that he is upright and faithful

The memorials of Lincoln and Jefferson focus on the words and grand living of these statesmen. How much greater and a broader goal to be a living memorial of who God is and how he is faithful to every promise.

Psalm 92:13-15 contains the rich truth and goal-setting ideas I can hang my hat on. As I march into this next season of life, even as the birthday ice cream slowly crystallizes in the freezer, I want this to be a fulfilling time of joy – while processing through whatever God desires for me.

He knew me before he made the world, what he planned for me, the good works he prepared for me to do. May that plan be exactly what happens and may it result in hope.

©2015 RJ Thesman – Author of the Reverend G Books http://www.crossrivermedia.com/portfolio/1624/gallery/fiction/

Thanks to Mom

Dear Mom,

This week, a thank you card will be delivered to you. The card is from me, your daughter – Rebecca. You may wonder why I sent you a thank you card.

October is my birthday month, and it’s okay, Mom, that you didn’t remember. Sometimes I, too, can hardly believe another year has gone by.

On my birthday, I want you to know how much I appreciate you. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I understood how much of ourselves we pour into our children. And I’m not just talking about the meals, the activities and making chicken soup when we’re sick.

I’m talking about the soul-giving that mothers extend to their children – that you extended to me.

Everyone knows about the labor and contractions you endured during my birth, but I also know you labored with soul contractions throughout my growing up years.

I’m talking about when you were bone tired from working your shift at the hospital, then you came home to make supper, finished a load of laundry and still made it to my softball game on time. Not once did you complain. In fact, when I looked into the crowd, you were the one cheering loudest for me.Mom

You defended me when other kids or even adults said unkind things to me. You taught me how to make the perfect zwieback with just the right dimple on top so that melted butter pooled inside that crevasse. And you showed me how to sew a perfect hem so that no one except the two of us could see the stitches.

I thank you, Mom, for the late nights when I know you were on your knees for me. You poured out your soul to Almighty God and asked him to keep me safe, but at the same time you were willing to let me go and let God do his work in my life.

You seemed proud when I left home to serve as a missionary, and you only cried when I returned – wiser and grateful for the experience. I know you prayed for me every day and asked God to send some of his big guy angels to protect your daughter so far from home.

Years later, you came to the hospital when I lost my baby – your first grandchild. Even now, I remember coming out of that anesthesia-induced haze. It was your hand that gripped mine – your tears that mingled with mine.

Best of all, Mom, you taught me to cherish words. You drove me to the library every week so I could check out books to read when I finished my chores. Then you provided the perfect example as you sat under the floor lamp and read your own stack of library books.

You wanted to be a writer, and I’m sorry that didn’t happen for you. Instead, you nourished my dream to become a writer. I’m an author now, Mom, with a book about Alzheimer’s. The irony is that many of the scenes in that book came from our moments together.

These days, I grip your hand and try not to cry when you repeat the same questions over and over.

So on my birthday week, I want to thank you, Mom, for all you’ve done for me. You brought me into the world and gave me the freedom to discover my purpose in that world. You encouraged me to use my gifts and showed me it was okay to be a radical, independent woman. You labored and prayed and then feasted on my accomplishments.

I know I have made you proud and although you may not remember the name inscribed on this card or the daughter who sent it, I just want to say thank you.

I love you Mom – forever.

©2013 RJ Thesman – “The Unraveling of Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/11QATC1