Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why do you have what you want?

Here are 10 reasons why I have what I want.  I am sure there are more and I will continue to add them.  Thanks Russ for asking the question. It’s one that challenges me to think more outside the box.  I have been asked a similar question many times. Why do you have such great children? Why is God blessing your business? Why have you been married for almost 34 years? Why can’t I have what you have? The answers themselves seem to be bragging.  But they are who I am. They have to do with what my heart is bursting with.  These 10 should be announced via trumpet blast. Each has been life-changing. They are like arrows shooting forth to the heavens.

1. Because I know my treasure is not in earthly things but in heavenly.

2. Because I set goals tied to my dreams and discipline myself to reach them.

3.Because I am so eternally thankful and count with delight every blessing that comes my way.  (Count your blessings, name them one by one.)

4. Because I don’t try  to manipulate God into blessing me.

5.  Because I hold every blessing that comes my way in an open hand rather than a closed fist.

6. Because I believe every person has a story within waiting to burst forth, one that I want to hear. Really!

7. Because every pain I have lived through helps build Godly character.

8. Because I had a praying Daddy who daily prayed for and blessed his children and his children’s children. We are his children it is our privilege to share in the blessing of heaven that he called down on us for more than 70 years.

9. Because I want you to make some life changing discoveries on your own.

10. Because the dreams I hold within my heart can drive me for the rest of eternity when I latch on to the Dream Giver and get excited about dreams He plants in others.

“The dreams I dream for you. Are deeper than the ones you’re clinging to. More precious than the finest things you knew and truer than the treasures you pursue. Let the old dreams die like stars that fade from view, then take the cup I offer and drink deeply of the dreams I dream for you.”

--Teresa Parker

What Do You Want

What do you want used to be a difficult question for me to answer.  These days it’s pretty much become second nature.  I was first genuinely asked that question some 18 plus years ago.  Oh, others had asked it of me before that time. But I had learned to ignore it.

My mother was a loving person who got really angry at times.  One time when I was asking the same question for the 49th time, she screamed, “WHAT do you want?” As a child I quickly learned to soften the voice of what I really wanted in order to give her, and all adults, what they wanted—a little peace and quiet.

When I was 12, I had my first boyfriend.  I was head over heals in love.  I just knew we were going to get married and have 19 kids and counting (just kidding on the number).  It was a summer romance.  When he went to a different school in the fall, he found a new girlfriend and brought her to church with him.  Now you may think I was meaner than a junkyard dog to her, but no I had learned how to deal with these feelings.  I became a good friend. In the midst of doing what I thought was right, what I wanted became totally unnecessary.  “What DO you want?” I was beginning to think that was a question that a “good” person didn’t ask. Good people didn’t give in to their wants.

As the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter of the oldest daughter, I was blessed with lots of living relatives when I was growing up. As much as I loved being part of large family reunions, I quickly learned that who I was seemed always couched in terms of where or who I came from.  I was the oldest sibling therefore I was supposed to be the most responsible. I was supposed to carry on the family togetherness. It was supposed to, but who was I really? I was a wife, mother, daughter, grand-daughter, sister, aunt, writer, editor, church member, friend.  But I who was I really?  Were any of those titles who I really was?  And the question seemed to get more and more distant.  “What do YOU want?”  I didn’t even know who I was. How could I know what I wanted?

A plaque in my step great grandma’s kitchen said, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”  At this point in my life, that saying seemed to sum up everything.  I was working harder than I probably ever have in my life before that time or since.  But I felt like I was getting nowhere.  I remember praying this prayer:  “Lord, just give us enough money to pay our bills.”  I wanted to survive.  So, in essence, I knew something of what I wanted.  However, it didn’t feel like a want, it felt like a need.  “What do you WANT?”  I thought I knew but, I had no real idea.

So 18 years ago when another woman stepped into my face and demanded the answer to the question, I was somewhat taken aback.  The asking was done in love and required a truthful answer.  She wasn’t going away.  She was staying until I worked through every word in that question, until I knew. It was almost like she whisper-yelled it to me. “What do you want?” 

“What” involved the possibility that it was OK for me to even be asking the question. “Do” represented the reality that there were things that were OK for me to have.  “You” meant that the Creator fashioned me in a uniquely profound way to have impact on this earth. “Want” said that all the universe was holding its breath waiting for desires and dreams within me to be unleashed. That’s a WOW!

What do I want? I want to be a whole, healthy, happy woman of God. What am I? I am a whole, healthy, happy woman of God.

Thanks, Pat, for asking the question. And just when I thought I had a handle on that question, another was asked. “Why do you have what you want?”  OK, truthfully, I’m working on that one.  I’m also working on thanking Russ for asking it.